During one of many 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' episodes that blurred into each other I was surprised to find out that Kim Kardashian is pretty much teetotal. Surprised partly because I assumed most of the Kardashian craziness was alcohol fuelled but also because it's still not that common for young A-listers to be openly booze free, unless it's been forced on them through rehab.
When quizzed as to why she doesn't drink she gave pretty much my answer for it ... she doesn't like waking up hungover and then not enjoying or making the most of her day because of feeling jaded. Now I know some of you lucky individuals don't suffer with hangovers, but it's pretty rare for a boozy night out not to take the shine off the next day for most of us. It's just that for some people that will seem like a worthwhile trade off and for others it doesn't. That's a personal choice, and in the same way that I respect everyone's right to eat KFC I also respect everyone's right to a hangover!
Sadly, if you do decide not to drink, not everyone will respect you're decision and peer pressure to drink is still pretty prevalent. Even the lovely Kim was pressured into drinking by her friends only to embarrass herself and then feel thoroughly wretched the next day (we've all been there!).
Over the years I've used various strategies to dismiss pressure to drink and thought i'd share them incase any of you are trying to cut back, but finding it hard to say no. Even if you're not going teetotal completely, it doesn't mean you can't use it as a reason not to drink on the nights you want off - particularly if you want to avoid drinking at work functions - saying your teetotal nips the issue in the bud, whereas saying yes to just one drink usually leads to more being poured.
1. Play it polite .... when offered an alcoholic drink say no thank you politely and request a specific non-alcoholic beverage that you'd enjoy instead. If your host has manners they'll be delighted to get your drink whatever it is.
2. Play it mysterious ... if your host is still pressing drinks on you just say, 'Sorry I don't drink' and leave it at that. Some people's sense of etiquette will mean they won't question further, some may ask why and you can keep playing it mysterious by saying 'I had to give up for health reasons' ... although some people may then assume you have AA membership!
3. Play the medication card ... 'I'm on antibiotics' or be less specific and just say 'I'm taking medication that I can't drink with'. Most people won't quiz you on medications so that's an easy one. If you'd rather not say you're taking medication say you're on a detox, but give it more credibility by saying your Nutritionist or Doctor suggested it - people are less likely to ask with this. Alternatively say you're training for a marathon, triathlon or other competitive event ... most people stop drinking in order to train properly - but if you don't even own a pair of running shoes then it won't be credible!
4. Be honest ... I usually tell people I don't drink because I gave up for health reasons a few years back, and once I realised how great it was to never be hungover, and also what a difference not drinking made to my overall health I decided never to take it up again - and that's the truth. I do occasionally drink, but only when I want to, which is pretty much less than once a month. Most people accept that answer and those who don't or still try and pressure me into drinking don't get much of my time and quickly give up.
If you really feel like it would be rude not to accept a drink, either at a company event or where your host would be offended, then accept the drink graciously and take a sip. Then leave it by your plate, or even better abandon it on a coffee table, and move back to soft drinks. When the waiters come by to top up they'll see your glass is still full and leave you be.