Reasons why people don’t drink alcohol
It’s a funny world really when you stop drinking alcohol. I did not realize it would be more of an issue than actually enjoying life as a social wine drinker. That was before it nearly killed me!
So what are the reasons why people don’t drink alcohol?
After a conversation with my taxi driver the other week who correctly observed I did not seem drunk after coming out the pub it got me thinking.
Firstly I should say Iove my chat with taxi drivers, generally that is!
He glanced in the rear view mirror and said “your sober not had many then”?
It makes me wonder if everyone who left a pub was either sick on the back of his cab or rolling around uncontrollably due to alcohol.
I actually really felt for him at that point.
The fact was I had had a few bottles of zero alcohol beer and that was it! I don’t actually drink alcohol not for any other reason than it could kill me. Simple eh?
Are you a Muslim? He asked very politely. No I said I am not. Maybe a Christian then or maybe a Buddhist?
As he knows lots of Muslims and Buddhists apparently he said he was very qualified to know my background. At which point I was hoping that he stopped going through every religion on earth.
Actually I am not very religious at all but even I resorted to praying at this point. I said firmly with a smile, “no my drinking has nothing to do with my religion”!
I felt that I was in full interrogation mode at this point and as I probably know more Muslims and Christians than Buddhists I might opt for a mix of the two and explain it away in that sense.
But no I thought I would come clean and say they unthinkable.
“I have liver disease and if I drink I will die”. I have learned to be upfront about my liver disease as it much easier than trying to pass myself off as some religious guru.
I thought that might be the end of it but alas no!
He then decided to say that if it was for religious reasons that would be OK. “I hope it would be”, I replied!
At this point I thought it best I not say I was baptized as a Methodist and Welsh. That would be another very long conversation.
Instead, I bored him with the symptoms of my liver disease and that kept the journey interesting.
The fact is many people do not drink alcohol for various reasons and heaven forbid it is just because they don’t like it. But say you have liver disease and it certainly stops the conversation dead or they turn you into a “make believe alcoholic of some kind”.
To be honest I have reached the stage that nothing surprises me anymore.
Apart from my liver giving in I sometimes think it would be easier to drink, you certainly get fewer questions! It seems people only think you have a problem when you give up alcohol. Surely it should be the other way around?
I have had a few too many = yeah what you like?
I don’t drink – oh do you have a problem?
You don’t use alcohol because of religion
I don’t actually think you should be asked lots of questions if you don’t drink because of religion.
It’s a very personal matter and yet very often as it becomes a core topic of conversation when it comes down to alcohol. You don’t drink because of your religious beliefs and that seems fair enough so I never really get why people don’t get it.
After all, why get into a conversation about it if they are a non-drinker especially if its a personal matter and their right to do so. Its hardly encroaching on someones human rights is it?
If you don’t drink for religious reasons you may also have had a similar interrogation to me in that cab.
At the end of the day I rarely see people at a bar going on about their beliefs regarding religion. It is normally the other way around.
There are many religions around the world where drinking is not part of that beliefs system although it is a complicated picture.
There are many religions like Islam and Mormonism where it is not allowed but then many other religions put it at the heart of ceremonies like communion in the Christian Church for example.
I always show the deepest respect even though I am not religious as I said which is why if you are in the service business it probably best not asking otherwise (like my experience) it can get really awkward.
They want to have a healthy lifestyle
This is a no brainer to be honest as we know that cutting back drinks even a few a week can be good for your health.
From liver disease, to aging, mental health and even some cancers. Now it is not me saying this it’s the health experts.
Having said that in my experience most people in this category just want to be healthier full stop and don’t really think about the bigger picture. So the last thing they need is a 10 or 20 questions about their decisions.
Very often it can relate to a hobby such as cycling, running or maybe it’s just a way of having less of a hangover. I often get asked about the way to fast track a hangover and there is not one.
The liver takes one hour per unit of alcohol and nothing can speed it up. People who opt for a healthier lifestyle know this. So they don’t try and sort out a hangover they just decide not to get one.
You just choose not to drink alcohol
How come you don’t drink, says a friend to a friend and the answer of course is that I just don’t want to !
It seems pretty simple but then again it takes a lot of guts to say it in an alcohol based world.
It’s a bit like being asked why I am left-handed and would it be better if I wasn’t. Yep right!
However, for those in the category of “I just choose just not too” it seems there is help at hand. A recent survey worked on by Bristol and Newcastle University noted that people when given a great alternative will choose that alternative.
It seems the reason people don’t go for the no alcohol options because of the perception that the quality is just not good enough.
Seems fair enough given the history of alcoholic alternatives and taste.
However, the tide is changing with everything from fizz, wine and beer now available so choice is getting better. However, in the real world these are often still difficult to purchase though not so much at home with the benefit of online ordering.
There is also now a massive trend amongst younger people that just says “I am fine not drinking, thank you”, so eventually these trends will come through. Here’s hoping.
People choose not to drink alcohol because they just don’t want to too and you don’t need liver disease or a religion to be able to say that.
To save money
This is often overlooked but actually it is more common than we may at first think. People take a look at their outgoings generally through working with a coach and write down what they spend in order to do something.
If you have read the book concerning the notion of a “coffee millionaire” you will know what I mean by this. Put away the cost of buying a coffee each day and it soon mounts up and invested carefully it could make you a lot of money.
I have not tried it personally yet but I do get theory.
The results can be quite spectacular once people realize that just by giving up a few drinks per week it can soon stack up and contribute to the rent, mortgage, holidays, or just that new gadget that you have meant to buy.
Once people realize that giving up alcohol and making the switch can get you things that you have wanted for ages something clicks in the brain and off you go on an alcohol free or reduced alcohol lifestyle.
It’s actually very empowering for people.
You start to see the benefits of giving up alcohol beyond health as bizarre as that may seem!
One slight downside is that unless you are just going to drink soft drinks and water which is of course great, the price of alcoholic free drinks is rising.
Brewers and drinker producers have seen the dollar signs and an alcohol free lifestyle is certainly more expensive now than when I started it.
And I am less than 2 years in!
It is now not unusual for a bottle of alcohol free gin to cost more than an alcohol free one. Now I get the quality of the ingredients is good and in fact exceptional in many ways but maybe becoming alcohol free is not as cheap as it maybe was a few years ago.
Then again there was very little choice and now that is increasing hopefully the competitive market will kick in to help those in either just cutting down or giving up!
Its affecting your behaviour
From brain fog to aggressive behaviour there is no doubt that alcohol affects the way we are in terms of our behaviour.
Now of course for many of us that is fine and we can go about life in a happy-go-lucky way but too much alcohol can lead to a very frantic lifestyle.
My recommended program to reduce your drinking is below and Mark and the team run and excellent downloadable course you can use whenever you wish to do so. I rate it 10/10.
It is an affiliate link to support the blog but you pay the same.
Even in the UK the cost to the NHS ( National Health Service ) of alcohol runs into billions of pounds £3.5 billions pounds in fact and that is a lot of money treating blackouts to domestic abuse.
The cost keeps rising and yet alcohol remains at the heart of many societies today.
It may be because you can’t remember where you woke up, who with or where you put your wallet or purse last night. The list is endless and sooner or later people say enough is enough and decide to cut back on their alcohol intake.
That said the last thing anyone wants is to go into a bar and be questioned about all those things. Do you really want someone to tell you that whole story!
It could kill you!
Now this group may not be as simple as you first think.
For me it is pretty straight forward as I have liver disease and it’s not reversible. The last thing the liver needs is any more alcohol as any further deterioration could mean it stops working or I could get internal bleeding.
Oh the glamour!
You would think that was enough for people not to encourage you to drink. Of course that is not always the case. You still get 20 questions followed by “but one won’t harm”?
What goes with that is the rumor that I must have been an alcoholic while in reality I was a social wine drinker and combined with food and stress it meant my liver started to fail.
Many people with liver issues have never drunk it in their lives but other conditions such as hepatitis can mean the liver also starts to fail.
Sometimes as in my friend’s wife they just don’t know the cause.
And no she did not drink!
So as you see it is not a good idea for those people to make assumptions about liver failure or why people don’t drink alcohol. There could be many reasons just as there might be many reasons for liver failure.
They can be varied and yet people still assume lots and lots.
So in reality I like to sum up why people can’t drink into the following categories which is the reason this blog was created in the first place. I like to sum it up as :
- People who can’t
- People who don’t want to
- People who choose not to
It’s kind of helpful but of course all three get judged in some way and as a coach it is one of the times when asking a question is probably the least helpful.
As for the taxi driver as nice as he was, I just don’t drink alcohol OK? It should not have to be questions based on assumptions or maybe I am being harsh?
I would love to know your thoughts on reasons why people don’t drink alcohol. Let me know the reasons you don’t drink or is asking going against what I advise you to not ask?
Regardless if you drink or don’t drink, just leave a message below as I always get back to you on your comments. By the way in terms of taxi drivers and reasons why people don’t drink alcohol, well I still love chatting really!