Socialising Sober

What do we say to people who ask why we’re not drinking? What are some clever ways we deal with social events?

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416 Comments
  1. TAS 10 months ago

    Its daunting, but doable. Im 21 days sober. I have survived a 4th of July party, a birthday party, camping, 2 days at the beach, and a gathering at a friends. Everyone was drinking and smoking weed…it was hard but I did it. Too much at stake if I slip, even once…

  2. K b 10 months ago

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life, sober!
    I am scared. I dread socializing…..

  3. Anonymous 10 months ago

    Today I venture down the road to sobriety.

  4. Jenny 11 months ago

    Well done on 4 years! I know how you feel, I really do. That you have this problem but still have 4 years sober gives me hope. I messed up a 15 month quit for this reason. On 2 months now, and very glad, and need advice myself. I would be very grateful if other introverts or socially awkward people would post and say how they deal with this.
    I am not religious either, but I do find meditating helps me feel a lot more benevolent. I’m having an Asperger’s assessment soon, I’m so socially confused it might be the explanation, I always have been.
    I live in a small town and there are lots of things to do without alcohol, it’s just feeling so socially awkward is my problem. I go to a creative writing group and that’s it, nearly all members are women, so maybe you could try one, and I try golf 🙂

  5. Anonymous 11 months ago

    Yes you beauty this is day 3for me and I am so pleased with myself. Now I have to get myself through today. Last night I made myself a mock tail from peach and mango ice tea with a drop of ginger whilst I couldn’t taste the ginger it was refreshing. I poured my drink into my trusty ole wine glass and it worked a treat.

    Played cards during the wine o’clock time. I am proud of myself! Good luck to us all here

    • LibbyB 11 months ago

      Congratulations you! After day 4 you are going to feel amazing. You will sleep better, pee longer, your brain and liver will be starting to heal and you will feel so energetic and proud when you get up in the morning. Just remember, alcohol is poison, and you do not need or want it in your blood stream any more!

      • Hellzbels 10 months ago

        It is poison!!! And you can really feel that poison in your body,esp the day after drinking!!!

  6. Momof2 11 months ago

    Since this is new for me, and I’m not ready to tell my friends, I just say that I’m taking a break from it.
    Earlier this week, I filled my glass with what looked like it could be anything, but it was just crystal light. 🙂

    • Tom4500 11 months ago

      Good plan. That’s what I did, pretty much. No reason to hurry that revelation.

  7. Bruin 11 months ago

    Here’s the deal. I’m close to 4 years sober. Since quitting drinking I no longer have people ask me why I’m not drinking. They don’t ask me because I am never around them. I am never around anyone in a social setting where there is drinking. I play golf, but my golfing buddies that drink know I went to rehab (and needed to!)

    I drank to fit in socially. I am an introvert. Since quitting drinking I have no social life. I am 53 years old, widowed and alone. No more bars, parties. Nothing. I am a musician, and I loved to play and sing for people at parties. But parties are no fun sober. I don’t really like people that much. I got drunk so I could put up with their stupid, boring small talk. I HATE small talk. I hate sports and shallow conversations.
    I simply don’t fit in. When sober I get bored and can’t wait to leave. When drunk I am an idiot without a care in the world. (Just like the people who bore me when I’m sober.)
    I don’t want to go back to drinking. But I know that if I ever plan to find a companion I will have to.
    There is nothing to do, and nowhere to go that I can meet new (interesting) people that doesn’t involve drinking.
    I don’t go to church as I’m an Atheist. I don’t go to sporting events as I hate sports. What does that leave?

    Quitting drinking saved my life.. No doubt about it. But what kind of life is a life alone?
    I really don’t know.
    I don’t miss alcohell. I don’t miss being drunk, sick and stupid. I still fear how dark life got at my lowest point. Trust me, there is no place darker than the bottom of a bottle.
    But I do miss drinking. I really do. It was fun. It really was.

    • bexter 6 months ago

      Greyhounds as pets. Rescue a greyhound, that will stop you thinking about yourself.

    • Falldownfairyp 10 months ago

      Try an online site to meet new people who are like minded. There are plenty of sober introverts out there. Good luck.

    • LibbyB 11 months ago

      Oh Dear. You are never going to avoid people or places where alcohol is not somehow present. That’s the hold it has on people and society and how much it is being pushed on us. When starting AF it is often good to avoid situations where we may be temped, but Jason Vale in his book Kick the drink-easily, made a good point that we still have to live our lives and he did all the things, and saw all the people he did before quitting drinking. He just concentrated on the people he was with, the music and the atmosphere, and found he enjoyed it even better sober. I am 64 and 129 days AF. I am still learning to socialize AF and do have some down periods, but I make an effort to get out and about and see my friends and family. Good luck to you. You really don’t need to drink to have fun with people you like.

    • Anonymous 11 months ago

      There’s more out there than church, sporting events, and bars. In my little town there is the community players; you’re into performing arts, why not try acting? There is volunteerism. Not all volunteer groups operate through churches, but they are staffed with good people. And there is online dating. Start reaching out a little, and you’ll likely find a hand or two that reach back. And that’s all it takes.

      • petaswan 4 months ago

        Definitely volunteer, so many different activities you could meet people through. In our small town (less than 1000 people) we have turtle monitoring groups, Environmental groups, music festival groups, town festival groups, the school, triathlon groups and the list goes on. And exercise classes are a great way to meet people too. I am newly sober, but keep up with friends through exercising (runs and surfing mostly). I have a good mates 50th coming up though, that will be a challenge!

  8. Jeff 11 months ago

    I just went through a couples weekend at a rented cottage, something I was dreading as a real test of my sobriety (Day 10 for me). They’re all drinkers, as I was, and they were all surprised. I know my own drinking patterns; deep and often. So I needed a substitute. I brought a case of Fresca pop, and drank that like a fiend. It provided that liquid, sweet in the mouth sensation, calorie free, and when diluted with Soda water and squeezes of lime so I didn’t get sweeted out, it helped me get through the weekend. In fact, whenever I get that late afternoon urge to drink, that’s what I have now.

  9. LibbyB 11 months ago

    I do drink. I drink anything I feel like when Im thirsty. I just don’t like the taste of alcohol so I avoid it.

  10. Pdxallie 12 months ago

    That can be a tough one, depending on who asks the question. But some things I say is that drinking doesn’t make me feel good, I’m training for a 1/2 marathon, I feel better when I don’t drink.

  11. Anonymous 12 months ago

    Gave permission for my teen girl to attend grad. party. Know alcohol will be around. Know she’s vulnerable. She came up with a system to help. I’ve added time limits, will get her 2 to 3 hours in. She opened up to friends who don’t drink. Other protective methods. Praying and hoping she makes it. Comforted that if she doesn’t she will try again tomorrow.

  12. Kim 12 months ago

    Thats a good one im going to use your line !!!!

  13. nauldist 1 year ago

    Going to the pub to have dinner with friends
    & kids. Usually I would sink a bottle at pub and then walk home but Carry on until 12 or 1 in morning… tonight I’m not. Tonight I will get thru moments & come home without drinking. I’m feeling ok just wary & weary.

  14. Dan 1 year ago

    How did it go?

  15. DaveH 1 year ago

    “Oh, no thanks!. I don’t drink”. 9 times out of 10 that’s the end of it. Not everybody drinks. Not everybody is obsessed with alcohol… that’s just us. Most people won’t even ask why you don’t drink, they’ll just hear what you said and move on. If someone gets pushy about you having a drink then they probably heading into drinking problems themselves… but that’s their problem. Mine is to fix me, not them. Feel sorry for them, and move away. You know something they don’t. If I want problems in my life then the surest way I know to bring me to my knees is to drink again. They don’t know that yet. Most people don’t care if you don’t drink… it’s not a big deal. We make it one. We make up a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

    • oh-crap 4 months ago

      awesome. That’s right on, Dave.

  16. Claire 1 year ago

    28 days. Tomorrow it’s my turn to host a gathering of wine swilling Mum’s! Needless to say last time I was the last to leave! Very nervous about how this will go. Any advice appreciated.

  17. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I tell people I quit for my kids and my party days are over and the hangovers are not worth it!

  18. Liza 1 year ago

    Hang in there, if you can think about all of the amazing things to look forward to about a trip to Europe, will it help balance the sense of dread with excitement? In the meantime, however many days between now & then, will help with your confidence & resilience of relaxing & enjoying yourself without alcohol. Be kind to yourself in your thoughts & self-talk, you can have a blast, and think of how much more fun it will be by travelling with all of your senses sharp. And you will remember all of the great experiences

  19. SoberMo 1 year ago

    Hello! This is my first post here-i just joined! I am newly sober (again-lost count of how many times I have relapsed), and I am very nervous about my upcoming trip to Europe with my mother and sister who both drink daily and do not believe I am an alcoholic….. I DO NOT want to cave in and drink….

  20. Emptynest 1 year ago

    I usually try to keep busy ,, have joined a gym & do regular workouts that takes my mind off wine

  21. DeKomP 1 year ago

    What your not drinking ?
    Hmm no thanks !
    how come ?
    I was rapidly becoming a Pisshead,
    Oh hows that then ?
    Do you know when you go out and you always see a gang of the same people getting drunk.
    Well I realised ! I was one of them ,and I thought time to stop ,and I did simple as that !

  22. Kit 1 year ago

    Put a positive spin on it: “yes, I’d love a drink!” “I’ll have 3/4 club soda, 1/4 cranberry juice, on the rocks with a twist of lemon! Thank you!”

  23. Willow7 1 year ago

    Good luck. My thoughts are with you. It’s hard when you have family that drinks, especially when you are used to drinking together.

  24. SoberSandy 1 year ago

    I’m just honest and say I don’t drink alcohol anymore and I feel so much better since I gave it up. It’s a personal response and no one can question how I feel. Good friends will be pleased for you, drinkers will go on the defensive because it makes them question their habits. I know what to expect now and feel more confident each time I am asked why I’m not drinking.

  25. jilloc84 1 year ago

    I just say “no thanks” when someone offers me a drink. If they ask why, i say I don’t drink. If they ask why again, I tell them I used to drink too much so I quit. It’s not that it’s impolite, offensive or insensitive for people to pry as to the reason you won’t accept a drink or shot–it used to weird me out when people wouldn’t drink in social situations–BUT, I think it’s an easy, simple way to let someone know 1) The truth 2) Sometimes people don’t drink because…they’re alcoholics. It’s not always cool to insist someone have a drink with you or to ask a million follow up questions as to why they chose to abstain.
    If someone keeps pushing you or making you uncomfortable, it’s time to remove yourself from the situation and sometimes even remove yourself permanently from a group of friends. Kinda sucks, but not nearly as much as sticking around and having a crappy time–or worse, relapsing.

  26. Cranberry 1 year ago

    I’m thinking of saying, “Alcohol acts like a depressant on me. I’m happier and I’m more productive when I don’t drink.”

    • DaveH 1 year ago

      You don’t have to justify not drinking.

  27. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Some comebacks … I have developed an allergic reaction to hangovers… I choose life! Saving money to buy a mansion. Starting a retirement fund. Tired of being broke and living month to month….

  28. Hitman 2 years ago

    I am yet to deal with this one. My Dad drinks and all we have ever done is drink together when i go to visit him. This weekend I will be telling him I’ve knocked booze on the head.
    All of my social situations involve alcohol so i also am asking this question of myself. I have a session at CADS next week so will be good to run it past the councellor.

  29. Lexi 2 years ago

    This is a tough one for me. Most of my friends are drinkers and the main thing we did together was drink… So when I say “no” to alcohol they treat it like a very temporary thing. Like, “Okay, well let me know when you’re done with this non-drinking thing.” My friends unknowingly minimize what I’m trying to do and my accomplishments to date. Just writing this makes me realize I may have to let these types of friends go. I need to seek out those friends that still support and form real, richer relationships. It’s a challenge I’m not ready to face. Need to focus on me right now – worrying about socializing and friends will need to be put on the back burner. At least it’s cold and getting dark early. I tend to hibernate in the winter anyhow so I guess good timing!

    • Dive4Pay 1 year ago

      I am in a similar situation , sometimes you have to thin the herd

  30. JJR 2 years ago

    I have been saying that I’m not drinking for my health and alcohol is a little like chocolate for me, it’s just much easier for me to not have any than it is to just have one. Almost everyone I said that to nodded in agreement.

  31. Rain 2 years ago

    I need some help with this one. It’s early days yet and I’ve only had 1 occasion that I’ve been offered a drink. I said I was on antibiotics, and that worked fine. But the holidays are coming up and I want to have a few other valid sounding excuses. Not quite ready to get into detail with people about the real reason I’m not drinking. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

    • R51 1 year ago

      How about “I’m saving my holiday calories for dessert”

    • Sammy 2 years ago

      Try , I have had a bit of a health scare or I need to lose weight

  32. Anonymous 2 years ago

    ALWAYS having someone hold my drink when I go out to smoke or go to the restroom at concerts & other public events. Don’t want to pick up the “wrong” drink by mistake or take the chance (and I’ve heard this before) of somebody tainting my beverage.

  33. Bjohn 2 years ago

    Hi Pipi, I am not proud to admit that I was once over zealous in wanting others to drink with me. Now that I have embarked on an alcohol free life style I realize how it was my own need to feel affirmed in my own drinking that motivated me to try to be persuasive.

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    “I’m running a Marathon tomorrow, so I’d rather stick to soft drinks”

  35. Angie Lewis 2 years ago

    “I have an ulcer (acid reflux) and I had to cut out alcohol – period”. This is true for me and makes it really easy.

  36. AnonAlcoholic 2 years ago

    “It doesn’t serve me anymore”. I like that one. Simple, and honest without revealing that by “serve” you mean that in fact, you weren’t in charge of it… and that is the best reason to quit.

    • Lilliane 1 year ago

      Good one.

  37. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I’ve been struggling with this and sadly talking to my toxic family.

    This online community is a good start for me

  38. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I am just trying and starting this…
    I have been socializing in AA and outside a little

    I have been speaking more with my dad and Brother which has been great.

  39. MsLil 2 years ago

    I sometimes say “I have an allergy to alcohol”

  40. Tessa58 2 years ago

    My inspiration to remain successful is knowing my new and only granddaughter will never see her Nana drunk and will only every know me sober and loving.

  41. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Trust me when I say, the USA isn’t much different than NZ in terms of the % of teatotalers. I’m luck to have moved,back to the Midwest and the % increases here…more conservative. Actually, I was,probably one of the heaviest drinkers in my circle, so it makes it easier for me to deal with social situations.

    My big problem is boredom. Even when I was drinking I had to be doing something. Everything just seemed more entertaining after a glass of wine…or two. I’m retired so spend a LOT of time alone. I even find myself more entertaining after a couple glasses of wine. (My dog feels the same way.)

    Oh my. This could be a tough one. However my plan is to live to be 100 and that could be tricky without a liver. LOL

    Good luck everybody.

  42. Tracbean 2 years ago

    I love the comment I feel better when I don’t drink
    Will be using that one this weekend. I have a celebration Saturday with a group of friends I will
    Be having my club soda while they all
    Partake in alcohol. I need this work on having fun
    Without alcohol and getting past the thinking I
    Have to drink to have fun

  43. Sally Fletcher 2 years ago

    I say I don’t drink cos I’m on medication, that interacts with booze

  44. Sally Fletcher 2 years ago

    I say I don’t drink cos I’m on medication, that interacts with booze

  45. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I don’t worry about clever and I don’t feel the need to share my story when asked why we aren’t drinking. I just keep it simple and say, “I never drink. It doesn’t suit me.”
    And if someone persists I just say, “Really I am not going to have a drink. Please stop asking. Thanks.”
    Seems to work…oh and I never allow myself to feel awkward about it…because I love sober.

  46. Kiwigirl33 2 years ago

    I’m on Day 2, and have a big social event every weekend for the next 2 months. My go to is going to be one of the following depending who is asking,
    1. “I’m the sober driver”
    2. “I don’t feel like it tonight”
    3.”If you had my hangovers…you wouldn’t drink either”

    I’ll see how I go, I’m sure I will get shit as my family are big drinkers and don’ like non drinkers lol

    • Pollyonthewagon 2 years ago

      Great list of responses
      You will be fine
      Xx

  47. Marc 2 years ago

    When they ask why don’t you drink I just tell them alcoholism

  48. Belladonna 2 years ago

    Just joined the group today..getting some really good advice and tips..thanks!

  49. ajmgrm430 2 years ago

    I have not had a drink in 2-1/2 years and I’m still having issues with anything we do that I had previously drank. Which I guess is almost everything! Vacations, dinners, picnics, weddings, etc! I keep thinking maybe I could just drink on special occasions, but a few days later I realize I wouldn’t stop. I have tried N/A beer and mock margaritas (beer and margaritas were my go to drinks), but it seems that alcohol gives me satisfaction and the virgin drinks just add calories. I miss socializing. I explain how hard this is to my husband, but he doesn’t understand, he thinks just quit and there should be no issues. It usually starts an argument since he just doesn’t understand. So I don’t talk to him anymore about it. Since I quit drinking our invitations have dropped too. People you thought were friends were actually only alcohol buddies. When asked why I quit I’m truthful, I had a problem just having a few!

    • Teazy 2 years ago

      I’m struggling with this too, hate having to explain myself and being made to feel like a party pooper, I recent drank again after visitors convinced me I was being anti social and that anyone can have a couple…well couple of bottles of wine maybe, yikes, hope we will figure this out. I hate social I occasions now where there’s lots of drinking and I used to love them, well we all know why ..

  50. Vic 2 years ago

    I can get the same way in hay fever season with white wine. It can also be a reaction to 221. But that’s not gonna bother me anymore because there will be no more white wines for me!!!

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