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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