Peer Pressure / Who Cares?

In “Beach Walk #175 – People talkin’? Who cares!”, we get to hear about someone so caught up in her own idea of what’s important in life that she tries to project this onto someone else. She’s so busy thinking about what SHE perceives to be the right way to live life that she totally ignores what the leader told the new paddler and gives contradictory instructions.

First of all, she’s not authorized to tell the new paddler what to do. Nobody put her in charge. The leader was IN THE BOAT, giving the orders, so there was no “lack of leadership”.

When asked why she said what she said, her reply was that if the new paddler stopped paddling, the other paddlers would talk about her behind her back, to the effect of “I can’t believe she stopped paddling! :O”. Now we have a reference point to weigh the values of this advice being given. On the one hand, the paddler could keep paddling, though she feels that her body needs a break, and she could avoid being gossiped about over lunch. OTOH, she could stop paddling, NOT risk her physical health, and perhaps be talked about behind her back by people that probably wouldn’t say anything to her face in the first place. If the tree falls in the woods… and you’re in the city, you don’t hear the sound… so… if people are going to gossip behind your back…..


What difference does it make? None, because you never hear about it, so, effectively, it doesn’t exist to you. Let’s say you actually hear about this gossip or they tell you to your face that they think less of you as a paddler because you didn’t keep paddling…..


What difference does it make? Do they pay your bills? Do they decide whether you get to come out paddling tomorrow morning? 😀 Do they decide where you sit in the boat?

The ‘advice-giver’ was saying more about herself than she was about the new paddler. She was letting people know what fantasies dictate her actions in life. She won’t do something if she perceives that she might be talked about for it. She won’t do something if she thinks she’ll “look bad”, even perhaps at the cost of her own physical health. That has nothing to do with the new paddler at all. ALSO, the ‘advice-giver’ informs us that she’s willing to attempt to override statements of the person in charge to forward the agenda of her own personal brainwashing. “Don’t do what the leader said, because we’ll talk about you”. What’s that?

Unfortunately, peer pressure is an incredible influence. Without the proper grounding, the new paddler might think the advice is good for her to follow, without having the ability to actually assess it properly, according to what SHE thinks is important in life. Often, people come into a new situation or it could even be a situation they’ve been in for a long time and they don’t have concrete ideas about what’s good for them and what isn’t. Those people are often susceptible to accepting and adapting other people’s ideas. Just because that way of being works for one person doesn’t mean it works for YOU. A lot of people have taken the wrong path following suggestions from people with their own personal agendas.

How about if the advice-giver channeled her energy into STOPPING the other paddlers from talking behind the new paddler’s back? How about THAT? How about praising the new paddler for being a part of keeping their heavier, 5-man boat alongside the lighter 6-man boat? How about THAT? How about if she focuses on what she can do that’s positive instead of “helping the new paddler avoid the negative”… the negative that she’s DEFINITELY going to be a part of if the newjack doesn’t take her advice and get back to work.

Rox says “gossip’s never killed anyone”. While that’s not actually true, 😀 I see her point. It’s not the ACTUAL gossip that has ever killed anyone. OTOH, people HAVE died from pushing their bodies past limits that they feel they have approached.

What’s it worth to you? What’s it worth to keep people from talking about you? Your health? Your money? Your family? Who ARE these people, anyway?

Who cares?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.