the United States, going out with friends on a Friday or Saturday night is
practically ingrained into our culture. You go out, drink until you can’t walk
straight, then stumble back home and collapse on your bed, only to wake up the
next morning with a splitting headache. For many, this lifestyle is the
norm—and even encouraged.
for those who strive to live alcohol-free, the “going out” culture can actually
be a significant challenge. In fact, if you choose not to drink, can’t drink or
don’t want to drink, you might even avoid going out on the town altogether,
simply so you don’t have to have run-ins with alcohol. And of course, so you
can avoid the conversation with, “Wow! You really don’t drink? Are you sure?
Maybe you could have just a sip!” Fortunately, this type of atmosphere doesn’t
always have to be the case. There
you can—at least partially—embrace the going out culture and still avoid
drinking alcohol. Here’s how to go out without alcohol.
first thing to keep in mind when going out without alcohol is to
always have a drink with you. There’s
nothing worse than standing empty-handed in a bar while everyone else around
you is knocking back drinks. And when you’re left empty-handed, you can feel
more susceptible to the constant questions about your drinking or even pressure
to drink alcohol. But, by keeping a drink on you, you can feel more included in
the group and less judged for not drinking. If you go out to a bar, try
requesting a bottle of non-alcoholic beer, or a tasty mocktail. Most bars and
restaurants can be very accommodating for those who don’t drink alcohol, so
don’t be afraid to make your request known. If you really feel uncomfortable
asking, consider bringing your own bottle of something alcohol-free you can
carry and drink with you.
be sure you have a good group of friends with you to support and encourage you.
It’s easy to feel like the lone wolf when you’re sober and everyone else has
been drinking, so make sure you have a group there that can help you feel included.
Not to mention: friends can make sober times feel like drunk ones. Oftentimes
when we’re with our good friends, the laughter, jokes and pranks can start
rolling without a single sip of alcohol. Embrace this reality by taking your
friends with you when you go out.
of going out with friends, consider other ways you can experience the “feeling”
of drinking, without having to worry about actually consuming alcohol. This is
referred to as the “placebo effect.” Just because you’re not drinking, doesn’t
mean you can’t still have fun! Get out there, go dance, go mingle and go
embrace the party, all while staying sober.
PartyWith says on Medium: “Don’t wait
for the music to play louder to get your dance on. If you’re at a bar, initiate
jokes and get your drunk friends to share silly stories. Take advantage of the
fact that you are fully aware of what’s going on to lead conversations into
perfect nonsense.” Act as a sponge to the high-energy, fun environment you’re
in, and enjoy yourself.
just be yourself. Have your story ready for when people notice or ask you why
you’re not drinking, and don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and the
decisions you make. Have confidence and share your thoughts or opinions. Who
knows? You might encounter someone else who wants to give up drinking, but
isn’t sure how to start. Oftentimes, we build up the party scene into more than
what it actually is. After a few drinks, most people won’t even notice whether
you’re drinking alcohol or not. Stand firm in your alcohol-free lifestyle and
have fun, with or without drinking.
“going out” scene is definitely an important part of culture in the United States.
And for those who live alcohol-free, it can often feel like an exclusive and
challenging thing to get into. But, it doesn’t have to be. Try out these tips
next time you want to have fun on the town, and see how you can go out without