People tend to imagine kids and teenagers when they hear the words “peer pressure.” Being egged on by others to do something you aren’t inclined to doesn’t only happen to young people. It affects adults, too — especially in regard to drinking.
Friends may needle you to consume alcohol against your will and better judgment. Why?
How the concept of peer pressure may have originated
Long ago, individuals banded together in groups to accomplish basic tasks their lives depended upon. Protecting themselves from intruders, foraging for food and constructing places to dwell in are a few examples. Anyone who deviated from the pattern was not contributing to the team effort and therefore was considered suspect.
Today, that same notion of behavior still seems to apply. A person who is not drinking by choice does not fit in with the group. The “outsider” needs to be brought into conformity with everyone else or the whole group feels threatened and on edge.
Nevertheless, conforming may not be the smartest move for you. You may find yourself intoxicated before you know it. If you get behind the wheel and drive, being stopped and charged with DUI is a possibility.
Techniques for deflecting pressure
Should you be polite but firm or out-and-out nasty when you are pressured to drink? There is no one solution that works for everyone. Here are some ideas to help:
- Say you are participating in “an alcohol-free challenge.”
- Remain neutral when others start to show the effects of their drinking.
- Tell one or two people prior to getting together that you will be abstaining from alcohol. Only go into detail if you want to.
Remind yourself of what can happen if you drink and drive. Don’t be goaded into drinking by others.
Contending with a DUI charge can be very consequential. If that is how things play out, though, have someone to advocate for your rights.