Author Topic: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself  (Read 3695 times)

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Fleur

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How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« on: February 26, 2013, 04:10:49 PM »


I have recently been put on a medication which prevents me from consuming alcohol, plus I was already drinking more than was good for me: I wasn't a drunk by any stretch of the imagination, but let's just say I won't be drinking for the forseeable future. I'm giving this background just to clarify the position, I absolutely don't want medical advice because I don't want this thread locked.

My question is, how does one avoid drinking unobtrusively, when everyone else around is drinking? I don't want to get into the details of my medication with all and sundry. I'm just looking for suggested wording in case things get awkward and people press. I'm probably overthinking this, but I don't want to draw a lot of attention to myself, and become one of 'those' ex drinkers or ex smokers-we all know those people!

Sophie Jenkins

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 04:14:17 PM »
I've had good luck with, "No, thanks, I'm not in the mood today," or "I'm trying to keep my immune system up!" if it's during cold season.

Even though I love having a drink, no one's ever pushed me when I'm not in the mood for alcohol.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 04:17:15 PM »
I am certain that many people have anecdotes of being pressured to drink, but in my experience, other people really do not notice or care whether another adult is drinking unless the non-drinker makes an issue of it. A simple "no thanks" has seemed to work in my circle, sometimes with a reason and sometimes not. 

Aeris

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 04:20:18 PM »
The best way, IME, is to treat it like a total non-issue.

"Can I get you a beer?"
"Actually a soda would be perfect!"

"Can I make you a mimosa?"
"Oh, no thanks, but just some OJ would be great!"

"Who's in for a pitcher of margaritas?"
"Me!"
"I'm getting a daiquiri, but go for it."
"I'm just going to have a lemonade, but you all go ahead."

Just answer the exact same way you would if they were offering you a soda and you wanted water; or if they were offering you wine and you were going to have some of the beer in the cooler instead. The vast, *vast* majority of people will not comment on, be weirded out by, or even barely notice that someone is opting for a non-alcoholic beverage instead.

Fleur

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 04:21:26 PM »
I am certain that many people have anecdotes of being pressured to drink, but in my experience, other people really do not notice or care whether another adult is drinking unless the non-drinker makes an issue of it. A simple "no thanks" has seemed to work in my circle, sometimes with a reason and sometimes not.

Ah, thanks, this is what I was thinking and hoping. I must say I rarely notice what's in anyone else's glass. I think I wouldn't give a reason unless asked, and then I would, as Sophie Jenkins suggests, make some non-commital response.

peach2play

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 04:22:52 PM »
It's a know your audience kind of thing.  If you are the only one at the table not drinking and someone comments or you know it will make your friends uncomfortable, you can always make sure you have some kind of drink in front of you.  If you need it to look like alcohol, cola is great for that, because you can just say it's rum and coke if asked. 

I have a group of friends who are really, really uncomfortable if I don't have a glass of something in front of me so I make sure I do.  Most of the time as long as you:
1) Don't say anything
2) Have a glass of something (water, soda pop, lemonade etc) in front of you

People won't notice.  If they do, just explain the meds and that usually gets them to back off.

lowspark

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 04:23:02 PM »
I agree with PPs. In my experience, most people don't care if someone is abstaining when others are drinking. Honestly, unless I were hosting the party, and thus, serving the drinks, it wouldn't even occur to me to notice.

If people do make comments, any more than a question out of curiosity maybe and taking the "no thanks" or "not today" type answer at face value, I'd probably reevaluate how much time I wanted to spend around them.

If you're just trying to sort of fit in, and don't really want people asking you, you can always get a soft drink in an "old fashioned" style glass so it looks like you're sipping alcohol.

Fleur

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 04:23:23 PM »
The best way, IME, is to treat it like a total non-issue.

"Can I get you a beer?"
"Actually a soda would be perfect!"

"Can I make you a mimosa?"
"Oh, no thanks, but just some OJ would be great!"

"Who's in for a pitcher of margaritas?"
"Me!"
"I'm getting a daiquiri, but go for it."
"I'm just going to have a lemonade, but you all go ahead."

Just answer the exact same way you would if they were offering you a soda and you wanted water; or if they were offering you wine and you were going to have some of the beer in the cooler instead. The vast, *vast* majority of people will not comment on, be weirded out by, or even barely notice that someone is opting for a non-alcoholic beverage instead.

Thank you! I feel a bit silly posting now, but I am fairly unused to the teetotal life ;) I'm sure that it will soon feel quite normal.

Moray

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 04:24:59 PM »
The best way, IME, is to treat it like a total non-issue.

"Can I get you a beer?"
"Actually a soda would be perfect!"

"Can I make you a mimosa?"
"Oh, no thanks, but just some OJ would be great!"

"Who's in for a pitcher of margaritas?"
"Me!"
"I'm getting a daiquiri, but go for it."
"I'm just going to have a lemonade, but you all go ahead."

Just answer the exact same way you would if they were offering you a soda and you wanted water; or if they were offering you wine and you were going to have some of the beer in the cooler instead. The vast, *vast* majority of people will not comment on, be weirded out by, or even barely notice that someone is opting for a non-alcoholic beverage instead.

This is what I do. Sometimes I feel like a drink, sometimes I don't. No big :)
Utah

WillyNilly

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 04:28:11 PM »
Aeris' list is perfect. I'd also add "thanks but I'm driving" to that list.

There is always the option of the "mocktail" as well.  A cranberry and sprite with a lime wedge.  A coke with a cherry in it.  A water with not too much ice and lemon wedge. Lemonade in a wine glass.  Orange juice and cranberry juice mixed, etc.

They look like cocktails, but they aren't, so people don't really think twice about them.

Judah

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 04:28:33 PM »
I am certain that many people have anecdotes of being pressured to drink, but in my experience, other people really do not notice or care whether another adult is drinking unless the non-drinker makes an issue of it. A simple "no thanks" has seemed to work in my circle, sometimes with a reason and sometimes not.

If I'm hosting I want to make sure everyone has what they need, so I might ask you if you need a refill, or what you're drinking, or if you need anther one. I don't care what's in your glass, just that you have one and it's full of what you want to drink.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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Bexx27

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 04:30:36 PM »
I know ehell is full of stories of alcohol pushers, but I really think the people who don't accept a simple "no, thanks" are a small minority. We just tend to hear about them because they're so obviously rude, and there's no reason for anyone to post about the 99% of the time when we decline drinks and no one says anything about it. I hardly ever drink and it's rare that anyone even notices. The few times I've been asked about it, I've just said I'm not in the mood or something and it's never progressed any further. You should be fine as long as you don't make an issue of the fact that you're not drinking alcohol.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Fleur

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 04:31:34 PM »
Aeris' list is perfect. I'd also add "thanks but I'm driving" to that list.

There is always the option of the "mocktail" as well.  A cranberry and sprite with a lime wedge.  A coke with a cherry in it.  A water with not too much ice and lemon wedge. Lemonade in a wine glass.  Orange juice and cranberry juice mixed, etc.

They look like cocktails, but they aren't, so people don't really think twice about them.

I've heard of mocktails but never really tried them, that's a really good idea. I love cranberry juice, I'll have to try that.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 04:34:17 PM »
Without getting into the details of your real medication, perhaps you could say you're taking "something" that conflicts with alcohol, in a very casual and dismissive tone like it's no big deal. You can then pick an appropriate ailment/supplement that you feel comfortable with--"Oh, I'm taking this vitamin/energy/headache/flu thing that conflicts with alcohol right now." Just make it sound very dull, so no one will ask you more questions about it. :)

You could also say you're cutting back on calories, or that X drink has started to give you a headache. In situations like these I think it's okay to tell a lie, when the truth is no one else's business and you aren't comfortable with them knowing. 

Also, if someone was nervous and self-conscious about refusing, I think their body language and tone would draw more attention to them. So maybe try (practice?) saying, "Nah, no thanks. Did you see the Oscars this weekend?" in a casual, no-big-deal way.

And, I don't think it's a silly question. :) Although of course most polite people would not question or pressure someone, in a group of friends a change in one's habits like this might be worthy of comment or question. Some people might feel it's a comment on their own drinking habits and thus press for a reason. I've also been in a situation with perfectly lovely people who felt that they weren't being hospitable unless they got me a beer or some wine, when really I don't drink much and just wanted to stick with my water. So I think it's good to think about it.
~Lynn2000

Moray

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 04:39:17 PM »
I think justifying it (meds/calories/etc.) right off the bat invites discussion and makes it seem like a bigger deal than it is.
Utah