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How to avoid drinking in social situations?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Cheeky_Chick, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    Most friends who know me well know why I don't drink, and in fact many of them also abstain in order to show their support for me, which I really appreciate more than they could ever really know. However, there are still a lot of people, friends AND family, who seem to think that it's okay to put the pressure on to have a drink.

    If I'm standing at a bar and order a fruit juice they will be on my case to let my hair down and have a drink with alcohol in it. I don't want to tell them about my problems, however I also want to make sure that they won't ask anymore.

    How can I get the balance right, to ensure that I will be left in peace?
  2. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    It is really difficult to let go of an addiction when the people around you are not that supportive. My advice? Let go of people who do not support your change of lifestyle. It may sound harsh but the only way to know who your real friends are is by seeing their support and encouragement for your goals in life.

    If that does not appeal to you, try the excuse that you will be driving home or even that you have a lot of work to do. It is really important to have some excuse because these people will do anything to make you drink alcohol. Since you do not want them to know about your problems, this is the only way to get them to leave you alone.
  3. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    If I don't want to tell people I'm in recovery, I order just sprite and cranberry juice mixed together. It looks like a fruity alchoholic drink. That way no one bothers me about drinking and I can still have something that tastes good.
    Most of my friends do know though. My two best friends don't drink anyway - one due to religion and the other due to a health problem. The waiters always seem surprised if we go out for dinner, to have three people in their 30's not order drinks.
  4. Rory

    Rory Active Contributor

    Are they aware that you're recovering? This may seem callous, but if I had people who were trying to get me drink, when I make it very clear that I don't want to, I would cut those people out of my life. It seems like a really toxic environment for someone to try and recover in. If not...you really should probably tell your family. It's not fair for either party otherwise.
  5. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I'm not entirely sure which situation I would prefer over the other - On one hand I would get annoyed too if people kept pushing me to drink when I was trying to avoid alcohol, but I would also get equally annoyed if people stopped inviting me to their get togethers because they thought I would cave in and get hammered. I would hate to lose my social life just because I was no longer drinking.

    I think overall, if I was strong enough to avoid the booze even when people were pressuring me to have a drink, I would rather be in that situation, only because I think I would rather be out and mingling and chatting with others than sitting at home alone with my thoughts. The later could be just as precarious of a situation too, because I may be compelled to go get a bottle, since nobody is around to see me do it.

    I would appreciate it if my friends knew I was trying to get sobered up and were considerate of me, but I also don't want them to feel like they need to be on pins and needles around me either, and watch every word they say. Then I would feel like the elephant in the room.
  6. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I think people try to encourage others to let loose and have a drink because they really don't understand addiction. They don't understand how a person can not just have a drink. I really don't think they mean any harm by it. If they aren't aware of your situation then I would tell them. If they are your friends they will understand. True friends won't push the issue.
  7. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    As soon as your alcohol consumption, or lack thereof is mentioned, you need to shut the conversation down and change subject matters. If you don't want to explain the whole situation to them, then you have no reason to do so since it's uncomfortable. Most people are more than understanding if they realize that you really don't want to and aren't going to drink, but you should put people in their place if they persist in trying to get you to drink.
  8. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Just tell them you don't drink anymore. The best way to break a habit is to not be around it. It doesn't mean you have to dump your friends they'll just have to adapt to your lifestyle. If your at a bar somewhere you can expect pressure to drink. If you stay in places where there is no drinking you may be better off.
  9. Zimbitt

    Zimbitt Senior Contributor

    Find the right people and it will be fine, also find something else to do with your hands like a water or other drink that will distract you and others so it won't be weird or stand out.
  10. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Depends on the people you're hanging with. My friends already know that I went through a pretty hard recovery process and if I have a sip of a drink I'll throw all my progress away. They don't pressure me into drinking and respect my beliefs, so I'm happy for that.
  11. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    That's really nice that some of your friends join you in abstaining! They sound like really good friends.

    It's tough though when there is that social pressure to drink alcohol. There is a lot of that in my friend group, as well as in my culture in general. It makes things tough for women who are pregnant but don't want to tell anyone yet also! There are a couple of tactics I could suggest (if you'd rather not get into some big conversation about your relationship with alcohol):
    • Confide in a friend who is at the event also. You can grab a beer or wine, carry it around not drinking it, and then give it to them
    • Drink a mock-tail (non-alcoholic cocktail). Even something simple like soda water with lime
    • Volunteer as the sober driver
    I don't really like going the sober driver route as that means I can leave whenever I want (as I've volunteered to drive someone home at the end of the night). I hope you find a solution that works for you! It's a shame this kind of thing is even an issue but it's hard to solve the whole cultural obsession with alcohol on your own.
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It will be helpful if they at least know you do not want to drink. I also just drink iced tea or pineapple juice when i a bar with friends. They all knew that I do not drink alcohol so they do not force me to drink. Although there are times they would ask me to even just sip some of alcoholic drinks and I will just be firm in saying No.
  13. Whiskers

    Whiskers Active Contributor

    Friends can either build you up or be your undoing. One thing though is that they will leave you alone if you put your foot down and don't give in to pressure. It is for your own good in the end and that should stay on your mind.
  14. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    You should be honest with them withholding information form friends and family is not a good idea, specially when it comes to alcohol addition. You need to tell them you are trying to stay sober, that they are not helping one bit that they need to step back and stop pressuring you into doing something you don't want to do. Just do that, I am sure it will stop once you do that :) Being honest pays off, might not be easy at first, but it's the best choice.
  15. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Well, if they don't know you have a problem with alcohol, and you're sitting at a bar with them, it's normal for them to ask you to drink. They don't think they're doing any harm by doing so. So, I think the best thing you could do is just let people know about you're problem. That way, if they care about you, they'll understand your situation and try to help you.
  16. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I think in order for you not to be put on the spot, you should not just go to these kinds of social gatherings in the first place. If you think people would just force/pressure you into drinking there, then don't ever make a decision to attend that party anymore, specially if they don't understand what you are currently going through.
  17. Jenga

    Jenga Active Contributor

    You can always try ordering an alcoholic looking drink if you want to :)

    In all honesty, people who try tempt you into drinking again can be the worst people to hang out with while you're in recovery. I know it's really not something you'd want to tell people, but sometimes honesty about your past would get people to stop. If they don't, they're really not people you need in your life, which can be difficult if they're family.
  18. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    If you are a recovering alcoholic, you shouldn't put yourself in those situations. I mean, you don't see recovering drug users hanging out at crack houses. Why would a person that doesn't drink hang out at a bar that has alcohol. If you are in that situation, then remove yourself. Do you hang out at a gay bar if your not gay? Do you go to a strip bar if you are a feminist?
  19. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    I don't think it's necessarily that simple. Yes, if she was going there alone she could just not go, but it sounds like she goes with friends. If going to a bar is the only social situation available - and from experience I know that a lot of people only like to socialize when alcohol is involved, and won't find other alternatives to be any fun - then it's either hang out and be one of the gang, or bow out consistently and not get invited out with friends anymore.

    I'm lucky in that I now have a group of friends who couldn't care less about getting wasted in order to have a good time, and who almost universally loathe bars, but not everyone is of the same mindset. I hated bars back in college, too, but all of my friends from class loved them, and if I wanted to socialize outside class hours I pretty much had to go.
  20. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Simply tell them no. If they pressure you, try to ignore them, tell them to leave you alone, and in the worst case, to f*ck off. Seriously, that's what I would do, I hate people who try to pressure me to do things, even more those who want me to do negative ones. After all, how does it help them if you drink alcohol? Oh right, it doesn't!