February 12, 2013
Why we are the way we are
Being social is a normal part of human behavior; it is a part of our everyday lives. With a few exceptions, usually liked to mental illness, people are social and they crave social interaction. We humans, usually have many different types of social interaction we crave and for various reasons, companionship, security, values, feeling normal and so on. In our earlier lives we crave the social interaction from our family and a small number of friends, as we got older that usually changes to friends then family. Our friends can be from school, work, or just people we meet in our day to day lives. The switch from family to friend can vary from person to person, but usually happens in our teens to early twenties.
Every group of people we hang out with, family and friends, which usually friends falls into a few categories and not all friends are friends with each other, meaning we have various friends within various groups. Each group gives us something, security, safety, happiness, sadness, and any other range of emotions. For instance, a person can have friends in a knitting group, people of various ages and both sexes can be in a knitting group, meaning a person can feel comfort which can come from many different types of people and it is usually happiness and companionship. But, if a person is friends with people in a support group, like in a victims of violence group, then that group of friends can provide comfort but also a sense of anger and unhappiness, simply because of what brought each person to the group.
A person’s personality can be genetic, they take after their parents, or completely opposite of their parents or their personality can change depending on the group they are with, usually called peer pressure. There are various things that can happen with various types of personalities. A follower type of personality is someone seeking to fit in and to be accepted instead of being left out. Having a personality like this can have some consequences, peer pressure to try alcohol or drugs can lead to addiction, which can cause death. For example, a freshman at college can seek to fit in and fall victim to peer pressure into having sex or drinking or doing drugs. Bing drinking at parties is a common theme in many colleges across the country, sadly so is death because of the binge drinking. If that student decides to not fall victim to peer pressure then they can be labeled a nerd, or a recluse, however those good grades can be just the reward needed, not to mention, other book worms will seek you out because you have the same value systems.
Social absorption is another term for the way people behave; this is when a person almost seems to have two different people living in one body. Using the college student example again, a student who is very focused on their grades has other friends that act the same way, however, when the studying is done, and then they become the party person. Both can also interact, the study part can listen to the party music while studying, the party person can use better judgment because they know, from studying, the dangers of binge drinking and drug use.
Moving away from the student example, the pressure to binge drinking and drug use can be anywhere in society. Family and friends can pressure a person into doing things they normally wouldn’t do. However, a person can decide to not give in, but they want to save the persons feelings, so they will come up with an excuse. Something like, “Sorry, man, I am broke this week.”, or “No I am just really tired from working so much this week.” If the person does not value those friendships much they can be more honest and say something like, “No, I am not an alcoholic like you and I am done with this friendship!” Most people are usually not that abrupt with others, and they value their friendships so they try to preserve them.
Friendships are not the only