How To Tell People You Don’t Drink

Sobriety is an important part of recovery for many. Whether you are in long-term recovery or have recently made the decision to abstain from alcohol or other substances, it can be difficult to know how to talk about your sobriety with others. It’s important to recognize that there is no one right way to share this information, in fact, there isn’t any obligation to share this information at all. Not everyone needs to know that you don’t drink alcohol or take drugs. However, if necessary, by approaching the conversation with honesty, dignity, and humility, you can ensure that your message is heard without compromising your safety or confidentiality.

Situations For Sobriety

Sobriety can be a difficult topic to bring up, especially if many of your friends and family don’t know about your substance abuse and don’t understand why you’ve chosen to stop drinking. Here are some situations in which others may be drinking alcohol and the topic of drinking habits and drinking habits may come up:

Social events

In today’s day and age, you may think that having a social life requires drinking. Social events often involve alcohol and it can be hard to explain why you won’t be participating. Be sure to have a polite and concise answer ready, such as “I’m taking a break from drinking right now” or “I’m in recovery”. Your friends should support you in your decision to not order alcohol or drink at all. If they don’t you can always simply leave.

Family dinners

If this is an ongoing issue, consider talking with your family before the situation arises so that everyone is aware of your decision. This will help them be more understanding and supportive when it comes time for dinner. Inform them that you would prefer to be offered a non-alcoholic drink like sparkling water or a club soda. Again, if your family is not supportive of your decision to not drink, they are openly disrespecting you and your individuality.

Formal parties

Whether it’s a wedding or an office event, there may be pressure to drink from those around you. It’s okay to politely decline and explain why you’re not partaking, but if that makes other people uncomfortable you can always just offer a glass of water or something else nonalcoholic instead.

Pitches for business

When networking at events or presentations of any sort, bring alternative beverages like sparkling water or hot tea and offer one to the person speaking if they mention wanting a drink after their presentation.

Telling Friends and Family Members You Don’t Drink

Explaining to your friends and family that you are not drinking tonight shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable, but sometimes those uncomfortable feelings are unavoidable. Even if not drinking alcohol or using drugs is just a personal choice, you may feel like you need a good excuse for quitting drinking.

Depending on your circumstances, telling someone about your sobriety could be an incredibly brave act, or it could be not a big deal. For instance, if you are someone who has struggled with alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder, your drinking problems may have put a significant strain on your friends and family. In this case, deciding not to drink anymore may have saved your relationships with your friends and family and may have even saved your life. In other cases, the decision not to drink anymore may have been for a less dire reason. Maybe you didn’t like the taste or being drunk made you feel uncomfortable.

Be Prepared

Regardless of your reason to stop drinking, it’s probably a good idea to be prepared beforehand. Take some time to think about what you want to say before the conversation takes place. Writing down your thoughts can help make sure that you have a clear plan for when it comes time to actually talk about your sobriety. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your sobriety.

Be Honest

Regardless of the reason you chose to not drink tonight or no longer drink alcohol at all, being honest is usually the best way to address your sobriety. Explain why you chose sobriety and share your feelings about it. This will help show those around you that there’s a lot more to this decision than simply not wanting to drink or use drugs anymore; it’s about taking control of your life and making positive changes for yourself.

Have Empathy

You should also be prepared for their reactions. It can be difficult to tell how your friends and family members are going to react. There may be judgment or stigma around your decision. People may think it’s weird or question why you would give up drinking. Additionally, it may evoke fear in those close to you, as they worry about your well-being and whether you need help. Have empathy for their reactions. Everyone will likely have different reactions when they hear the news, ranging from support, curiosity, confusion, or even judgment. No matter what the reaction is, try to remain open-minded and understanding while still holding firm in your beliefs and decisions.

Get Support for Recovery

Finally, you may want to seek out support. If talking with someone face-to-face feels too overwhelming, look into online support groups or reach out to family members who may understand better than anyone else what this situation entails. Professional counseling may also be beneficial in helping process emotions around sobriety, especially if addiction is involved. If it’s too hard to tell people that you don’t drink anymore, bring a trusted friend, family member, or sponsor with you to help explain why you’ve stopped drinking.

Overall, telling someone about your sobriety can be difficult but also rewarding. It can make people uncomfortable because of the vulnerability it requires. Ultimately, communicating openly and honestly about sobriety can be one of the most powerful ways of taking control of your life and being true to yourself, even if it is difficult. Remember that there might be questions from your peers about why you don’t drink, but also that there may be interest in learning more about your decision. Being honest and having empathy for yourself, as well as those around you, can go a long way toward making these conversations easier.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, call us today to find out how sober living in California can help.

Last Updated on February 2, 2023


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