Someone said :
I think that in Irish society those pressures are very real.
I am not saying they are never real.
I am saying that in her case, they were probably more in her head than anything: if you ask her mother if she'd rather receive a cheesy card and a token present, or know her daughter gets a hot shower every morning, and a decent meal, she would not make a scene about getting a kiss, a poem and a noodle necklace.
"don't yield that social and peer pressures, especially when they don't actually exist!" = don't yield to social pressures when they do exist, and certainly don't yield to them on the occasions they don't even exist!
Likewise, when going to the pub, the "pressure to pay rounds" is vastly exaggerated. If your "friends" expect you to pay rounds when you are broke, they are pricks, not friends. Most of the time one pretends that such a pressure exist when they want to do it. If they really don;t want to, they can easily and harmlessly get away with not drinking at all, and still enjoy the night. Unless they belong to a gang of alcoholics. Non-alcoholics can enjoy a drink, a few jars, or none.