How to Be Immune to Peer Pressure
HOW TO BE IMMUNE TO PEER PRESSURE
If you look at a list of the biggest regrets that people who are on their deathbeds have, their number one regret is that they wish that they had been brave enough to live the life that they wanted to live rather than the life that others wanted them to live, so I wanted to devote a chapter to "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 act different 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 two 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 feel the need to act differently because of who just walked in the room, and start leaving your unique fingerprints everywhere you go so that you won't regret not leaving them behind when you die...
2. PEER PRESSURE TO ATTEND SOCIAL EVENTS
When people get invited to someone's wedding, graduation, or baby shower, these "invitations" are actually "obligations" for a lot of people, because it would be socially unacceptable (or perhaps even "social suicide") for them to simply say "No thank you."
If you really don't want to go to these kinds of things, but you are too uncomfortable to simply say, "No thank you.", I would encourage you to do what I do by just telling people that you have to work that day. (And remember 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 or doing any other kind of self-work that day.)
Even if you aren't getting a paycheck to do yoga or work on a creative project, that doesn't make what you are doing any less important than whatever it is that you would be doing if you had a regular 9-5 job somewhere and you couldn't get the day off. (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 you have a favorite musician, actor, or athlete, I would encourage you to try to imagine all of the social events that they probably got invited to over the years and didn't go to because of how devoted they were to their craft.
It has been said that it takes about 10,000 hours to master something, so if there is something really big that you want to do with your life, but you currently have so little free time that you would have to live longer than anyone who has ever lived in history just to have 10,000 hours of free time to devote to it, then you need to start putting a much higher price tag on your free time so that nobody can afford your it but those who are going to support you on your chosen path.
And if it seems "selfish" to want to spend lots of time working on yourself, consider the following...
3. PEER PRESSURE TO THINK A CERTAIN WAY
If you asked 100 children right before their very first day of pre-school what they want to be when they grow up, you would probably get answers such as, "An Astronaut!", or "The President!", or even "A Superhero!".
But if you asked these same kids on the day they graduated High School what they wanted to do with their life, you would probably find that most of them no longer have the enthusiasm that they used to, and that many of them now have no clue what they want to do with their life (even though they just spent 12 years of their life supposedly "preparing for their future") and this is due to all of the limiting beliefs that children are 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 once they are forced to start going to school where they have to sit still, limit the amount of questions they can ask, and memorize the dates of wars and other bits of information that simply aren't very interesting to a young child, their incredible love for learning starts to dissolve, and after 12 years of this, many of them will be left with serious learning disabilities. (Like having no interest in ever reading a book again once they are out of school.)
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 ever since they were kids, or because they want to have a certain job that they think will make them rich and successful in the eyes of others. (And sadly, a lot of people who went to college did so through the aid of "student loans", which has resulted in them OWING a huge fortune rather than OWNING a huge fortune.)
I am not encouraging anyone to not get an education. Far from it. I am encouraging everyone to be grateful for the fact that we are living in a time where ANYONE can learn ANYTHING that they want to thanks to all of the information that is now at our fingertips.
The internet is a POWERFUL tool that can be used for learning, but it is also filled with so much "mindless entertainment" that can weaken our attention spans, dumb us down, and brainwash us, that we must regain a child-like love for learning to be able to actually use the internet for good and to avoid allowing our minds to be slowly eroded or taken over by those who don't want a society of free-thinkers...
4. PEER PRESSURE TO SMOKE, DRINK, AND DO DRUGS
The average child is warned over 10,000 times about the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. But due to "peer pressure", few children will make it to adulthood without trying them anyways.
The first time someone tries these things, their body will immediately reject them through coughing, vomiting, and sickness to let them know that it can't handle them. But due to "peer pressure", many will decide to keep trying these things again and again until they eventually build up a tolerance (and an addiction) to them.
If you wish to be "healthy" the last thing you should start doing is filling your body with massive amounts of toxins in an attempt to become "intoxicated", and for anyone out there who is feeling pressured to start doing harmful things to their body, please consider the following...
5. PEER PRESSURE TO LOVE A CERTAIN PERSON
In some parts of the world, "arranged marriages" are still practiced, and although the idea of parents deciding who their children will marry might sound crazy to most of us, the truth is that "arranged marriages" are still happening all over the world, but they are mostly happening through "peer pressure"...
If a couple feels pressured to get married because they are afraid of how their parents would react if they were living together but not married, or if they feel pressured to not get married because they are afraid of how their parents would react if they married someone who was a different race, different religion, different political leaning, etc, then they are no better off than couples who let their parents dictate who they will marry.
Weddings used to cost virtually nothing, but in recent years they have become yet another example of how businesses 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 people that the ultimate "symbol of love" is having an expensive wedding.
Whenever I overhear people talking about weddings these days, the price of the wedding is not only "somehow" public knowledge, but it will usually be the 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 think before allowing themselves to get pressured into following this trend.)
A lot of couples also feel pressured to get married just because it's "tradition".
"Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people."
I believe that there is someone for everyone, but I also believe that finding for your "soulmate" will be a lot more difficult if your search being directed by "peer pressure".
6. PEER PRESSURE TO SEE EVERYONE AS EXACT OPPOSITES RATHER THAN DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF OURSELVES
If we really want to be free from "peer pressure", then we need to create a society that is more free from it.
You don't have to agree with someone (or even know anything about them for that matter) to respect them enough that you would want to help them if you saw that they were in danger.
In fact, we are living in such a flexible reality, that we can all be similar, and all be different at the same time, and we are also all be independent individuals, as well as a functioning group.
You can choose to devote your life to becoming the greatest version of yourself or you can selflessly choose to devote your life to a higher purpose that is far greater than yourself, and through the power of unity, you can even do both simultaneously and experience life in amazing ways that would not be possible without both life-changing perspectives.