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How to Say No: 7 Creative & Polite Ways to Decline a Drink

Polite and creative ways to decline a drink.

Every recovering alcoholic knows how awkward some social situations become when you decline a drink. Some people get downright pushy about it.

That’s why you need a few ideas about how to say no. Let’s check out these 7 creative and polite ways to decline a drink.

1. Just Say No

Nancy Reagan said it best when she advised, “Just say no!” That’s always one way to decline a drink. Just say, “No, thank you.” Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about why you aren’t drinking.

2. Wave Your Sober Flag Proudly!

If you feel comfortable sharing that you’re sober or a recovering alcoholic, do so proudly. It takes a lot of courage to abstain when everyone wants you to join in, and you’re doing it for your own health. You should be proud of it, and you can show that by saying something like, “Thanks, but I’m 5 years sober and proud of it, so I won’t be drinking tonight!”

3. Use Humor to Decline a Drink

Sometimes, humor is the best way to defuse an awkward situation. You might try something like, “Oh, believe you me, you don’t want to be around me when I drink!” Another good line is, “Thanks, but there isn’t enough alcohol in the world to solve my problems!”

4. Use the Designated Driver's Excuse

A very polite and acceptable way to decline a drink is to simply say that you’re driving. Everyone is aware these days of how dangerous it is to drink and drive, so they should respect your decision. If they press it, just say, “No thanks. I don’t want that kind of trouble.”

5. Claim an Allergy

You can always say, “I’m allergic to alcohol.” It’s not really a stretch, either. When most alcoholics drink, they suffer a variety of negative symptoms that are much like an allergy. They may find themselves flushed, experience nausea, get a headache, and suffer from irrational thoughts and memory loss. That’s a pretty bad allergy, and as a bonus, people tend to take it very seriously when you say you’re allergic to something. The waitstaff will take extra care in seeing you don’t get any alcohol.

6. Use a Decoy Drink

If people see that you have a drink in your hands, they don’t usually try to press you into drinking more. You can order a virgin drink, which is a drink made with the other usual ingredients but without any alcohol. Virgin daiquiris are particularly good. If you’re worried that’s too tempting, you can also just order a soda or juice. People won’t know there isn’t any alcohol in the drink.

7. Use the Diet Coke Code

Most bartenders know that when someone says, “I’ll have a diet coke,” it’s code for, “I’m sober.” Once you make your order clear, most people will also take the hint. If someone presses the issue, don’t be shy about saying, “Thanks, but I’ll just stick with diet coke.”

Have Your Sober Sidekick App Ready!

If all else fails and you feel tempted, you just whip out your handy Sober Sidekick app to get some great advice from a peer community of over 175,000 recovering addicts. They will help you out of those awkward situations, so give it a try today.

Image: Freepik

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