Take it from someone who slightly believed the opposite: you don’t need alcohol to have a great time out with friends. It sure seems it during university, but alcohol isn’t the part that makes the night fun. It’s the people you’re with.
Sure enough, I’ve had better nights with friends where I’ve not drank because of the company. These are people who are real friends. The ones who want to chat, really socialise, and sometimes just dance the night away. The nights that I didn’t have fun while not drinking were more due to the company. I just didn’t fit in with them but I tried to.
Because I’m often the designated driver, I can end up spending more time not drinking at parties. And you know what? I really don’t mind it! I’ve found other ways to have fun.
But won’t you get a lot of questions about you not drinking? What about if you want a few drinks but not many?
Well, here are my 5 tips to cut down on alcohol while socialising. No you won’t get many questions.
Don’t Buy Rounds!
Whatever you do, don’t bother with buying rounds. People will encourage you to keep drinking when you’re doing this. You’ll feel the pressure to keep up with others.
If you opt for buying your own drinks, you have full control over the liquid you get at the bar. You can even ask for a sneaky glass of water without anyone every knowing! There are no questions because people don’t have to do what you’ve got—or not got. More on this in the next tip.
Not buying rounds will also help you save money. You’ll start to begrudge the amount you’re spending on drinks of those who are drinking alcohol compared to your soft drinks!
Opt for Sodas to Make It Look Like You’re Drinking
Yes, you can make it look like you have alcohol with every drink. This has always been my way of completely avoiding questions about why I’m not drinking.
When you get a soda, it looks like you have a mixer and spirit. Like anybody is actually going to be interested in what you’ve ordered if it looks like you’re drinking.
You can also opt for tonic water. You just make people think you have a vodka and tonic or gin and tonic. Orange juice also works, since you could have a vodka and orange.
I tend to do this with diet sodas, so I avoid empty calories at the same time while out. Soda water is another popular option, especially now in Canada.
If you fancy a cocktail, there are plenty of mocktails to drink. The virgin pina colada is one of my favourites.
Alternate Your Drinks
If you want to drink but don’t want to overdo it, you can opt for alternating your drinks. For each alcoholic drink you have, you follow it up with a non-alcoholic option.
This is my number one trick when I go out when I’m not drinking. I have the soda to make it look like each drink is alcoholic but I drink nowhere near as much as everyone else. I did it for a friend’s wedding one year and while everyone else felt rough the next morning, I was refreshed and could remember how great the night really was.
Alternating drinks is something that I regularly recommended as a Weight Watchers leader. You eliminate some of the empty calories without feeling like you’re stuck to a diet.
Get Close Friends on Board
You don’t have to be the only one who decides to cut down on alcohol while socialising. There are high chances that other friends want to but they don’t have the courage to say anything. Why not mention your plan to cut back on your drinking.
It’s worth sharing some of the reasons you’re doing it. Remember that cutting back on alcohol is good for all of you in many ways. It’s good for your:
- Overall health
- Mental health
- Overall safety
- And much more
If your friends see all the benefits, they’ll jump in there with you. You can keep each other accountable.
A friend did this for me and I have to say that I’m so grateful for it. She was a true friend who helped cement the idea that you don’t need to have alcohol to have fun.
Make Your Drinks Longer
Instead of having the double shot with little mixer, opt for making your drinks longer. While you may feel like you’re watering down the alcohol, you’re really not. You’re diluting some of the taste but you won’t stop the side effects if you drink too many.
More mixer means that your drink will last longer. But don’t forget to sip your drink. There’s still alcohol in there and it will taste just like soda at times!
So, opt for longer drinks with ice where possible. You’ll not feel like you’re missing out and you can be included in rounds if you really want to.
Remind Yourself Why You’re Doing This
Sometimes it will be hard. All your friends are getting drunk and you feel like the odd one out. You feel like you shouldn’t be able to have fun with them and the jealous starts to seep in.
Remind yourself why you’re doing this. When you’re drunk, you don’t remember everything. You could make some essential business contacts and you wouldn’t even remember the next morning. Go through the list of benefits each time that you start to think one more drink won’t hurt. Remember that one will always turn into another!
It’s going to be worth it all, I promise!
Did you cut down on alcohol while socialising? Do you want to? Share in the comments below and let me help you!