Three Ways to Refuse Alcohol Politely
Advice to help with a common situation
When alcohol has been a staple in your life and with your social circle, it can be difficult to emerge as the “non-drinker.” If you’ve attended a recovery center, chances are many of the people closest to you will have knowledge of this fact. Not all of these people will be supportive of your recovery because they will want to you to get back to being your “old self,” but those who truly care about you will learn to come around, especially if you can display some consistency in your commitment to not drinking. Here are some ways to politely refuse alcohol when it is offered to you in various situations.
Just Say No
In most cases, simply saying “no, thank you” when you are offered alcohol should be sufficient. Whether the people you are with know your history of struggling with alcohol addiction or not, your refusal shouldn’t have to be a big deal. If you are asked why, you can mention that you are in recovery if you are comfortable with that or you can indicate that you are trying to live healthier and take better care of yourself, which could apply even if drinking is not an issue.
Volunteer to Be the Designated Driver
Everyone knows that drinking and driving don’t mix. Volunteering to be the designated driver puts a positive spin on peer pressure because you are responsible for the safety of others as well as yourself. By becoming the designated driver for the night, you also remove external pressure to drink.
Some people may point out that you can have a drink or two without being over the legal limit for drinking and driving. If so, you can simply say, “No, I’m OK. Thanks!” This simple answer, in conjunction with being the designated driver, is enough to politely refuse alcohol in a huge range of situations.
You Want to Stay in Control
Whether you are around alcohol in a social situation, a business situation, or some combination of the two the desire to keep a clear head is something that is to be commended. You might have a test or some extra responsibilities at work the next day, or the kids might have a busy day and need you to be on top of your game.
By saying something like this, you are directly relating your decision not to drink to your own life and circumstances in a way that doesn’t bring anyone else’s personal circumstances into the equation.
Saying no to alcohol in social situations can feel awkward at first, but with practice and time becomes second nature. Start now and develop the skills you need to protect and nurture your sobriety.