We all do things at times because we feel pressured by others. No one escapes peer pressure fully.
While the elimination of peer pressure isn’t the goal, one thing that we can all work towards being honest versions of ourselves.
Basically, we need to do what we want.
It sounds selfish — but here’s why being selfish is okay.
I remember when I was 23, I built up my courage and asked out a beautiful girl who I had my eye on at work. She said yes, and I was thrilled. Fast forward to Friday night. I picked her up at eight o’clock, and the first thing she said to me was, “I have to be home by ten, I’m getting up early and I can’t be out late.”
Within 5 seconds I knew, this person didn’t want to be here.
She clearly felt pressured into going on a date with me, which became even more evident as our short night went on. Sometimes, when we think we’re doing someone a favor, we’re doing the opposite. When we give people a watered down version of yourself that wants to be doing something else, nobody wins. Not the people around you, not the person who was pressuring you, and most importantly, not you.
So no matter what you feel pressured to do, just remember — you’re not really helping anyone by appeasing them.
When people ask you to do things for them — whether it be helping with moving, taking a road trip, or going on a date — they’re expecting the awesome, lovable version of you to show up. When you bring a 2nd or 3rd rate version of yourself, you do damage. You damage friendships, you hurt feelings — and most importantly, you make yourself feel terrible.
Doing what you want in life is a much better strategy.
Almost to the point of being selfish, I believe you should take care of yourself. Never apologize for trying to maximize your personal energy.
If you have to cancel dinner plans to hit the gym because it’s what you truly want to do — do it. If you need to say “no thanks” when the guys ask you to grab beers because you’re trying to kick boozing — go for it. If you need to turn down a date because you’re not interested and would much rather read a good book — just say no. If you take care of yourself to the point of being selfish, you’ll constantly be giving the world the best version of yourself.
When that happens, we all win.