Author Topic: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself  (Read 3823 times)

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cicero

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2013, 10:37:07 PM »
You got some great advice. I don't drink usually and don't really have occasion to do so,but once in a while we have a work related happy hour where everyone drinks. I have water or a teaspoons of vodka and other than people asking me *once* what will I have, they just let it be. There are plenty of people who just don't drink for a myriad of reasons. And one more thing -i,m sure you know this but anyone who tries to pressure you to drink after you've said no, is no friend


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!

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snappylt

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2013, 12:38:33 AM »
I attended college in the old days in the US when many states had 18 as the legal drinking age.  Well, during my first two years of college I just didn't want to drink alcohol.  (OK, I'll 'fess up here: it made me feel very sleepy, so sleepy I didn't enjoy myself.)

So, what I often did was I would go up to the bar by myself and order my own drink - usually a Coke or a ginger ale (which could be mistaken for a mixed drink).  I did this instead of ordering at the table and instead of "splitting pitchers".  I'd take tiny, tiny sips of my non-alcoholic drink and it would last a long time.  With something in my hand that looked like an alcoholic drink people rarely ever pushed other drinks on me.  What I was doing was not a secret, but I also didn't talk about it.



MizA

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2013, 12:54:17 AM »
I'm in much the same situation right now. and attended one HECK of a party last Friday night. I just kept sipping at my lemonade and declining boozy beverages. With people I didn't know, a simple "No thanks, I'm fine!" worked well. With folks who know me well, the additional explanation that drinking on the meds I'm taking would make my liver melt was all the information they needed.

As with a few folks above, I found myself getting REALLY annoyed with the ultraintoxicated peeps. That being said, if I found myself growing uncomfortable with their behaviour, I just wandered off.  And being the only one waking up without a hangover was great!
)'( The world would rather hug you than hurt you )'(

kudeebee

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2013, 12:58:04 AM »
Most of the time "no thanks" or "I'd like a diet coke"  or  "I'll get something later" works great.  I have also said "thanks, but I can't have alcohol due to my medication".  Never had anyone ask more or want to argue that just one won't hurt.

Said in a calm, polite manner, noone will think anything of it.  Now if you moan, groan and carry on, then you will draw attention to yourself!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 01:00:25 AM by kudeebee »

misha412

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2013, 01:00:43 AM »
I do not generally drink for reasons not medical in nature.

I have been out with friends in their 30s and 40s who drink much more than I ever have. One woman would not let it go that I was drinking soda instead of having a beer. She kept saying she felt uncomfortable drinking while I was not. Or, how can I be having fun without a beer? That was the only time I was out with her in the group.

My standard line is "I prefer soda. Thanks." "Go ahead, I will have a soda." "I am fine, don't worry about me."




Margo

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2013, 04:46:52 AM »
I think a simple "No thanks" if you're offered an alcoholic drink or "I'll have a coke / OJ / whatever" if you're asked what you'd like to drink is fine.

If you *want* to say "I'm not drinking right now" or "I cant drink alcohol for medical reasons" then that is absolutely fine but you don't owe anyone an explanation.

If anyone questions *why* you aren't drinking alcohol then they are being rude, not you, and "I don't want to" is all the explanation they need. I would follow up with "Why does this matter to you?" if you find someone is pushy.

I have never had anyone pressure me to drink when I've turned down a drink - I have once or twice had people ask a follow up question but it's generally been a host wanting to check if there's anything else I want (e.g. at a friend's home for dinner, when I turned down a glass of wine, asking whether I'd like a beer, at a works party someone asking whether I'd realised it was a free bar)

Another option is just to say something like "I'd like a coke this time" - which has the advantage of being true, and as people may well assume that you mean "I'm pacing myself - I'll have a coke this time, and my next drink will be a beer" when in fact you mean "I'll have a coke this time. And maybe a cranberry juice and soda next time"

Another thought - if you and your friends normally take it in turns to buy rounds when you're out together you may want to say something and to 'opt out' of the rounds and buy your own drinks, as otherwise you'll be subsidising them, as alcoholic drinks are much more expensive than the non-alcoholic ones!

menley

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2013, 05:24:12 AM »
As a 30-year-old woman, I've found that the problem tends to arise only when I'm around other women of the same age. Drinking anything without alcohol tends to lead to eyes on my belly and knowing glances at best, outright questions as to whether I'm pregnant or "trying", at worst.

I'm not sure if this is relevant to you, but I've found the best thing is to just order for myself, in a cocktail-sized glass, a cranberry and sprite (which looks like cranberry and vodka) or a clear sparkly drink (sprite, tonic water, something), which easily passes for a gin and tonic.


Enigmatism

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2013, 11:58:12 AM »
I very rarely drink when I'm out. I find that the less fuss you make about it the less fuss other people do. (Obviously there are exceptions to this rule).

I second the mocktail idea. Also, in the UK, there are some really nice tasting non-alcoholic lagers and ciders available. Most of them taste like the real thing and have bottles that are very similar. They're good if you fancy a lager or cider because you like the taste and cut down on the 'are you not drinking?' questions.

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2013, 12:09:20 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.

This has been my experience (as a mostly-non-drinker).  There have been a few times (well, a lot in college and a few since) when people have made comments about my not drinking, but never people I particularly know well or care about their opinion  :P  I do suggest, in a hosted party-type atmosphere, that you keep a drink at hand - but that's mostly so people don't feel obligated to play host/hostess by offering you something you don't want.

Around 10% of adults in the US are non-drinkers - lower than I expected, but not so low that it's unheard-of.  Add to that the number of people who are not drinking on any given night for some reason (designated driver, have to get up early in the morning, etc.) and being a non-drinker is usually just not an oddity.

magdalena

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2013, 12:17:20 PM »
I haven't had an alcoholic drink in a long time.

And, honestly, people don't care.
In the beginning, I was worried about what they'd think (the ominous "they", or "people") and would give reasons like
- I'm driving
- I'm not feeling well
- I'm on meds
- Watching my diet
- Getting healthier
which all were more or less true but made a bigger deal out of it than it had to be. People would worry about me, ask more questions and as I was so quick to explain, some thought I was pregnant.

Then, after I'd told those who needed to know the actual reason (I had realized my consumption was not good for me and was now sober), I noticed that people other than dear friends and family really did not care. Now I go with:

"No, thankyou"
"Oh, I'd love a water/juice/coke/tea/coffee"
and
"Something non-alcoholic would be great" if I don't know what they have.

Nobody's given me grief so far.



GratefulMaria

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2013, 12:28:57 PM »
Most people who've had reason to realize I wasn't drinking have been very, very kind.  Our neighbors have an open-door policy and keep the alcohol flowing liberally.  Their parties bring a pretty hard-drinking crowd.  When I stopped drinking a few years ago, they started buying cases of bottled water so I'd always have something.  Over the years, it's been a non-issue except for people expressing concern for my well-being, and since these are all friends that's been great.  The only time anyone was ever out of line was a friend-of-a-friend around our age (late 40s) who kept at me along the lines of "Oh, just have oooonnnneee!" and "But why nnnnooooooott???"  Such an exception was she that there were other behavior violations, such as trying to hit on our then-17 y.o. DS2.  Thankfully, a genuine rare bird.   :)

peach2play

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2013, 02:50:44 PM »
I use, "Why does it make you so uncomfortable that I'm not drinking right now?" when someone gets pushy, then decide from there what to do next.  Most of the time, it's either they feel like a bad host or they are uncomfortable with the amount they are drinking and think I'll judge them more harshly because I'm sober.  The first one gets lots of compliments on their hosting and assurances that they have been wonderful.  The second simply gets a look and then I walk away.  Their problem, not mine. 

Seraphia

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2013, 03:19:49 PM »
I'm another one who doesn't do much drinking (one or two a year is my limit, lol). I've only ever been hassled about it once, ironically while I was underage.

Just stick to: "Oh, just a Sprite would be great/no thanks, I'm driving." Most people just notice 'beverage' - you won't stand out or be drawing attention to yourself if that beverage happens to be something without alcohol content.
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CreteGirl

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2013, 04:21:15 PM »
I'll go along with the others who say, "I'd love a Coke, please", when they don't want to have a cocktail.

One drink that looks like a cocktail and is yummy is pineapple juice on the rocks.  But I don't think it is wise to mislead people into thinking you are drinking when you are not.  That may lead them to offer you more cocktails in the future. 

magicdomino

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Re: How to avoid alcohol without drawing attention to myself
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2013, 04:54:27 PM »
Or some well-meaning person refreshes your orange juice with a screwdriver.