Mind Readings: Peer Pressure

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Mind Readings: Peer Pressure

At a recent event I was at, I spoke to someone who had some very interesting things to say about why they don’t wear a mask.


In today’s episode, the speaker is talking about peer pressure. He was at an event recently, where he was wearing a mask, and his colleague said that he felt pressure not to wear a mask because nobody else was. The speaker was stunned, and he thought about how much the opinion of somebody else matters to him. He decided that he was going to live his life the way he wanted to, and not let the opinions of others dictate his choices.

Mind Readings: Peer Pressure

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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Christopher Penn 0:15

In today’s episode, let’s talk about let’s talk about peer pressure.

I was at an event recently, and as, as I do, I was wearing my super heavy duty Gentex ops core mask my tactical respirator, which makes me look like bein really cool, very comfortable.

And I was at a party.

And this colleague of mine says, oh, man, look at you, representing wearing a mask via doing the right thing.

And this person was saying, you know, my, my partner was on my case, making sure that was going to wear a mask this week.

And he goes, but I just I just feel such peer pressure when I’m at these things to not wear masks because nobody else’s.

And you do this, imagine a needle on the record scratching noise my, my like, what? What episode, did you What did you decide to do? Just say, you feel peer pressure to not wear a mask.

I was stunned.

I was absolutely stunned.

I appreciated my colleagues, you know, honesty.

And it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other, whether somebody else wears a mask around me I wear a mask because a it keeps me safe and be really cool.

And see it’s super comfortable.

And so I have no, I really don’t care one way or the other, whether someone else is wearing a mask around me or not.

doesn’t make me feel better or worse in any event, but listening to that person say that they felt such peer pressure as as a grown adult, right as a, because this person is probably around my age, my other 40s I was speechless.

absolutely speechless.

How much does the opinion of somebody else matter to you? I did not say this out loud to my friend because I just wanted to let them enjoy their evening.

But that’s that’s what occurred to me.

How much does someone else’s opinion matter to you is it matter so much, that in a pandemic, which we’re still in, as of 2022, you would take additional risk, which you could avoid, you could avert, but you don’t, because you value the opinions of other people more than you value taking care of yourself.

And we see this play out in so many different aspects of life, right? We see people by status objects, cars, and houses and all sorts of things.

Because of the, the gratification, the stimulus that they get from their peers, about what their purchase, right, it makes them feel better about themselves.

And to me, that seems like something we should have left behind a while ago.

Right? Like it was totally normal in high school.

You know, we were in our teens, who had the coolest backpack or the nicest clothes or whatever.

But once you get out and about in the world, and you start realizing that the only person who’s really responsible for your happiness is you.

That stuff should start to fade away, that stuff should start to fall apart when realizing that somebody else’s opinion of you, particularly if that person is not paying you money, or involved with you in a romantic relationship or intimate relationship.

Why does their opinion matter? If I go to an event, and everyone else is not wearing a mask, I’m wearing a mask because I like it.

It doesn’t occur to me to think Oh, Gosh, I wonder if these other people are gonna think of me, I don’t really care.

I mean, not to say that.

I don’t appreciate the people around me, but their opinion has nothing to do with me and my opinion has nothing to do with them.

Right? Whether or not somebody else is wearing a mask again, doesn’t matter to me.

I can express my opinion to them if they asked for it.

I don’t feel the need to express my opinion, if they don’t because it’s otherwise not my business.

So do you live your life the way you want to, I live my life the way I want to, but to have someone and this is, you know, we’re this is a group of folks who are similar to me, we’re all public speakers, we’re all reasonably well known with our industry.

Christopher Penn 5:19

Just to hear that expression of still feeling peer pressure at four decades of age, was really shocking.

And my hope, my hope is that for all of us, that’s something that we transcend, that’s something we leave behind, right to say, you know, what, I’m going to dress the way I want, or I’m going to be involved in relationships with the people I want, I’m going to wear the protective measures that I want pandemic, and be okay with that and be okay with you if other people like, Oh, he’s wearing a mask.

So what I was thinking about why this stuff doesn’t bother me as much.

And I think it has a lot to do with the martial arts experience I’ve had over the last 30 some odd years.

You realize very quickly, that when you’re for example, my my black belt test was basically an organized mugging.

It gives you a lot of perspective.

When you’re sitting in a room full of people, and they’re not beating you up, it’s like, okay, cool.

This is great.

You know, someone’s saying, Oh, well, you know, look at Chris, he’s got that weird mask.


And you’re not punching me in the face.

So I feel like things are going pretty well, compared to some of the days I’ve had.

You know, if there’s somebody at this for guys, like, holding me down, somebody’s punching me in the face.

That’s pretty severe.

Right? That’s, that’s feedback that is harder to deal with, than somebody saying, you know, making snarky remarks about what I’m wearing.

So I hope that in your own life, if peer pressure is something that bothers you, that you can find the perspective you need to free yourself from it to to put in a little box and put it aside and say, You know what, I’m gonna do the things that make me happy.

When things make me feel safe.

One of the things that you enjoy, and whatever someone else’s opinion of it is.

They’re entitled to their opinion, but they’re not entitled to make you change because of their opinion.

So give that some thought, because that’s important.

Thanks for tuning in.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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