How To Be Immune To Peer Pressure
HOW TO BE IMMUNE TO PEER PRESSURE
Without a doubt the main question that I get asked by people is if I have any advice on how to follow the diet and lifestyle that I recommend in social situations, and how to deal with family, friends, and co-workers who aren't supportive and want to tempt them back to the "dark side"...
So I felt that it would be a good idea to devote a chapter to talking about "peer pressure" and how to become immune to it...
1. PEER PRESSURE TO HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES
Some people end up going through life with "Multiple Personalities" and will behave very differently around different people.
An example of this would be a man who has a very "Family Friendly" vocabulary and sense of humor when he is at home with his wife and kids, but when he goes to work and is with his male co-workers virtually everything that he says and does would be completely unacceptable behavior when he is at home.
The 2 personalities that he displays are so radically different that it makes you wonder which one is the real one, or if neither of them are genuine and he simply behaves however he feels will get him accepted.
Do you have an authentic personality that is the same no matter who you are with?
Start catching yourself whenever you suddenly feel the need to start talking or acting differently because of who just walked in the room, and realize that not only will you never be able to please everyone, but in the end people respect strength more than weakness, which is why if you look back at the most influential "individuals" who have ever lived you will notice that most of them were criticized early on, but by enduring this criticism and not giving in to conformity they were able to do amazing things (including earning the respect of many of their critics) so stay strong...
2. PEER PRESSURE TO ATTEND SOCIAL EVENTS
When people get invitations to go to a someone's wedding, graduation, or baby shower, these "invitations" are actually "obligations" for a lot of people, because they would be too afraid to say "No".
Personally, I look at invitations like these as "Spam" and simply ignore them.
So often people will say things to me like, "I recently went vegan, but I'm worried about what will happen when I go to my parent's house on "Thanksgiving" and everyone else is eating turkey." or "I'm trying to avoid alcohol, but I'm worried about what will happen when I go to my cousin's wedding next month and everyone else is drinking."
If social events are really problematic for you (or if you're an "introvert" and you really just don't want to go to these kinds of things) I want to tell you that you're not alone, and you have the right not to go to them.
If you are too uncomfortable to simply say "No thank you" to people's invitations I would encourage you to just tell them that you have to "work" that day. (And keep in mind that it's not a lie to say that you will be working that day if you are an artist and you are going to be working on a creative project, or if you are on a personal health journey and you are going to be working-out that day.)
And even if you aren't getting a paycheck to do yoga or to paint your masterpiece, that doesn't make it any less important than the work that you would be doing if you were working at regular a 9-5 job somewhere just for money. (And if it is your dream to someday be getting a paycheck for doing what you love then you should take what you love seriously enough that you show up for it consistently.)
If it seems "selfish" to do your own thing, I want you to stop for a moment and think about your favorite musicians, actors, or athletes, and imagine all of the sacrifices that they probably had to make over the years in order to get where they are at. (Including missing countless social events that they were invited to because of how devoted they are to their craft.)
3. PEER PRESSURE TO FOLLOW TRADITIONS
Although some of the holidays that people celebrate may have started off as well meaning concepts, over the years they have almost all evolved into nothing more than a time when everyone is encouraged to over-eat and over-spend. (And some of the holidays have degenerated into nothing more than an excuse for everyone to get drunk!)
Holidays can be very destructive, and if you don't believe me please consider the following...
- There are more heart attacks on "Thanksgiving" than any other day of the year.
- There are more drunk driving fatalities on "New Years Day" than any other day of the year.
- There are more cases of depression during the "Holiday Season" than at any other time of the year.
If you don't vibe with a holiday or if there are any "traditions" that you grew up with but that no longer serve you, start saying "No" to them.
4. PEER PRESSURE TO SMOKE, DRINK, AND DO DRUGS
If you are on this website you are probably interested in health, and nobody who genuinely wants to be healthy would purposely fill their body with massive amounts of toxins in an attempt to become "Intoxicated".
The average child is warned over 10,000 times about the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, but due to "peer pressure" few kids make it to adulthood without trying them anyways.
The first time someone tries these things their bodies will immediately reject them through coughing, vomiting, and sickness to let them know that it simply can't handle these things, but because of "peer pressure" they decide to try these things again, and again, and again, until they eventually build up a tolerance (As well as an addiction) to them.
I was fortunate to have met a lot of people at a very young age who's main goal in life was to simply stop smoking, stop drinking, or stop taking the drugs that had destroyed their life, so I have never smoked, drank, or did drugs, and for anyone out there feeling pressured to do these things I would just like to remind you that your body is the only possession that you have that you are guaranteed to own for the rest of your life, so please take good care of it!
5. PEER PRESSURE TO GET MARRIED
In some parts of the world "Arranged Marriages" are still practiced, and although the idea of letting your parents decide who you will marry might sound "extreme" to most of us, the fact is that "Arranged Marriages" are still happening in every country of the world, but they are mostly happening through "peer pressure"...
Many couples out there decided to get married simply because they were afraid of how their parents would react if they were living together or had children together and weren't married first. And some couples are too afraid to get married (or even date each other publicly) simply because they are different races, ages, or religions and they are worried about how their family, friends, and neighborhood would react if they found out about it.
Couples also feel pressured to spend a lot of money on their weddings these days.
In the past weddings cost virtually nothing, but in recent years they have become yet another example of how people have found a way to charge money for one of life's most basic experiences (falling in love) and they have done this by convincing everyone that the ultimate "symbol of love" is having an expensive wedding.
So often when I hear people talking about weddings these days the price of the wedding is "somehow" public knowledge and it tends the main focal point. (People will be discussing the $80,000 wedding their co-worker recently had or the $12,000,000 wedding that a famous celebrity is about to have, and the fact that the number one cause of divorce these days is "financial difficulties" should make new couples stop and reconsider following this trend.)
6. PEER PRESSURE TO HAVE A CERTAIN JOB
If you asked 100 children right before their first day of school what they wanted to be when they grew up you would probably get a lot of answers such as, "An astronaut", "The President", or even "A Super Hero", but if you asked those same kids on the day they graduated High School what they wanted to do with their life you would likely find that a lot of them don't know don't have strong ambitions due to all of the limiting beliefs that they were taught in school.
Up until around age 5 a child's mind is like a sponge that will absorb any new and interesting information that it gets exposed to, and children will literally ask hundreds of questions a day because of how curious they are about the world around them. But then they are forced to start going to school and once this happens their incredible love for learning usually dissolves.
College can be beneficial for those who genuinely want to be there, but a lot of people feel pressured to go to college just because their parents have been saving for their college education since they were children, or just because they want to have a certain profession that they think will impress people. (And sadly, a lot of people who go to college do so through the help of "student loans" which results in so much financial debt that they regret ever going.)
I am not encouraging you to not get an education. Far from it. I am encouraging you to appreciate the fact that we are living in a time when ANYONE can learn about ANYTHING they want to thanks to the internet, but you must regain a child-like curiosity and love for learning because without it there are simply too many distractions on the internet that will limit your productivity.
And of course, it is important to remember what is really important in life...