It will be easy to handle social pressure once we know from where it is coming from. Once you know the direction of the flying arrows that are coming to you, you will be able to dodge from it. Social pressure works the same way.
Who can put pressure on you? Mostly they are the ones who are closest to you. Your father, brothers and sisters, husband, friends, supervisor and boss. The above mentioned people are physically present. They can influence you directly.
In Fuvahmulah, our grandparents lived in a tribal community where everyone knew each other. In these communities, the families are controlled by fathers. The fathers are controlled by the tribal leader and the tribal leaders are controlled by the king whose power is backed by the army. From top to bottom, authority flows from king to tribal leaders. From tribal leaders to fathers. From fathers to mothers and children. This is the reason why your father has authority over you.
The mother derives her authority from the father. But brothers and sisters influence you because of seniority. Basically, brothers and sisters derive their authority from public opinion. Other than that, there are girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, and peers who also have direct influence over you. That’s not all. One should not forget, we are still at the mercy of anyone whom we depend on resources for survival.
The word ‘resource’ is a broader term but these days it can mean money. If someone is giving you money, they want something in return. One of the things they want in return is your obedience. Whether you depend on your boss or an intimate partner for resources, they would hope that you will do what they ask. The more they give you, the bigger the demand they make.
Other than the people who influence you directly, there are influencers who can influence you indirectly. They use several tools to influence you. Mediums such as radio, TV, billboards, and social media are some of them. They can use anything that can send text, symbols, messages, thoughts, and voice. From the radio, I can send voice instructions to other listeners. “Parents, don’t send your kids to school” After parents listened to those instructions, they are able to follow it.
Who are those people that are not physically present but can influence you indirectly? Experts, professionals, thought leaders etc. Those are the people whom our society believes possess something special or valuable, something most people don’t have. Eg. Knowledge, skills. They use TV and radios to send instructions to the people. They also have a great influence on our behavior and on what and how we think.
To sum things up, there are two types of influencers. One is direct and the other is indirect. We should be able to identify the difference between the two so that we will know what action we are supposed to take.
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