The 6 Most Effective Ways To Say No To Alcohol

There are lots of ways to say no to alcohol but when pressed we become nervous. Hence, peer pressure. As a woman, formerly from a male dominated industry (insurance) there’s a lot of pressure and even an expectation to drink alcohol. My job was Director of Sales which meant, I was responsible for planning the parties, dinners and events. And let me tell you, clients and peers expect you to have a glass of fill-in-the-blank bevvy in your hand. And guess what the number one question was when wondering why I wasn’t drinking? You guessed it. “Are you pregnant?”

If you’re male and reading this article, nothing, I repeat nothing, makes a woman want to resort to violence more than when you talk about her body, her choices, her reproductive situation. 

So I had to get clever when answering this question.

You can be recovering, or you might just be taking a break to see how it goes. Either way, you want to avoid and say no to alcohol during the evening. It can be unacceptable to decline booze, especially with individuals who have witnessed your drinking in the past.

These tips on how to say no and avoid alcohol can help you get through the scenario, whether you’ve decided to abstain from alcohol permanently or simply enjoy a night off.

Saying No To Alcohol At A Dinner Party

Saying no to alcohol at a dinner party is kind of the easiest one. What you want to say is “Beeswax, Not Yours, Incorporated.” But the easiest ways to say you’re not drinking alcohol at a dinner party are:

  • I have to drive home
  • I have an early meeting
  • I have an early class
  • I have to be productive tomorrow and can’t be groggy
  • I have a presentation, early flight, exam, early workout
  • My favorite, is saying something ridiculous totally dead pan.  “I can’t I have to take my mom to the vet” and just turn and walk away

Saying No To Alcohol At Conference/Tradeshow

Saying no to alcohol at a conference or trade show can be really tricky because a lot of people know you on a personal level and the pressure has never been higher. Remember what we talked about earlier? If a peer or a client asks why you don’t have a glass of Pinot Grigio in your hand, these reasons have never failed me:

  • I have a meeting with my boss later
  • I’m giving a speech
  • I have to step away and talk to a client in a few minutes (use this one if you want to get the heck out of there early)
  • I have to be on the road early tomorrow
  • I have an early morning meeting with home office

Simply Say, “I Don’t Drink.”

It takes the most guts to respond this way, and it’s also the one that gets the most questions about why. Ideally, it should end the conversation, but you should be ready for the potential that you could have to put up with jokes or inquiries about your drinking habits. But when you’re waking up without a hangover, you’ll be the one laughing.

People will eventually learn to understand that you have changed. You may become a role model among your peers if you are serious about recovering from alcoholism or want to end the absurdity of peer pressure to drink alcohol.

ways to avoid and say no to alcohol

Opt For A Non-Alcoholic Drink

You’re less likely to be given a drink if you’re already carrying one, which helps you avoid potentially unpleasant interactions. You can always bring your own non-alcoholic drink. Some non-alcoholic wines are available at Target.

If you want to go out to a pub, many offer alcoholic-free beers and non-alcoholic spirits

You can also have a conversation with the bartender. For example, I’ll order a Diet Coke or soda water and ask for it to be in a highball glass. Sometimes I ask for an olive with my soda water.  

Make Up Some Excuses

The blunt approach doesn’t sit well with certain folks, as some of these authors note. In my experience, some people feel like you’re judging them when you say you don’t drink alcohol.  If giving justifications for declining alcohol helps you feel more comfortable saying “no,” consider some of these suggestions:

  • My doctor advised me to stop drinking for a bit (that one always gets a laugh for some reason…IDK)
  • I drank too much last night and am still feeling it
  • I take medication, and alcohol will interact poorly with it

Make Use Of A Good Humor

Use your humor, particularly if you’re the life of the party or the friend who never fails to relieve the tension with a clever joke. Sarcasm can be disarming to some people and also conveys a message. You may think of some good jokes or phrases that’ll give you a pass if someone offers you to drink.

Be The Driver

The very best defense is this. For this reason—you want to hang out with friends but don’t want to drink—some people who quit drinking alcohol volunteer to be the designated driver. Although that can get annoying. 

say no to alcohol

Ways To Avoid And Say No To Alcohol FAQs

What are some ways that can help you avoid and say no to alcohol?

Here are some helpful recommendations for saying no to alcohol in advance and what to say when it is offered.
1. Simply say, “I don’t drink.”
2. Opt for a non-alcoholic drink
3. Change the subject
4. Make excuses
5. Use physical cues
6. Leave the event early

It can be challenging to refuse alcohol in the heat of the moment, particularly when facing peer pressure. Remember your main reasons for not drinking whenever one of these situations occurs.

How can you avoid drinking alcohol?

There are many good reasons not to continue consuming alcohol. To say goodbye to hangovers, sleep better, drop extra weight, and have more energy is a lifestyle adjustment for some people. It could even be for a challenge, to support another person quitting drinking, or raise money for a good cause. 

Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you quit or reduce alcohol consumption.
1. Avoid temptation
2. Try something new you might be interested in
3. Inform your family and friends about your decision 
4. Reward your own progress
5. Enjoy the benefits

What are three strategies for refusing alcohol?

– Choose supportive friends who don’t need alcohol to have fun.
– Be firm when declining the invitation to partake in alcohol.
– When declining an invitation to drink, make eye contact.

You must develop your refusal skills to achieve this. You can use effective statements, such as “No thanks, I don’t need it.”, “I am allergic to alcohol.”, and “No thank you, I am watching my calorie intake.”

How do I make myself not want to drink alcohol?

Here are some tips to avoid alcohol completely if you struggled with alcoholism or you just simply want a drink.
1. Recognize the triggers
2. Plan ahead on how to say no and avoid alcohol
3. Avoid tempting situations
4. Cope with unavoidable triggers by leaving the situation or distracting yourself