Peer Pressure After 50

When you do something you know is not right, can you own it?  When you are, without a doubt, the innocent party, can you forgive a close friend who does not stand up for you? I know with certainty that Peer Pressure after 50 does in fact exist. But, can you – and should you – stand up against it?

My Story About Peer Pressure After 50

I was in a situation not long ago when a woman could not own up to her bad behavior toward another woman in our group. It is an uncomfortable, albeit totally true, story of peer pressure after 50 and how it was handled. What would you do in my shoes?

One woman in our group, I’ll call her Bullyista, was behaving badly, bullying another woman in our group who I shall refer to as Zelda.

What shocked me the most is this group, consisting of lovely, kind women, were not willing to stand up against Bullyista. They found all types of excuses for Bullyista’s actions.

They knew Bullyista was wrong and even told her so on many occasions and yet they could not step up to the plate and say “No!” when Bullyista told them to exclude Zelda, the innocent woman, from the group. And yes, Bullyista did bully Zelda — yes bullied — and even brought Zelda to tears.

This put a strain on a close friendship between two of the women, Zelda and her close friend, we’ll call her Geraldine

Geraldine was tasked with calling Zelda and sharing the “solution” this group of women had arrived upon to solve the incredibly uncomfortable group dynamics.

“You will have to stay out of the group for the next two weeks until Bullyista leaves for the season because she was in the group before you were. Then you will come back.”

(Anecdotally, Bullyista is a snow bird.)

The End Result

 

Geraldine tried to be nice by offering alternatives but to no avail.

Zelda did not take it lightly and did not go along with Geraldine’s solutions. She questioned why Geraldine did not take a stand against the other women’s bad behavior?

Are there times when pressure should overtake conscience?

Should Zelda move on and forgive Geraldine?

The Lesson

What are the lessons to be learned from this?

If maturity had ruled instead of peer pressure, the other women in the group would have had a firm talk with Bullyista.

They could have helped her and taken a strong stand by telling her they cared about her but no longer would tolerate her abusive manner. They could have kindly told Bullyista that no, they would not ask Zelda to leave and, lastly, that Zelda was affecting everyone’s good time and it was just not acceptable.

So, at our age after 50 darlings, take a stand. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. You will feel proud of yourself when you do the right thing.

THEREFORE, CONSCIENCE SHOULD ALWAYS RULE OVER PRESSURE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD AND OFTEN TIMES, FOR THE PERSON COMMITTING THE WRONG.

I think Zelda should sit down with Geraldine and have a conversation with this thought in the back of her mind “I chose my close friend because  — despite the  mistake she is making now in not standing up for me — there are a million things she does right.”

Then, after expressing her feelings in an honest manner, she should forgive her friend, Geraldine, because to “Err is human…”

Conflicts should be weighed. You know there are all types of situations. You have to decide the severity and then move on or forgive. You have your inner voice and a mind of your own. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. In other words, let your inner voice and yes, my darlings, your outer voice, be heard.

NO ONE EVER DESERVES ANOTHER WOMAN’S BAD BEHAVIOR.

In retrospect, Zelda might have made a stronger statement, which she wanted to do but instead, she was ladylike. She did quietly speak to Bullyista and tell her that her actions were unacceptable, but I think if she had done what she really wanted to do, go against the grain, she may have helped Bullyista learn a lesson by simply  making the choice to get up from the table and … LEAVE!

Yes, my darlings, this was all over a card game.

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