I can't stand peer pressure. Not because I fall prey to it easily - I don't, I still know how and when to say "no" -, but because I find it so terribly annoying. As if we're supposed to do the same that everyone else in the group is doing regardless of our feelings, of our likes and of our disliikes. As if being with a group (of colleagues, of friends, take a pick) made our individual selves to dissolve into the "collective" mind and will of the group. Which is funny, for the group is never truly collective in its will; it derives from a single mind and will or, at best, from the agreement of two, and strengthens itself with the support of others. So "the group" decides to go clubbing, and one who happens to hate clubbing will have to go along as well. Fuck that, I say. Fuck the group and the pressure.
What's even more interesting is the way peer pressure, when deflected, turns into emotional blackmail. Each person within the group takes the refusal personal when it isn't. It's actually seldom personal. More often than not, whoever says no to the group doesn't do it because he or she doesn't like the group and the people within it, but rather because he or she feels like doing something else and doesn't care about doing whatever the group is doing. It is merely a personal choice - never a personal attack. The group never settles with that though; first they try to persuade, then they try to compromise, only to have one of the parts breaking up at last, knowing that the broken part will never be happy about it. I don't particularly like the idea that belonging to a group means sacrificing, especially when I'm not really willing to sacrifice or to have others doing it for me. That's why I despise peer pressure. It's never fair to anyone, and it seems to be nothing but a slow but sure way of breeding resentment.