Whatever your reasons, it’s totally possible (and probably a better idea than you think).
There are a million reasons to not drink. Among those, better skin, better sleep, less anxiety (possibly the most blessed benefit), and not having that hideous feeling of dread in the morning wondering what you said—or worse, to whom you might have said it. Also, no hangovers.
Maybe you’re trying to be healthier, maybe you’re pregnant, maybe you just flat-out don’t drink. We give you a million high fives, whatever your reason is. But as anyone who has ever tried to eliminate dairy or gluten, meat, or *whatever* from their diet for *whatever* reason, you likely know people love nothing more than to try to make you cheat. I think sometimes abstinence makes others uncomfortable. Maybe it makes them feel self-conscious about their own habits (especially as it relates to drinking), but in any case, that’s their issue, not yours.
So, as you’re staring a calendar packed with social engagements in the face, thinking about how many of those events will revolve around alcohol (we’re guessing all of them), here are some easy tips to get people to back the eff off, so you can do what you want and still have a good time.
Ask for What You Want
When offered a drink, say, “No, thank you, but I’d love an [INSERT BEVERAGE OF CHOICE HERE].” More often than not, people just want to get you something or make you feel welcomed, and they don’t really care what you’re actually having.
Don’t Apologize or Feel like You Need to Make Excuses
If they start asking questions, you can tell them everything or nothing. A simple “I’m not drinking tonight” should suffice. This is trickier in the first trimester of pregnancy, when you’re trying to keep things to yourself without giving away any clues. If you want, you can say you’re on antibiotics or you have a big day the next morning, or whatever. You can also just say nothing because it’s really none of anyone’s business.
Find a Non-Alcoholic Beverage You Like
Sometimes the problem with sticking to a no-booze policy isn’t others pushing it on you; it’s temptation. I’ve found that always having something to sip on and hold helps fight that. Many times, I say yes to a drink just because I don’t really know what else to do with my hands or I feel awkward without something. I’ve replaced my glass of champagne with a half ginger ale, half soda, or a bitters and soda (bitters do contain some alcohol, but it’s literally just a dash).
Revel in Your Productive Mornings
There’s a special brand of joy that comes with springing out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning, feeling refreshed, and having a pleasant, happy day—minus the need for greasy hangover food, a gigantic Gatorade for your headache, and the lingering feeling like you just might barf. After spending a few weekends anxiety- and hangover-free, you’ll start to see that almost no crazy night out is worth wasting your weekend for.
Want more stories like this?
I Didn’t Drink for 31 Days and This Is What Happened
When Does Casual Drinking Turn into a Problem?
What Drinking Alcohol Is Doing to Your Skin