If you’re trying to drink less alcohol or trying to quit altogether, getting invited to a social event can wreak havoc to your well-laid plans. How do you avoid drinking when everyone else is? This can be difficult especially if you’ve experienced being forced into drinking more than you can handle in the past. So, if saying “no” does not work for you, are there other things you can do so you’ll be able to drink less when attending a social gathering?
One of the most obvious methods is to stick to non-alcoholic beverages. But how do you stop people from offering you a drink or worse, forcing you to take a shot? Is there a way to do this without looking stuck-up and uptight? Here are some suggestions that you could try out.
1. Nurse a single drink the entire time
If you’re okay with drinking alcohol but you just don’t want to overindulge, one good trick is to stick to one beverage the entire time. Instead of drinking, try sipping slowly to make it last. When you do this, you’ll have a drink in your hand the entire time lowering the chances of people offering you another drink.
2. Don’t volunteer the info that you’re not drinking
People attend social events to have fun, do business, or network. They are not there to track how many beers or shots you’re going to have. Most of the time, they don’t even really care if you’re drinking or not. However, if you volunteer the information by saying “I don’t drink”, “I’m not drinking”, or “Just one beer”, then this will only bring more attention to yourself. Even if they did not really care a few seconds ago, giving out this declaration without anybody asking will make people ask more questions and some may even convince you to drink more.
Even if you’re not drinking, it’s better to have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand. But instead of sticking to a water bottle, go for colorful cocktails or sparkling water and let people assume that it’s alcohol. Don’t worry, nobody is going to sniff your drink or taste it.
3. Offer to order the drinks from the bar every time
If you’re with a group, you could offer to order the drinks from the bar. This might be inconvenient but it saves you from announcing to everyone that you’re having club soda and not vodka. If this is not possible, come extra early and order your non-alcoholic drink beforehand and follow the first tip of sticking to that drink the entire night.
4. Be the life of the party
A lot of times, people will force you to drink to make you loosen up and have fun. They don’t want to drink with someone who’s stiff and miserable. If you’re not drinking, avoid sulking in a corner because that will only make people notice. Be a part of what’s going on…network, have engaging conversations, dance! If you’re having the time of your life, some people will just assume that you’re drinking too.
5. Order food
A great way to avoid drinking alcohol is by eating. When your mouth is otherwise engaged with food, you can’t obviously drink as much. If you’re in a bar, order a burger instead of a beer and try to eat as slowly as you can to avoid drinking. If you’re in a wedding or a networking event, park yourself near the canapé station to munch on something instead of plucking out champagne flutes.
6. Laugh it off when you get called out
When people call you out for not drinking, the natural reaction is to be uncomfortable and become defensive. A lot of times, this could ruin the mood or make people want to force you to drink more. What you could do next time is just to laugh it off. You don’t need to say anything else – just laugh like it’s no big deal and change the topic to something more interesting.
7. Have a ready excuse that will make people back off
What if you’re put on the spot and you don’t have a choice but say that you’re not planning on drinking alcohol? This usually happens when you’re in a bar or restaurant with friends and the waiter takes everyone’s orders. Or maybe when your boss starts ordering shots for everyone.
What can you say to ward off people trying to get you to drink? The sad reality is that some people don’t back off when you say that you’re not drinking. Here are some excuses that you could try out.
“I need to drive home”
“I’m babysitting my sister’s kid in the morning”
“I’m training for a marathon”
“I’m on a juice cleanse”
“I’m on this no-carb diet”
“I have an upset stomach”
“I’m on antibiotics”
“I have a blood test tomorrow”
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to explain to anyone if you don’t want to drink. If you already gave an excuse and people are still pushing, it’s not your obligation to give them a full story about your life choices.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.