Reverse Peer Pressure ( Or Why I Drank Last Weekend )
Ladies and gentlemen, I have an annoucement to make: I broke my no year without drinking this weekend just gone and to be quite honest, I’m not all too bothered that I did.
‘ But Adrian! How could you!? You were determined to go through with this!? What happened!? You’re such a cop – out! Traitor! ‘ OK, calm down. This post is to explain my reason why I decided to break it. It ends up being a bit more complex than me just deciding to ‘ screw it, let’s get drunk! ‘
Anyway, as you know, I am fighting game player. This weekend just gone ( 13th – 15th April ) I was in Dublin to partipate in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year in Ireland. Now, I had actually said that I intended not to drink while I was up there and was determined to stick to my guns. However, something can up that took my surprise and caused me to changed to my mind.
I was in the Irish Fighting Game Community chat room a last week and the topic about the weekend came up. I mentioned that I was intending to stay off the booze and when asked why, I explained that it was a personal goal and that I had an audience that I didn’t want to let down if I did drink.
However, what took me by surprise is the fact that while it’s not clear what exactly was said but what was spoken of got me seriously thinking about it to the point I had to braindstorm and do some journalling about it. The conclusion I came to was that it was in fact, a form of peer pressure I was under.
This isn’t the classic direct peer pressure. It was more subtle than that. I felt that if I broke this challenge, I would have let my audience down. HOWEVER, at the same time, I also felt if I stuck to my guns too rigidly, than I might not enjoy the night out and that I would end up feeling sorry for myself. You see, I’ve had problems with being too stubborn in the past and when I was journalling all this, some words of wisdom that a friend from secondary school echoed through my head in regards to my stubborn, rigid nature: ‘ Adrian, there is no point is staying at home all the time, feeling sorry for yourself. ‘
Another fact is that I probably won’t be up in Dublin again before I go to Oz so that could be the last time I see many of those guys before I leave – which also added the idea in that what would be point in being a party popper just for the sake of a goal that in reality, not many people know about? Why should I feel like I am making myself suffer for the sake of what is really a personal goal?
Also an aspect worth noting is that from my journalling, my fear of letting down the audience also led me to rather alarming conclusion: I didn’t want to let anyone down because I was afriad of offending someone! That is what it boiled down to! I was scared someone would take offence! This floored me and helped me realize that I wasn’t making my own decisions, I was letting others ( however indirectly ) make my decisions for me and I was to be frank… rather angry with myself at that.
In fact, my fear of offending others effects other areas of my life. Be it that I don’t want to chat up those girls, I might end up offending them with my advances, I can’t say no to something otherwise I’ll offend the person / people who asked me. Basically, I was a doormat and a yes man and that wasn’t pretty at all, to say the least.
Now granted, I did not make this decision lightly or spontaneously. I thought this over and decided to make an exception for the weekend just gone. I plan on being dry for the rest of the year now. It’s good to know that something good came from all this from me personally. I know myself better and am now becoming more unoffendable and that, if you ask me, is a good thing.