Author Topic: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself  (Read 3844 times)

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EllenS

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 04:39:36 PM »
Really, I think the more you say with excuses or overt bean-dipping the more attention you are drawing.

I hardly ever drink alcohol, just because I don't like it all that much and it is expensive.  So I don't really have an issue about it either way. No thanks" or "I'm good" or "Just (insert bev of choice) please" have never been questioned in my experience.
If it is a good friend that you want to talk about it with, go ahead, but otherwise why SHOULD anyone care?  Why WOULD they?  Only if they are being a 2-headed wierdo.

So if anyone acts wierd about it, stare at them like they are a 2 headed wierdo.
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camlan

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 04:39:56 PM »
I very rarely drink outside my home, because I have to drive myself back home. On the rare occasions that I do drink, it's one glass of wine, tops.

Most people don't notice that I'm not drinking right along side them. I haven't been hassled much about drinking since college, really.

It does help, if you think people will question you, to have a glass in your hand that looks like a drink. As mentioned above, Coke could easily be rum and Coke, and cranberry juice and Sprite or club soda looks festive.

If someone's offering to get the next round of drinks, you can always say something like, "Gee, I guess I'd better switch to Coke for this round." Which implies that you have been drinking something else for the previous rounds, even if it was just ginger ale.

When I have been have been hassled, how I handle it really depends on the other person. The more intoxicated the other person is, the more obnoxious they tend to be and the less likely to just let the subject go. So for a relatively sober person, you can probably get away with just saying that you don't feel like drinking any more that night. For more intoxicated people, I've said I was the designated driver. They will usually stop hassling me at that. Another tactic is to get them focused on something else, like pointing out someone they want to talk to, or handing them off to another member of the group.
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EllenS

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 04:52:34 PM »
you can always say something like, "Gee, I guess I'd better switch to Coke for this round." Which implies that you have been drinking something else for the previous rounds, even if it was just ginger ale.


I think intentionally trying to deceive people about what you are drinking is putting a lot of energy into something that doesn't deserve it.  Why lie?

I can understand friends being curious about a sudden, dramatic change in social behavior. *Curious* is not the same thing as pushy, and if you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to say anything, or you can just say "Because I don't want any".  It's certainly nothing to be embarassed or ashamed about, it is nobody's business, but there is no reason it needs to be a secret either.
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mich3554

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 06:30:34 PM »
I found this past year that turning down alcohol really doesn't cause any sort of fuss.

Last year, I had an infection from hell and was on IV antibiotics for 24 weeks.  It made the taste of all alcohol taste like vinegar.  There were a few things I could drink, ginger ale, lemonade and cranberry juice were the only things that I could drink (even water tasted horrible).

When we went out, most of the people were more concerned about finding one of the few drinks that I could enjoy rather than worry about me consuming alcohol.

that_one_girl

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 06:56:37 PM »
I tend to drink ginger ale and cranberry just because it is so much cheaper.  You should be fine just saying "no thanks, I'll get my own drink".  If someone pushes, then you should say "I'm driving later." or "I can't for medical reasons." If they push beyond that then "I'd rather not discuss it." should end that line of conversation.  However, I live in a place where the cultural norm is to be quite direct.

LadyClaire

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 07:03:33 PM »
It's funny, but I've noticed that as I've gotten older, people no longer question the "no drinking" thing.

When I was in my early-to-mid 20s, turning down a drink would bring on an endless barrage of questions about why I didn't want one (alcohol gives me stabbing gut pains and acid reflux).

Now that I'm nearly 32, turning down a drink is met with "Ok, do you want a soda or water?" instead of the "Oh my god, why don't you want a drink?? Come onnn, have one!" that I used to get.

At any rate, I usually just grab a non-alcoholic drink and say "Oh, no thank you, I'm fine with what I have" and leave it at that if someone asks.

thunderroad

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 08:10:20 PM »
I no longer drink at all because every form of alcohol seems to result in a migraine. At any event, I make sure I have a glass of club soda or sparkling water at hand. If I am at a dinner, such as a work event, where everyone is ordering drinks or wine, I make sure to order myself a nice bottle of sparkling water. 

Usually no one notices, but if they do, I just calmly say no, thanks.  Occasionally I'll give the migraine explanation but I never get real push-back. It's really been a non-issue, and it's been several years now.

RooRoo

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2013, 08:42:20 PM »
Here are some from my arsenal. (I'm a sober alcoholic.)

For big parties: Pick a time, say 8:00. Before that, you say "I'm not ready to start yet." After that, "Oh, I've had enough." (In my case, both statements are true!)

Tea, in a cocktail glass, with a cherry, looks like a Manhattan. Carry it around all night. Also, water in a martini glass, with an olive. Or just get one of those little umbrellas and stick it in a glass of anything.

Look the pushy ones in the eye and ask them, "Why are you so interested in getting me to drink? Are you afraid I'll notice how much you're drinking?" (That's the usual reason - but they aren't really aware of it until you say that...)

Always drive your own car. That way, you can get away if a craving hits or if everybody starts getting drunk - you don't have to rely on anyone else.

When someone gets a drink for you, always smell it before you taste it! Mistakes are frequent.

But honestly, I have rarely been asked about it. I've never had to use the first two, and the third about twice. The only ones I always use are the last two, especially the sniff test. Bartenders can get on "automatic pilot" just like the rest of us!
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2013, 08:54:07 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 was going to suggest that, if you know you'll be around people who will ask why you're not drinking and might pressure you to.  A mocktail will make it look like you're drinking when you're really not.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2013, 09:00:50 PM »
I use the 'I'm driving' line all the time.  I don't abstain from alcohol but I very rarely drink when I'm out.  Mainly because I'm thrifty cheap.

I've done the mocktail route, too.  I make virgin mojitos for myself all the time, especially when I've gone to a BYOB party.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Kendo_Bunny

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2013, 09:39:41 PM »
Unless I'm out with a bunch of college students, I haven't found that being a teetotaler has been too hard. "No, thank you" seems to work with adults. The only problems I've found is when people think you're pushing your life choice - some people have gotten defensive with me before I explained that I don't care for alcohol and I'm too cheap to shell out for it anyway. Plus, I'm prone to migraines and alcohol can trigger them.

If people push out of curiosity but are not being rude "I'm driving" or "It's just not agreeing with me right now" are perfectly fine excuses.

Bijou

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2013, 09:46:06 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!
I used to go to bars all the time for karaoke and everyone around me was drinking.  I don't drink alcohol and so just ordered whatever I wanted.  Tomato juice with lime and mineral water, water and a twist of lime...whatever.  No one ever asked me about it. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

chibichan

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 10:21:10 PM »

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.

You will be suprised how quickly you get used to it . I was a social drinker for most of my life , including my 20's when I was REALLY social  ;D) .

I ended up with a job that just did not enable me to go out with friends for something like 6 months . It was work , sleep , eat and repeat .

Once the work insanity died down , I discovered that my tolerance for alcohol had dropped dramatically . Two drinks now put me in the woozy " Whoa , I better slow down " catagory . The hangovers were much worse .

Over the next few years , I found that I just didn't like feeling drunk , or even buzzed . I couldn't for the life of me even remember why I ever thought it was fun .

I still drink on occasion with friends , but it's more of a knee-jerk response than any real desire to have a drink . After one drink / beer  ( which takes me forever to finish )  , I usually switch to something non - alcoholic . Then I spend the night wondering why I even ordered the first one . Old habits die hard , I guess . 

Of course , this is a personal choice . I have many friends that still PAARR-TAAAY. I do not judge them for their preferences and they do not judge me for mine . I did have to draw the line at the assumption that since I was not drinking , I would become the permanent Designated Driver .

One side effect - I can no longer stand drunk people . This usually results in me leaving earlier than everbody else so that also kept me out of the default DD role . Apparently , nobody else wanted to go home at 10:00 PM on a Saturday night . >:D
I also discovered that with certain groups , if I could not come at the beginning of the party , it was better to not go at all . If I arrived and people were already drunk , it made me want to turn on my heel and leave . I did better when we all started off sober and then as people got tipsy I could decide at which point I would make my exit . I still had fun CRIVINS! my friends , but when they started getting drunk , the fun was over for me .

As for offering a reason - I never did . The most I would say was " I just feel like having ______". No one ever argued with me . If you are with drink-pushers , you may have to take a tougher stance , but you are not obligated to defend your choices to anyone. At my age , the only reason I need for anything is " I don't want to ."

Adding this - RooRoo has some fantastic advice , especially about taking your own car and (unobtrusively) smelling your drinks . Mistakes do happen and some people will not take NO for an answer . Just because someone walks up and shoves a beer in your hand does not mean you are obligated to drink it . Hand it back , or set it down and tell them politely " Thanks , but I don't want this , please don't buy/bring me any more ." Repeat as often as necessary or just walk away and leave it there .

What they do with it after that is their problem , not yours . They will soon learn that they can't guilt you into drinking if you don't want to . 
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

peaches

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2013, 10:28:20 PM »
I say "No thanks. I'm not drinking" (if I'm not) or suggest something different "No, but I'd love a Diet Coke, if you have one". I drink alcohol sometimes, not at other times. It's never been an issue.

Most people are well aware that it's inappropriate to pressure anyone to drink. Even people who usually enjoy a drink may be abstaining at a particular time - due to medication, being the designated driver, pregnancy, or whatever. 

« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 10:37:59 PM by peaches »

magician5

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2013, 10:32:47 PM »
Really, I think the "I'm on a medication that doesn't mix with alcohol" would be the most effective shut-'em-down statement. Then blow off any incredibly impolite questions about your specific meds.
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.