It’s one week into Dry January, and you’re still going strong. Not drinking can be pretty easy when you’re at home – but what about when you’re out with your friends? Especially if you’re used to having a drink (or three) in social situations. Expectations can lead to difficult questions. Here are 5 things to say to people who ask you if you want a drink or who ask why you’re not drinking.
1) “I’ve got a big day tomorrow”
Chances are, if you’re with someone who is offering you alcohol, they understand that the day after can be a bit of a grind. Arm yourself with a few things you want to accomplish the next day and need to be sharp for – a big run, a presentation, a large to-do list. Having this prepped in advance will make it easier to recall when the time comes.
2) “I’m doing a dry month/I’m doing Dry January”
Since originating in 2013, Dry January has only grown in popularity over the last 8 years, with participation skyrocketing in 2021. January already gives you a free pass for not drinking. When faced with the questions around being dry after January, it’s still handy to set time limits around your non-drinking lifestyle to make it easier for others to understand. It’s an easy way to have a quick answer so they won’t ask again.
3) “I’m focusing on my health”
Let’s face it – the laundry list of both physical and mental health benefits of not drinking alcohol are long and numerous, including better sleep and more motivation. Explain how alcohol has been making you feel, and help them understand that you need a little break to reset.
4) “I’ve had enough this week/month”
Maybe you’re finding it difficult. Maybe going to the party sober is a big change. Maybe you just don’t want to get into the why’s of not drinking. Even if you’ve been abstaining for a while, everyone can relate to the feeling of needing balance in life – saying you need a night off is a quick answer to what can be a loaded question. This answer dodges the root of why you’re dry entirely and allows them to make their own assumptions while shutting down the conversation.
5) “I already have one, thanks!”
The easiest way to answer this question is to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages with you to the gathering. Not only will this work as a visual cue for people not to ask you, it’ll give you a feeling of inclusion that a glass of water can’t match. Bring a few non-alcoholic craft beers with you and you’ll be drinking merrily without sacrifice all evening. If you really want to go sober incognito, pour it into a glass and everyone else will be none the wiser ;).