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How To Deal With Friends Who Drink If I Don’t?

If you’re the only one of your friends who doesn’t drink alcohol, it can be a tough situation to handle. You may feel like you’re on the outside looking in or that your friends don’t really understand what you’re going through. 

On the other hand, if you do choose to drink, it can make you feel uncomfortable or guilty if they pressure you into drinking or make fun of you for not drinking. No matter which way you look at it, dealing with friends who drink if I don’t is a real issue that many people face, especially if you are in recovery or struggling with your drinking. 

Here, we will explore some effective strategies for dealing with this kind of problem and how to maintain healthy relationships with your friends while still staying true to yourself.

If You’re The Only One Not Drinking, It Can Be Difficult To Deal With Friends Who Do 

If you have friends who drink and you don’t, it can be difficult to deal with them. You may feel left out or like you don’t fit in. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are many people who don’t drink for a variety of reasons.

Here are a few tips to remember if your friends are drinking, but you’re not. And remember— oftentimes the best solution is just to leave the situation entirely. If for some reason that can’t happen:

  • Remember: don’t feel pressured to drink. Just because your friends are drinking doesn’t mean you have to.
  • If you’re feeling uncomfortable, step away from the group for a bit. Go to the bathroom or get some fresh air.
  • Stick to non-alcoholic drinks. There’s no shame in ordering a soda or water instead of alcohol.
  • Importantly, be honest with your friends about why you’re not drinking. They may be more understanding than you think.
  • If your friends don’t understand, they might have the same problem as you. Try some sympathy— they may need help too. 

Remember the dangers associated with alcohol and what you have overcome or are skipping entirely by not drinking. These dangers include:

  • Drunk driving: Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous things that someone can do. If you have friends who drink, make sure they never get behind the wheel after drinking.
  • Alcohol poisoning: Drinking too much alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly. If your friends are drinking heavily, make sure they are not alone and that someone knows how much they are consuming.
  • Violence: Alcohol can make people more aggressive and violent. If you are around people who are drinking, be aware of this and stay out of any arguments or fights that may start.
  • Unsafe sex: People who are drunk are more likely to engage in unsafe sex, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies. If your friends are drinking, make sure they use protection if they plan on having sex.

How To Still Socialize With Friends Who Drink If You Don’t

Crazy woman refusing drinks -

It can be tough to socialize and have fun without alcohol, but there are ways to deal with friends who drink if you don’t. Here are some tips:

  • Find other things to do together that don’t involve drinking. You can still go out and have fun without alcohol. Suggest doing something else that you and your friends enjoy, like going to a movie or ice skating.
  • Explain your reasons for not drinking to your friends. They may not understand why you don’t drink, but if you explain it to them they may be more understanding. Let them know that you’re still having fun even though you’re not drinking.
  • Don’t judge your friends for drinking. Just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean you should judge those who do. Everyone is different and has their own reasons for drinking or not drinking.
  • If you feel uncomfortable around your friends who are drinking, excuse yourself and leave the situation. You don’t have to stay somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable just because your friends are there.

How To Stay In Recovery While Others Are Drinking

If you’re in recovery or simply don’t drink alcohol, it can be tricky to deal with friends who do drink. Here are more tips on how to stay sober and in recovery while others are drinking:

  • First and foremost, always put your sobriety first. Don’t let peer pressure or social norms dictate your choices.
  • Have a plan in place for what you’ll do if you start to feel tempted to drink. This could involve calling a friend or family member, going for a walk, or anything that will help take your mind off of drinking.
  • If you’re feeling tempted, reach out to a sober friend or sponsor for support.
  • Avoid potential triggers by hanging out in places that don’t serve alcohol or by avoiding situations where you know there will be drinking (e.g., parties, bars).
  • Keep yourself busy and distracted by engaging in other activities (e.g., talking to people, dancing, listening to music) instead of focusing on the drinking.
  • Remember why you’re choosing not to drink and what’s important to you. This can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal of staying sober.

Get Help If You Just Can’t Stay Sober

Dealing with friends who drink when you don’t can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding that your choice is valid and communicating openly with your friends about why you choose not to drink, you can maintain healthy relationships while still staying true to yourself. 

Remember, no matter what choices anyone else makes, the most important thing is that everyone respects each other’s decisions and remains civil. If your friends can’t, maybe they weren’t really your friends in the first place. This can hurt, but staying sober is the most important thing— everything else follows. And if you want help, just give us a call. We’re at 727-591-4119 and are looking forward to helping you get— and stay— sober. 

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