When you are young peer pressure is difficult to handle. However even when you grow older peer pressure seems to be difficult to handle. If you have created an image for yourself (which is not true) and you keep trying to live up to that image, you really struggle. How does one really handle peer pressure?

Let me share a few tips – see what works for you:

1. Living up to the Joneses is a real trap: If you are NOT self confident, you try to compete with everybody around you. So suddenly your driver, yoga teacher, gym instructor, boss, wife, children – all of them start giving you a complex! So building up real self confidence is a very important step.

2. Others do not really care: Ask your friend whether he remembers what dress he (the friend) wore a week ago – and the chances are he will not. If he does not remember what dress he wore, why the hell will he remember what you wore? As long as your clothes do not stink (wash them regularly please), it is not falling apart (clothes do not tear these days, right?), and are not too out of place (wearing shorts to a temple or a dhoti to the beach) – chances are nobody gives a damn about what you do.

3. Your phone should receive calls and send sms messages. Along with that if you can check your email that would be great. So a simple smart phone is enough. Tell your friends that you want to see whether you are able to use a phone for 5 years. Tell them (and maybe start one on FB?) called the ‘5 year challenge’ – and see who wins it.

4. Tell people you have a goal and you are saving / investing for it. Tell them you are planning to start a business and are saving for that.

5. Do a real big SIP in a mutual fund – and tell them that you are paying of a real big loan. This could be – a) an educational loan b) a personal loan taken for a family medical need c) a loan to repay some business gone wrong d) a gambling loan or a parent or a sibling – make a nice story. You get sympathy, and a solid reason to be broke for about 5 years. Then change jobs or geography.

6. Tell your friends that in your community a girl will not marry you unless you have a house in Mumbai. That will keep you broke for the next 70 years, no worries!! Of course no worries as long as you do not REALLY BUY a house…lol

7. Tell them your company is doing very badly, and you are terribly, terribly over paid. This means if you lose your job you will take a long time to find a new one, or you will find one that pays too badly, so you need some financial cushion.

8. Change your friends profile: If you are in a group that is from an economically much higher class than yours, YOU are the problem. You are in a wrong group. Change your friends. It is nice to be ambitious, but foolish to try to live up to the expectations of friends who are much richer or earning much more than you.

9. Just say NO. I do not think it is easy for young people, but it is working for a few of the kids I know.

10. Tell people you are saving for marriage – and all the expenses have to be borne by you. If you are a guy, you will get a lot of sympathy. If you are a girl your friends may not believe it, but what the hell, it is worth a try.

—see what works for you.

If you have better ideas please leave it on the comment section in the blog, not on Face book…please…

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  1. Saving for marriage should work for even girls. Couple of girls I know ARE actually saving for their dowry. So, it might work in general. 😉

  2. Hi Subra

    Is it fine if one budgets a decent monthly sum for extravagance and then stick around it. This would include weekend bills, unnecessary cloths and gadgets etc etc.. The allocation can vary at different stages in life and the excess to go to the SIP allocation..

  3. Sir, I have used some of these tricks.
    I never wanted to spend on movies and expensive food over the weekend. when my college friends plan something for the weekend I say that I have plans with my office colleagues and Vice versa.
    I have been working for last 2 years at a modest salary and saved 60% of the CTC in these years.
    I never wanted to use my parents money for my wedding and so used the money saved close to 5 lakhs on my wedding 3 months back. This was enough since the wedding was small and in my home town which is tier 3 city
    Now I am left with investments of 1 lakh and will continue to invest through the mutual fund SIP route.
    I am easily able to manage on monthly salary of 40K and invest nearly 50% of it in SIP. Although the expenses have shot up after my wife has come to pune, but manageable.
    Thanks to your blog and few other prof like Anil Agashe Sir who taught us in the college, have learned some lessons. Once again thanks for writing.

  4. Devesh Kumar Sharma

    Sir, I am doing my MBA now. I am interested in marketing. But my peer says I should not go for marketing as i dont do party, and I am an introvert. How should I handle them?

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