Drinking is a common form of socialization. At the end of the workday, people gather with friends or coworkers for drinks to unwind. Most of us also go to events that serve alcohol. Everyone from college students to business executives participates in this activity for various reasons; however, uncontrolled or irresponsible social drinking can cause long-term problems. So, how to avoid drinking at social events if you have issues with the substance or are in recovery?
Recognize the Two Types of Pressure
The first step here is to know there are two different kinds of social pressure to drink alcohol: direct and indirect. Direct social pressure is when someone gives you a drink or a chance to drink. Indirect social pressure is when you feel tempted to consume alcohol just by being surrounded by others who are drinking – even if no one offers you a drink.
Realize Lots of People Aren’t Into Drinking
This isn’t so much a practical tip as it’s something that makes you feel better and strengthens your resolution. It’s a point many university students can make when they think they can’t relate to the campus drinking scene. When you don’t drink, it can seem like everyone else in the world is only concerned with consuming large amounts of alcohol. In reality, many people do not drink at all or drink only within bounds; they don’t make as much of a fuss about it and, unfortunately, aren’t present in the media. A group of friends staying in and watching a movie with a glass of wine would not make for an impressive scene in a grimy college comedy.
There Will Be Times When You Can’t Win With Some People
Some people simply have a prejudice against non-drinkers. If you’re around them, they’ll try to impose their perspectives on you at times. You can have the most skillful lines prepared and be entirely confident in your decision, but when you explain that you’re not drinking, the feeble-minded comments will still come at you quickly and enraged. It can help to accept that some of this is unavoidable. Also, don’t expect this only from strangers – long-time pro-drinking friends may bring up the topic incessantly whenever you go to a social event together.
Try to Stay Away From Situations that Involve Drinking
This is probably the most prominent piece of helpful advice. If you’re not into drinking or that lifestyle, just hang out with people who have other priorities. We know: it’s often difficult to avoid alcohol entirely as it’s likely to appear whenever there’s a large group of people gathered for a special occasion. Even the most cultured art exhibition will almost certainly serve wine. There are also weddings and staff events to consider. Alternatively, you may be required to enter a bar to attend a concert, for instance. However, if you want to give it a fair try, you can keep alcohol out of your life most of the time.
Plan Ahead to Stay in Control
Depending on your goals, abstaining from alcohol may be sufficient. However, what if you do find yourself in a situation where it is present? Also, what if you don’t mind being around drinkers or going to drinking-related establishments but don’t want to do it yourself? How to avoid drinking at social events of any kind? Even if you are determined to change your drinking habits, ‘social pressure’ from friends or others can make it difficult to cut back or leave it.
Planning to stay in control provides you with a recognize-avoid-cope strategy, commonly used in cognitive-behavioral therapy to assist people in changing obstructive thinking patterns and responses. For instance, no one can argue with you if you’re the designated driver, have to get up early the next day or are seriously training for a sport – these are some instances of attenuating circumstances you can use to your advantage.
Other Approaches You Can Use to Avoid Drinking at Social Events
If you’re recovering from alcohol addiction and time passes, attending social events that involve drinking may become more manageable. The most important thing? Do what makes you feel good – if you need socialization to feel fulfilled and happy, navigate these events using this as a goal without needing a drink. Here are a few more tips on how to avoid drinking at social events:
- Bring a sober companion. It can be tough to resist when everyone around you is drinking, so bring along a supportive friend and agree that neither of you will consume alcohol. This approach will help you avoid drinking, and you will also have someone to talk to.
- Leave earlier. If everyone is intoxicated, you should leave before things get out of control. Being in the company of drunk people can be a stressful experience for a recovering alcoholic.
- Always keep a non-alcoholic beverage on hand. If everyone else is drinking, it can be awkward to be the only one who isn’t. If you have a non-alcoholic drink on hand – no one will notice you aren’t drinking.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Your closest friends are undoubtedly aware of your journey. Surround yourself with people who will help you achieve your goals.
Alcohol Rehab in Nashville
If you’re having issues with alcohol consumption or are already considering seeking help for your alcohol addiction, Detox Nashville can help you get clean. Based in Madison, TN, we offer several detox programs that yield successful results. Thanks to our professionally trained team, we provide you with the best care you can get, as well as mental health help and aftercare services. Contact us today via the website or at (615) 845-4747.