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Author Topic: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in  (Read 15922 times)

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Hollanda

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We all have them.  The "friends" who, when you're on a diet, offer you a cream cake, or when you're trying to quit smoking, offer you a cigarette.  This time, it's Sober for October and they are trying to make me drink.
 
So called friend on phone last night:
 
SCF: My birthday is tomorrow...fancy a drink with me?
Me: Yeah, I can come out with you for an hour or so, but no boozing for me.
SCF: What's the point in coming out then?
Me: To wish you happy birthday?!
SCF: Yeah but I will feel weird drinking on my own.  Please have a drink with me.
Me: Uh...why would I want to do that?
SCF: One won't hurt and nobody has to know you cheated!
Me: Look, man, I will know. And that's enough.
SCF: Oh please?
Me: I can come out with you, but I am not drinking.  DS needs me, I have to go now.
 
Texts:
 
You out tomorrow evening? (I usually get out once a week with friends of various circles)
I answer the same: Yeah possibly, but not drinking.
Why not?!?
I'm doing Sober for October.
You'll NEVER do it. Oh just come out for one.
Why would I want to do that?
 
It's easier to have a spine when DH is right behind me to say "NO. You're doing this. Just say no."
 
Why do people do this?! I don't think it's necessarily just the fact it's me saying no.  I think some people find it impossible to believe that they do not need to get absolutely wasted to enjoy a night out.  And there's loads to be said for watching other people get hammered and smugly think "Haha at least I didn't do that!"
 
But hey.  My spine is intact, and I just keep on asking the question "Why would I want to do that?" (And ruin my hard work thus far??)
 
I cannot wait to get my hard earned badge on 31 October to say I was a "Sober Hero"!!
 
 
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Alicia

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 03:35:01 AM »
I would not point out the not drinking thing. Instead just order a soda or iced tea at the bar or restaurant.  Or suggest a delicious coffee house (pumpkin latee anyone) or movie or something else fun not alcohol centered. Maybe a cupcakes place for the birthday friend.
Yes people should not pressure you to drink but they won't if you don't bring the subject up.

Hollanda

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 03:43:23 AM »
The reason I said it to this person is because quite frankly if I didn't say it on the phone, he would have twigged it whilst we were out anyway. And knowing him, made a huge drama of it in public.
 
Some friends are different, in that I *can* (and do) choose a nice coffee with, or have a milkshake with, or a mocktail if we're in that environment and I don't want to drink. (Tomorrow DH, DS and I are going to the fair and afterwards meeting another friend of mine for coffee and cake at a local patisserie).  This guy isn't really that type. 
 
I guess there will always be people who for whatever reason pressure people to do x, y or z.  You're right, next time just say nothing.
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


WolfWay

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 03:51:26 AM »
I don't tolerate attempted bullying and I have no problem telling people when they are bullying me.

Friend: Oh come on, just one little drink?
Me: Why are you bullying me to drink? Why is it so important to you that I have a drink that you're willing to upset me by trying to bully me into doing it?

<3

Hollanda

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 03:58:35 AM »
I don't tolerate attempted bullying and I have no problem telling people when they are bullying me.

Friend: Oh come on, just one little drink?
Me: Why are you bullying me to drink? Why is it so important to you that I have a drink that you're willing to upset me by trying to bully me into doing it?

Aha I think I have the answer to your question.
 
I know when I drink, I do not like to be the "only one" drinking.  It makes me feel...strange, somehow. Uncomfortable, even.  So if the friend I am with is not drinking, I won't either. Or just wait till I get home and drink with DH, or whatever. Some people can't/won't do this, and decide that because *they* want a drink, someone else has to have one too. Wheedling, bullying and manipulating someone to have "just one" is their MO, because IME one rarely stops at one. And therefore the bully has just what they wanted...they have managed to break someone into doing something they didn't want to do, just so the bully can have their way, ie have a drink without feeling uncomfortable doing so.
 
Whatever it is, I refuse to be part of it and have now said to above friend that my plans have changed and I am no longer available. 
 
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


pharmagal

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 05:08:59 AM »
Next time, don't say anything.  It's much easier not to have to justify your position, especially if drinking is a big part of your social life.  If called, just shrug and say you don't feel like it. 

Side note - What charity is Sober for October benefiting?  I've heard of Dry July, but not this one - sounds like soon the whole year will be alcohol free!  :)

TurtleDove

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 07:54:41 AM »
Just go and order a soda or whatever and don't even mention that you are not drinking. It sounds like you are purposefully baiting this person and I question why you would do that.

daen

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 07:59:11 AM »
Just go and order a soda or whatever and don't even mention that you are not drinking. It sounds like you are purposefully baiting this person and I question why you would do that.

OP gave her reasons in reply #2, quoted belo.

The reason I said it to this person is because quite frankly if I didn't say it on the phone, he would have twigged it whilst we were out anyway. And knowing him, made a huge drama of it in public.
 
Some friends are different, in that I *can* (and do) choose a nice coffee with, or have a milkshake with, or a mocktail if we're in that environment and I don't want to drink. (Tomorrow DH, DS and I are going to the fair and afterwards meeting another friend of mine for coffee and cake at a local patisserie).  This guy isn't really that type. 
 
I guess there will always be people who for whatever reason pressure people to do x, y or z.  You're right, next time just say nothing.

Hollanda

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 08:06:24 AM »
Next time, don't say anything.  It's much easier not to have to justify your position, especially if drinking is a big part of your social life.  If called, just shrug and say you don't feel like it. 

Side note - What charity is Sober for October benefiting?  I've heard of Dry July, but not this one - sounds like soon the whole year will be alcohol free!  :)

MacMillan Nursing (cancer). Alcohol can be the cause of a host of different types of cancer, including stomach, oral, colorectal and liver cancer.  As much as I do love a drink, I feel it is important to bear in mind the risks and the necessity to drink responsibly. (Most of the time!)
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


TurtleDove

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 08:12:21 AM »
Just go and order a soda or whatever and don't even mention that you are not drinking. It sounds like you are purposefully baiting this person and I question why you would do that.

OP gave her reasons in reply #2, quoted belo.

The reason I said it to this person is because quite frankly if I didn't say it on the phone, he would have twigged it whilst we were out anyway. And knowing him, made a huge drama of it in public.
 
Some friends are different, in that I *can* (and do) choose a nice coffee with, or have a milkshake with, or a mocktail if we're in that environment and I don't want to drink. (Tomorrow DH, DS and I are going to the fair and afterwards meeting another friend of mine for coffee and cake at a local patisserie).  This guy isn't really that type. 
 
I guess there will always be people who for whatever reason pressure people to do x, y or z.  You're right, next time just say nothing.

Right, and I am saying to never make any sort of statement at all that she is not drinking.  Just order something nonalcoholic and say nothing about it.  Call no attention to it. 

LadyL

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 08:17:42 AM »
Why do people do this?! I don't think it's necessarily just the fact it's me saying no.  I think some people find it impossible to believe that they do not need to get absolutely wasted to enjoy a night out. And there's loads to be said for watching other people get hammered and smugly think "Haha at least I didn't do that!"


A lot of people are going to tell you that your friend is rude, a bully, etc. and they're not necessarily wrong - but I will say that in some social circles, hard drinking is the norm. I've seen this in groups of friends from the music scene, the bar/club scene (obviously) but then even as "unlikely" a context as attendees at an academic workshop I attended where daily happy hours with at least one person getting carried out at the end were standard.

In such cases you are not just interacting with one person but perhaps a whole different cultural/social norm. And like any norm that you buck within a group, it's going to cause waves. It's like if most of your friends liked to get together to knit and then you decided to quit knitting, it disrupts the dynamic. It's not right or wrong necessarily it just *is.*

So my advice would be to use this as a chance to examine whether the relationship with this friend, and/or the culture of your social group in general, is one that truly fits with your present life. IIRC, you have a young child yes? It is fine to decide that your lifestyle needs have changed and thus your relationships with some people may need to change. Maybe you only see this type of friend on events like New Years Eve when you have a sitter and license to have that extra glass of champagne, because it's not fun to see them in a more sober context. Or maybe you decide that a relationship with someone who prioritizes you being drunk over you being *present* is not a good use of your time.


But I don't know that showing up and sipping on a club soda is the solution here, if it will just cause a rift like you say it will.

I have had to redefine my relationships with people when I felt they revolved too much around drinking, late nights, etc. for my present tastes. I sympathize because it's hard wondering whether your friends like you for you, or for "drunk party you." But it's better to have the true answer to that sooner than later.

(sorry if this veers from etiquette to relationship advice...I just feel like what is rude or polite here is not necessarily the most helpful guidelines - you can be polite and order a soda, your friend can be rude by pitching a fit, but the real issue isn't who wins the Emily Post Award for Most Polite Behavior ya know?)

Hollanda

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 08:28:03 AM »
Good post LadyL.
 
Your post kind of brings back to me why I originally allowed this friend to drop off my friendship radar.  I just don't have that much in common with him or a few other "hard drinkers" I used to associate with.  Maybe because of DS, maybe other things, but I just feel I've outgrown them now. Like you say, maybe he'll be the "NYE" type of guy.
 
Now had it been "Michael" or "Anna" who asked me to meet them out to wish them Happy Birthday, I'd have gone, said nothing and chatted with them.  Had they noticed and said anything (unlikely), I may have explained or not. Nothing would have been said or implied, or assumed.  Which is just the way I am happy with.
 
 ;)
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


z_squared82

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 08:45:15 AM »
I think you handled this particular situation as best you could. You knew what your friendís reaction would be and you avoided him having it in public. Way to go.

If anyone else gives you grief, just make sure to couch the reasoning to the person. I had an alcoholic friend in grad school (she was an undergrad) who bragged about how she went out and got drunk every night for I think it got up to 27 nights after her 21 bday. Sheíd brag about how she could out-drink the football team. I did not tell her what she was doing was a bad idea for all the medical or safety reasons; I pointed out that if she drank at home, it was cheaper and she didnít need to worry about getting a ride. I addressed the problem from an economic and logistic standpoint.

And when the girl spent the night in jail for DUI, she spent most of it wishing she had listened to me (her words, not mine).

My father gives up alcohol every Lent. Just to make sure he can. And he tells people this (which I think is over sharing, but itís not my life).

Think about your audience. Maybe youíre not drinking to save money. Maybe youíre not drinking because the last time it made you really sick, but not in a non-hangover way. Maybe itís none of their business. It all depends on the friends.

As an aside, I have a friend who does Sober October nearly every year and we only start to question him when it becomes Sober November. The man doesnít seem to understand that he doesnít have just two options: sober or black-out drunk. He can have a beer.  I think he needed to break his college drinking habits.

Zizi-K

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 08:50:39 AM »
Regarding the friends who feel bad drinking with someone not drinking -- I know people like this alcohol, but also food. My MIL is especially the worst - we'll be out to dinner, and she'll say "Are you having soup?" But she doesn't want to know if I'm having soup, she wants to know if she's having soup, which she will only do if I am (or someone else at the table is). Same goes for afternoon cocktail. "Should we have an X/Y drink?" really means "I want to have an X/Y drink, but I'll only indulge if you do." It's a little annoying, understanding the subtext as I do, but luckily she doesn't make a big deal if I say no. Usually I ignore the subtext and just answer honest for myself, which is usually to say no/decline. She'll look momentarily disappointed and then just move on. I have said in the past, "I'm not, but you go ahead, live a little!" but she doesn't seem to respond to that.

With the OP's friends, once they got rude, judgmental and challenging, I would not be able to hold back some edge or bluntness. "Why do you care if I don't want to drink? If you only want to hang out with me if I'm drinking, then I guess we're not hanging out. Catch you later."

stargazer

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Re: Sober for October - Those who are determined to make one cave in
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 09:42:50 AM »

 But hey.  My spine is intact, and I just keep on asking the question "Why would I want to do that?" (And ruin my hard work thus far??)


LOL.  Sorry I'm not poking fun, but it did strike me as a bit humorous as we are only on the 3rd day of October at the moment.