‘Well…why have you given up drinking?’
People get alarmed when you say you’ve given up alcohol. Their first thoughts are usually that you were a secret alcoholic. Maybe you were, but maybe you weren’t.
At the end of the day, alcohol has many, many downsides. It’s a drug that prevents you from functioning at the level you normally do. It impairs your judgement. It costs a lot of money. It lowers or wipes out your inhibitions. It’s stops you from feeling your true feelings. And it leaves you with a hangover.
Are those not reasons enough?
‘You’re going to be boring now I guess.’
When someone says this to you, what they’re saying is that they’re unable to have fun if alcohol isn’t involved. Now isn’t that something worth talking about?
Admittedly, once you go sober there’s a good chance more boredom will come into your life. But the funny thing is, you won’t be the boring one. Instead you’ll be bored to death of your drunk friends repeating themselves over and over again.
‘Don’t be so sanctimonious’
This will come apropos of nothing. They’ll just come out with it if you order a non-alcoholic beer. A lot of people seem to take the sobriety of other’s as a personal affront, even though you’re not judging them for drinking. They get defensive. Again, this says a lot about them, nothing about you.
‘When will you start drinking again?’
A lot of people might be supportive of you doing Dry January but they might also be keen for reassurance that you will start drinking again. that you will get back on their team. This shows how dependent our society is on alcohol for socialising because no one would ask you that question if you said you’ve stopped eating courgettes.
The best way to answer this is either, ‘I don’t intending on ever drinking again,’ or ‘I’m just going to see how it goes,’ depending on your audience.
‘I hope you don’t expect me to give up drinking.’
Humans are individuals. Again, if you said you’d stopped eating courgettes nobody would reply with, ‘well I hope you don’t expect me to give them up too.’
You can tell them that it’s your personal decision and doesn’t affect them. That they, like you, have the right to choose.
‘Did you have a problem?’
This one depends on who’s asking and how you feel. Arguably, everyone who drinks has a problem with drinking to some extent. A quick, ‘I don’t like how it makes me feel’ is a good answer because your feelings belong to you and you don’t have to justify them.
Going out to pubs and bars after you’ve recently given up drinking can be a chore. If your friends continuously badger you to drink, it’s frustrating to know what to say or how to justify your choice. At the end of the day, you don’t need to justify anything. But if you’re having trouble with the peer pressure, check out this great video on this exact subject: