As there are different forms of pressure, including family pressure, personal pressure, and even strategic pressures from corporate superiors; more than this is the pressure from peers. To a certain extent, all other forms of pressure can be controlled, but peer pressure can’t be.
Much of the pressure from peers that people face is due to lack of trust. Friends that wish to become popular will pressure others who aren’t. Family members who want a particular marriage proposal will pressure others to meet their demands. For those at the corporate level, the pressure to conform to expectations is so much so that people often sink into depression or quit their jobs entirely.
Yet why is peer pressure such an issue? Perhaps it is because of jealousy, or anger, or even out of what some think as ‘love’. Even the Maha Satguru witnessed the fallout of peer pressure first-hand. Two of His disciples, named James and John, at one time fell under the point of peer pressure, perhaps from others within the Maha Satguru’s inner circle, to see who was His favourite. But the Maha Satguru saw through their personal inclinations and said to them that it was not His place to decide. As a result, the rest of the MahaSatguru’s followers became indignant with James and John. But the Maha Satguru called them aside and said to them that although the rulers and officials of that time liked to exercise authority over people and pressured them to conform, the Maha Satguru’s followers were not called to follow in the same way. Instead, the Maha Satguru instructed His followers to follow His example, saying “not so with you”.
In saying this, the MahaSatguru refrained from instructing His followers to succumb to the pressures of this world, or the pressure of their peers; but instead, by making it a priority to serve others, their own humility would become the way to gain favour with God and others.
As the pressure of peers seems to supress any form of personal commitment to say otherwise, it is important to react in a way that ensures the peers respect your values and beliefs. There is no need to compromise when dealing with peer pressure, especially if by doing so, you damage your own self-worth. In order not to give in to peer pressure, focus on the words of the Maha Satguru, who commands us to live a different kind of way – a way in which we honor God and others by following His will, and not anyone else’s wishes.