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Friends lying around a hot tub



Can you spot the difference between these two scenarios?

Scenario 1 You’ve got a big exam you need to cram for, but your friends are heading to a rager this weekend. It’s gonna be all anyone’s talking about for weeks. Against your better judgment, you decide to join, because #yolo, right?

Scenario 2 Your sports team is planning an epic prank and they want you in on it. Something about it’s not sitting right with you, but you don’t want to kill the vibe, so you decide to help out.

Any guesses?

In the first scenario, you’re facing FOMO: the good old fear of missing out. In the second, you’re feeling the subtle effects of peer pressure. 

What do FOMO and peer pressure have in common, besides the fact that they’re both super common, and both involve you silencing that little voice inside you? (You know, the sensible one that reminds you to get enough sleep, to leave time to study, etc. Yawn!)

The commonality is that FOMO and peer pressure are both driven by insecurity. And guess what? Insecurity is not a good reason to do something. The good news is that you can learn to beat FOMO and peer pressure for good by learning how to be more confident and assertive, so you’re always doing what’s right for you. And what’s more attractive than that?

What is FOMO?

You're afraid of missing out on a really good time or "the best night ever"

You feel it scrolling social media and seeing friends' pics

You're feeling burned out but you're afraid of not keeping up

What is peer pressure?

Your friends won't take no for an answer

You say yes to not disappoint someone, or because you feel guilty

Your gut instinct says this is a bad idea: it's risky or unsafe, or could get you in trouble

Dealing with FOMO and peer presseone.

  1. Spot them

    Sometimes the lines are blurry between FOMO and peer pressure, ‘coz FOMO is sort of like the peer pressure you apply to yourself. And your friends might not even realize they’re applying peer pressure. Remember it doesn’t have to be clear cut. It’s about what you feel like doing.

  2. Learn the art of saying no

    Understand your reasons. Stating them can help, but you’re not under any obligation to. You’re the boss here. Be polite, stick to your guns and deploy some tactical humor if needed. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for doing what’s right for you.

  3. Give yourself some space

    Sometimes it’s as easy as that. If you’re feeling FOMO, stop looking at social media! And if you’re getting real-time messages from people pressuring you to do something, just mute the group chat and leave your phone in another room. They’ll get the message soon enough.  

  4. Practice makes perfect

    With time, being assertive becomes easier. But until then, saying “no” can be one of the hardest arts to master. Get started today. Run through speaking clearly and politely. And remember: this isn’t a negotiation. You decide.

  5. Get in the driver’s seat

    A great way to counteract FOMO and peer pressure is by taking the steering wheel and planning stuff yourself. Missed out on a party? Plan the next social event. Said no to a friend? Suggest something else you can do together instead. By taking action yourself, you’re in charge.

    The Axe effect is all about feeling good, looking good and smelling good – on your terms. You can read more about how to be more confident here, how fragrance can give you better self- esteem, and how to stay chill tough situations.