In a society that is very much geared toward drinking, it can feel awkward not to partake. If you’re not a drinker, it can sometimes be hard to hang out with your friends in bars and other locations where alcohol is the main attraction. But having a great time at events with your friends is possible when you’re not drinking. Follow these tips to avoid feeling uncomfortable!
Keep A Drink In Your Hand
Some people get uncomfortable when they’re around non-drinkers. They may make rude comments or give you a hard time about your choice, especially if they’re long-time pro-drinkers. Having something in your hand can help you feel more confident about not drinking. It can be a non alcoholic aperitif. It will help you avoid feeling awkward by letting others assume you’re just as comfortable at the party as they are. If someone offers you a drink and you’re unsure how to respond, try saying something like, “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not drinking tonight,” or “I’m trying to watch my weight.” It can be a good white lie that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. If you’re uncomfortable, leave the party early to spend time with people who don’t drink or aren’t drinking as much. Or you could go out for drinks in a smaller group without worrying about being the only sober person in the room.
Don’t Be Afraid To Socialize
Whether trying to cut down your alcohol consumption or quit altogether, you may find yourself in social situations where alcohol is consumed. While it’s not always possible to avoid a party with alcohol, it can be helpful to have some strategies in place so you don’t feel awkward or uncomfortable. It’s important to be confident in your choice not to drink and not let anyone try to undermine you. Having some go-to phrases ready to answer questions about why you’re not drinking can be very useful. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, but having a few lines in your back pocket can be helpful so you don’t get caught off guard. Being busy with other activities can relieve pressure if people press you to drink. Whether playing games or helping prepare food, it can help ease anxieties about being around other people while keeping you engaged. Try volunteering for DJ duty or offer to mix drinks for the guests. These are great ways to make new connections and feel part of the group.
Leave The Party If You’re Uncomfortable
Feel free to leave if you feel uncomfortable at a party. It may seem obvious, but many people forget this and are scared to leave a social situation that makes them uncomfortable. It is your right and ability to go whenever you want to, especially if you’re uncomfortable. If the person you’re at a party with doesn’t understand your decision not to drink, you might need to devise an excuse. One option is to make a plan with another person (it could be your husband, child or friend) that you will text when it’s time to leave the party. This way, you can make a convincing reason to go, and they can help you escape the situation. It’s important to remember that not everyone will understand your choice not to drink, but the people who are most likely to be understanding are those who have been there themselves and know how hard it can be. Avoid parties altogether if you’re not surrounded by people who support your choice.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
If someone offers you a drink you don’t want, say, “No thanks,” and walk away. You don’t owe anyone an explanation; in many cases, people pushing you to drink will eventually tire of the subject.
For situations where you have to engage with coworkers or acquaintances, try something like: “I’m trying to cut back on alcohol this year, and I’ve found that if I don’t keep it at bay, it makes it more difficult for me to focus at work.” If you’re comfortable sharing more information about your reasons for abstaining from alcohol, give them your backstory. However, if you find yourself in an environment that will likely be repeated, try to change the subject as soon as possible. If you have a friend who also doesn’t drink, bring them with you to events where you know you’ll be under pressure. It will help make it easier to stick to your decision and prevent you from feeling tempted to compromise your health goals for a social obligation.
Be Bold And Talk About Your Choice
There are many reasons to not drink, from health concerns to addiction struggles to infertility. While you don’t owe anyone an explanation, it can be helpful to consider why you’re not drinking before you socialize to have a response ready. Experts recommend changing the subject if someone asks why you’re not drinking so that they don’t force you into a painful conversation that could make them uncomfortable or pressure you to have a glass of wine. It can also be helpful to say that alcohol makes you feel bad and that you prefer not to drink. It won’t work for everyone and may be seen as a bit deceptive, but it can help get people off your back and stop them from bugging you to drink.