There is something about pressure from loved ones, peers and people in our social circle that places such a heavy weight on us. It makes it difficult to do anything but give in and dance to their rhythm. Sometimes, it works out well for us, but most times it doesn’t.
Jumia Travel, the online travel agency, shares 4 reasons to strengthen your resolve and put off the weight of societal pressure. Remember, you are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others; you therefore have to be strong, assertive and learn to pave your own path. This way your decisions are your decisions and your mistakes are your mistakes. You’ll learn and live better this way.
Anger and Resentment
When you give in to societal pressure, you are doing something against your beliefs, principles and most importantly against your will. There is little chance that such will not give you a load of anger issues to deal with. You’ll find yourself angry at those who pressured you, yourself for giving in and everything that becomes a consequence of your actions. You weren’t given a choice, now you are stuck with what you didn’t want or choose, that’s enough to make anyone angry and resentful, and that’s not a life to live.
Especially if you give into societal pressure and things don’t work out well, you become sad and disappointed in yourself for not being assertive enough to stand your ground and giving in. Such feelings of sadness and disappointment if experienced for a prolonged period, without being checked or treated, can degenerate into depression. The individual thus falls into bouts of depression, and in extreme cases, self-hatred and suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Loss of Individuality
Each time you give into societal pressure, you are more or less compelled into going by everything your peers, loved ones and those in your social circle think is right. You tend to blindly imitate them, adopt their tastes and force yourself to begin to see things the way they do. Ultimately, their likes become yours, their ideals become yours, their beliefs become yours, and their pressures become yours. You thus lose your original way of looking at life, which eventually devastates your confidence.
Particularly for those under societal pressure for their bodies to look a certain way or be a certain size, disordered eating like binging and purging result from the struggle to regulate the negative effects of this pressure. The person therefore binges to feel better after a period of restrained eating, and then purges (self-induced vomiting, intake of diuretics, performing enemas and laxative abuse) to relieve the emotions of depression, anxiety and guilt caused by binging. Also, over-eating or binge-eating to gain more weight because of perceived ‘over-thinness’ is another example of this kind of disordered eating.