5 ways to stay sober at a party (and enjoy it)

You guessed it, a way to stay sober at a party. Isn’t that awesome? But how do you stay sober at a party and enjoy it?

I mean, the thought of being surrounded by a load of drunk party-goers starts to affect you from the time you wake up, right?

Imagine if you had ever gone paintballing and thought you had made it out successfully until suddenly that pain hit your back, and you thought sod it, I am going to be as aggressive as I can be at the rest of the paintballers.

Then, after going in with a pacifist attitude, suddenly your adrenaline kicks in, and you point the “paint” at anyone, including your team members, even though they represent the children’s charity you care so deeply about.

You might have experienced something similar when you became sober and yet turn up at a party where you are the only non-drinker there.

Plus, everyone is really off their faces.

So the more straightforward thing is to join in.

But stop there is another way.

How to stay sober at the party can be done!

You may decide to stop drinking alcohol for a variety of reasons.

It could be health, no desire to drink alcohol or a marathon run the next day.


There Are Lots of Reasons Why People Don't Drink Alcohol

I mean, it’s life and death for me, but people will still offer me a glass of wine because that does seem the better of the two options.

For them anyway!

Have you ever stood there with no drink in your hand, and those words come at you saying, “what not drinking tonight”?

No matter what reason you gave, not drinking alcohol always seems to trump it.

And you go to a party knowing everyone will be drunk apart from you.

But you thought it might be different this time!

So how do you survive it and keep your alcohol-free lifestyle on track? After all, you have worked hard at being sober, and one day is not going to scupper that.

It is challenging but not impossible when you manage these 5 expectations and practice these strategies.

Even when you know knocking back 5 bottles of sauvignon blanc would get a better approval rating.

5 – Don’t let prejudice get you down.

Apart from pregnancy, no one will tell a pregnant woman to drink alcohol, so it’s my favourite excuse as a man.

You will come across lots of prejudice when you turn up and remain sober at a party.

After all, you’re a deadbeat for not drinking. 

So even when that drunk guy you have never met comes up to you and says, “not fancy it tonight?” hold your ground.

Have the best extreme stock answer up your sleeve that may be so extreme that it’s hard to argue with.

You could say it could kill you, or you have a drinking problem.

Either way, even if it’s true, it is harder to go there.

Look them straight in the eye and say, “it’s only for you this, but one drink could send me into spasm”.

It might be true and no funny matter but hey voila, your back in the driving seat.

Those stock answers can push back prejudice, and boy do they work.

It is called a pattern interrupt. It’s just not what people, even those off their faces, are expecting.

So keep your extreme excuses up your sleeve even if they are authentic, and it works every time.

4 – Alcohol-free drinks in advance (it’s an allergy, right?)

You go to the bar and stare at the drinks cabinet, and you know what’s coming.

Yes, you are an alien asking for an alcohol-free drink.

But, it’s that glance that says, really, “are you serious”?

When You Ask for An Alcohol-Free Drink

They might have a Heineken Alcohol-Free Beer behind the secret curtain at best, so no one sees they sell it.

At worst, it is soda, water or soft drinks; after all, that is what people on an alcohol-free lifestyle drink, right?

No alcohol-free spirits like the so-called gin’s that are available or maybe a glass of alcohol-free fizz.

What’s worse is there will be a complimentary welcome drink. 

And you know you can’t have it while others pretend they have only had one even after the fourth trip over to “that waiter with the drinks” and say, “my friend does not have one”.

Yep, that old chestnut.

Now nut allergies are no laughing matter, and they can be severe but then so can alcohol.

So do this one thing. Make a list of some alcohol-free options you would like to have and do two things.

If it’s a house party, take them with you and make sure no one else drinks them. ( Strangely, drunk people want to try alcohol-free drinks, I know, but it’s true!)

If it is an external venue, email the manager or better still ring them ahead and offer to pay corkage or ask them to buy it.

I have never had anyone turn me down, and venues often see it as a new opportunity.

Say you are allergic to alcohol, I do, and it’s true. But, I mean, where can they go with that information. Not very far.

It could change your drinking lifestyle forever.

3 -Stay focused on your alcohol-free goal.

Stephen Covey’s classic self-help book called the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

And you might hate self-help, but he does say one thing in the book that you can use at a drunken party when you are surrounded by people who are three sheets to the wind.

That is this:” Begin with the end in mind.”


What Your Alcohol-Free Goal?

Just know why you are not drinking.

It could be your big run the next day, and it could be your health; it could be the fact you have to drive home.

Whatever it is, keep it at the forefront of why you are the only sober one at the party.

Taunts from others like will confront you:

“You must have a drinking problem; you are not drinking.”

However, with your purpose in mind, you will realise everyone else is drunk, so it’s them that has the problem, not you.

A purpose is what gets us into the party.

Hence, an excellent time to navigate every possibility, and boy, does it feel good.

Know your limits through the drink aware website.


2 – The key to staying sober at a party is to dance “intoxicated”.

When you are the only sober in the village or venue, people like to test you out.

I mean, you can’t be having fun, right. So they will put their science hat on and test the theory.

It’s this: You cannot have a good time while sober.


How To Stay Sober At A Party


Plus, if they don’t get the correct answer, they will keep pushing you until they do.

The answer, dance like you have had a skinful.

Yes, you dance like you’re off your face, and even a Madonna classic hit sends you into a frenzy.

I mean, there you are in the middle of the dance floor enjoying the music, and people look on slightly bemused.

You’re sober, and you’re dancing.

It’s a sure-fire way for you to forget about even dating an alcoholic drink, and also, people will think you have had one, so they will leave you alone!

There is nothing to confuse people more than a sober person dancing.

And if you need alcohol courage to get up, remember everyone around you is falling over and drunk, so no one will remember if you are a good or bad dancer.

Dance likes no one’s watching, and you have had a drink. It can be done.

1- Hold something alcohol-free in your hand.

Now, this may seem a weird strategy for you to implement, but it works every time.

It must be some ancient magic at play in people’s minds.

When you have something that looks like an alcohol-free drink in your hand, and you look like you’re enjoying it, the social pressure goes away.


Alcohol-Free Gin and Tonic is a great options at parties

Alcohol and social pressure are massive.

You are just expected to drink regardless of your reasons for not doing so. 

So having an alcohol-free gin or non-alcoholic beer throws people off the scent.

Now before you say it tastes awful.

You’re right. It did, but there is an alcohol-free drinks revolution going on with massive marketing budgets and new technology making alcohol-free drinks not just passable but very good.

No, they are not alcoholic, of course, but even the alcohol-free sparkling wine tastes good.

I was hoping you could read my review of my favourite alcohol-free sparkling.

Ironically it is the people who make alcoholic drinks that night be coming to your rescue.

The next day, check social media and gloat.

So parties don’t have to be a bad experience with these strategies.

So why go through that pre-pain or running through every challenge of why you are not drinking alcohol.

Check out your social media feed of everyone else the next day; it will make you pleased as an alcohol-free punch.

You can do things, and you are in a game of chess, and it’s yours for the taking.

You might ring ahead and get some alcohol-free drink options put on one side or rehearse your extreme but fun answers, so there is no comeback.

With that alcohol-free gin in your hand, providing it’s not a trigger to get drunk, you will be the belle of the ball.

And yes, you can dance like no one is watching. But, of course, they will be too drunk to do so.

How to stay sober at a party? Got a comment? Could you leave them below?

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