Don’t Give In To Adult Peer Pressure

Many people felt that high school was a difficult time in their social lives: finding their identity, friends separating into the different cliques, and just trying to fit in wherever they could. Some people are bullies while others got picked on. Some excelled in the classroom while others excelled in sports.  Some people just were never even noticed.  The social pressures to conform in one way or another were tremendous. But that’s not where peer pressure ends: adult life isn’t much different.  As adults, we may not face the same social pressures as when we were teens, but they are still there: reduce your ecological footprint, be frugal, spend more, contribute to charity, support this candidate, etc.  The key now is the same as it was back in high school: find your own identity.


Everyone has friends and even family members that own different viewpoint. Some may make you feel inadequate because of the car you drive or the amount of jewelry you own.  Others may make you feel self-conscious because they never go out and save every penny while you spend on things that bring you joy, while others may do a lot of charity work or donate money on a regular basis.  See, same as when we were all teens: different friends with different attitudes all wanting you to conform with the “group” and fit in. S ome people, like me, have multiple sides and are able to fit into several categories.


My whole life, I have had various interests, and various influences.  I was smart in school, so I shared classes and was friendly with the “geeks”.  I was athletic so I participated in sports and hung out with “jocks”.  I liked to party and have fun, so was able to connect with the “cool kids” as well as the “slackers” depending on what was going on.  Some people thought I was fake or trying to hard; that was their problem.  Even today, I am the same way.  I care about my future so I save a good deal of my earnings, but at the same time I work hard for my money so I like to spend it on things that bring me pleasure.  Some of my more wealthy friends ask me how come I drive a fairly basic Honda Accord when I can surely afford a more luxurious automobile.  My response is quite simple: I don’t care much for cars as anything more than a utility to get me around and don’t need a car to represent my “status” and would rather spend my money on thing that are more important to me.  There are times when my frugal friends ask me why I go out to more expensive restaurants than Applebees or Fridays and order alcoholic beverages.  My response, again, was simple: Food is a passion of mine so I enjoy it, it fits into my budget, and I’ve actually got clients from some of the people I have met there.  Even now, some people I associate with cannot understand how I can merge differing financial viewpoints into a singular way of living, but that is just my identity.


You should never let anyone dictate how you live your life.  If you are not comfortable throwing money around like it grows on trees, then don’t.  On the other hand, if you want to spend the money that you worked hard for then by all means do it.  The most important thing is that you are true to yourself, and not to do what others think you should.  Some people just follow the crowd out of fear of being different.  Others do what they feel like regardless of what others do or say.  It is important to always be true to yourself and your beliefs, even when it comes to financial matters.  Not all people will agree with everything you do, but as long as your choices agree with your views and personal situation, then it should not matter what others think or say.  Do what is best for you.


What do you say–have you been faced with adult peer pressures?  Have you ever given in to fit in with a certain group of people or do you just do your own thing and ignore what others have to say about it?

  • Carrie Smith

    I too had a school experience similar to yours. I excelled in book learning as well as sports. I wasn’t the best, but I was good enough and I could relate to different groups. 

    I love your approach to this topic, and I have the same idea about giving into peer pressure. Everyone has a different way of handling their money, and some people prefer to spend their money on food instead of vehicles-like you. I think it’s great. I prefer to spend my money on experiences and gadgets, but I live in a super tiny apartment. But I don’t care, I’m hardly ever home anyway!

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      I used to be into gadgets and had a huge entertainment system (who the hell needs a 400-disc DVD changer anyway!) and multiple computers that I would build and tweak just to see how much I can push them.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has had family/friend peer pressure.  It’s how you respond to it which defines you.  Ultimately, you have to live your life and do what’s best for you.

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Unfortunately, some people just aren’t strong enough to combat those pressures.  Just like in high school self esteem plays a big part in this, and even into adulthood there are some people who just don’t feel good enough about themselves to stand apart or go against the crowd.

      • Anonymous

        This is very true!  Either you succumb to the pressure or your follow your own path.  Either way you have to make a decision and live with it

  • Youngandthrifty

    Great post :)  I guess it’s sort of like “keeping up with the Jones”  Sometimes we care so much about what others think (even as adults) and in our current society, I find that people are even more insecure about their identity and how others see them. 

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Actually, it may be worse than that.  There are so many people out there that push and push for others to “join the circle” or “enjoy life”.  I know quite a few people (not who I call friends) who make snap judgments based on something as stupid as what kind of car someone drives and then try to convince them of the benefits of spending half a months mortgage on a new car because it will make them more socially desirable.  It’s quite pathetic actually.

  • Hunter

    I like your reflective tone here Eric. High school presents it’s challenges to everyone, no matter which group(s) you identify with. The all-rounder approach is a good way to go I think, I think this defines you as a well rounded person.

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Thanks Hunter.  I grew up in a pretty diverse area so it was fairly easy and common to have different groups of friends growing up.  The funny thing is, I sometimes think living in South Florida is worse than high school.  It’s pretty sad to hear the way many of the people down here talk about others who are different or just don’t think the same way.

  • Neil Patt

    As parents, it is our responsibility to listen to or children, and make
    sure that they  understand that we are there for them in everything
    they do in their lives.

  • Suba @ Wealth Informatics

    Luckily with my purchases and lifestyle, I don’t give in to peer pressure and have a don’t care what others think attitude. The main area of peer pressure for me is the office parties. Not just a social party, but collecting money for a new kid or wedding or some other thing. I will happily give if I know the person but sometimes, I don’t even know they existed but have to give. It is all the community, so I understand why it works that way. But still when it comes as a surprise and if there are multiple “collection” that month, it hurts.

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      I know what you mean Suba.  It’s like the post I wrote about gift giving: sometimes it’s ok for me because I know the person or the family, but if I’m a guest or if it’s a 2nd cousin of a coworker’s spouse, then it’s a little sketchy.  Do you conform and give a gift because everyone else is doing it or stand alone and refrain?  Personally, I’m like you and don’t really care what others think, but in some situations, it can be a big help so I’ll go along.

  • Evan@MyJourneytoMillions

    Its cool (pun intended) that you are able to be self assure and comfortable, but there are so many people out there that aren’t but I don’t think just saying “don’t do it” will solve anything 

    • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      That wasn’t what I was going for Evan, but I can see how it may come across that way.  I was really trying to get the message across that it’s ok for people to do their own thing and not always do what others are doing.  

      Guess I’ve got a ways to go before I become the next Tony Robbins!

  • Miss T

    I think I put adult pressure on myself. I have friends in different places than me who don’t judge me at all however I feel the need to be the same as them. I think it comes from my upbringing and being told to always strive for more. I have been getting better though. I have been making an effort to feel more content and proud of my life. 

  • Steve Willoughby

    Peer Pressure is the number one reason new people fail at sales. The “Ain’t it Awful Club” hurts families and businesses. I know I am a former member.