When you don’t drink alcohol

Here are some of the top 7 things people say to you when you don’t drink alcohol.

You think it would be the opposite so maybe a pat on the back or a hurrah well done but not generally.

Here are the things I have experience as someone who now enjoys an alcohol free lifestyle.

Its said so often to me that now I really rehearse my answers!

The fact is we have a funny relationship with alcohol.

Most people do drink alcohol and many do it with a good lifestyle balance in mind.

However, there are a lot of double standards as people who drink often judge others more than other drinkers.

I guess its just human nature.

Although sometimes it can verge on the bizarre!

“My father was a big drinker”

Now he may have been and it may have been awful. My parents both drank heavily. But why tell me when I am buying an alcohol free beer?

Maybe it’s a distraction or maybe they feel I could sympathize and of course, I do but it often happens when I am in the most inappropriate places.

My father was a big drinker

I just walked up to a bar once and said to the barman:

What alcohol free 0.0 beers do you have?”

His response was “ I get it my father was a big drinker!”

So I go back with , “oh OK and what alcohol free beers do you have?”

The irony is they actually often don’t have anything on offer!

Apart from its slightly bizarre I could be asking for somebody else, I might be driving, got an early start or I might be the first pregnant woman ever so who knows!

The fact is people often ask for alcohol free beers for lots of different reasons.

It does make a change from the other one I get which is “what’s the point?” with that following stare and I just remind them I’m a customer regardless.

Its always good to work out how much alcohol you do drink. Check your alcohol limit out with drink aware

“One won’t matter”

I am often upfront about not drinking and my big love for alcohol free choices.

After all I spend a lot of time managing a blog about it!

I have realized if I am not leading the way talking about why it’s a good option then who will?

Especially when the pressure is so high to drink alcohol.

When You Don't Drink Alcohol

However, here is the thing.

Even though very often people know that my reasons for not drinking alcohol relate to a serious health one they still push alcohol my way.

Its not that I am running a marathon or just don’t want a hangover the next day.

It could literally cause my early death!

Yet people will still say “one won’t matter!” And I have never worked out quite why.

Maybe alcohol is so wired into everyday social living. What do you think?

“Do you mind if I ask why you don’t drink?”

Now actually this is probably OK if you like talking about yourself. Which is fine!

To be honest after I went alcohol free it was actually a novelty. And I am kind of OK with it now.

After all I see myself as a champion of alcohol free so why would I not talk about it.

However, the difference is when it is asked with the hidden agenda of “judgment” so you can find yourself defending your lifestyle rather than explaining it.

If the intent is a good one I actually enjoy talking specifically about the alcohol free brands and getting the message out there.

And pubs and restaurant need to know there is a big market out there otherwise choice will continue to be stifled.

Talking About Alcohol Free

This can be a real personal choice for you if you are cutting back on the alcohol or cutting it out all together.

It really depends on why they ask and what the other persons intent is.

It can make the different to whether you enjoy talking about it or not!

“Is it a religious thing?”

Am a Muslim, devout Christian or Methodist? I have had it all!

Actually I am none of those but people often play the religious card rather than accepting that I just don’t drink. Its a big one with taxi drivers for some reason.

I think people who drink lots of alcohol like to qualify it in some way and it seems putting me in a “religious box” helps with that.

By the way if you are religious and don’t drink I am not judging that either as many of the readers of the blog don’t drink for that reason and that’s cool.

It’s just weird people jump to that conclusion really quickly.

Of course when I say it’s because of my health then it often goes to the common question which is “did you have a problem?”

Bizarrely it seems easier to ask the religious question first.

“You must struggle, do you never fancy just one?”

I think this comes from people you are with who are feeling a bit uncomfortable with you having no alcohol drink in your hand.

To them it looks odd.

When You Don't Drink Alcohol

I recently joined a marketing training mastermind group which met on a Friday early evening. One of the key aspects of that meeting or get together was a “wine alcohol Friday ” where you relieve the stress of the week that has just gone!

Of course, I was the only one without a drink.

The answer is alcohol free wine in the form of a brilliant Spanish Alcohol free wine.

You can read my review of alcohol free Torres wine here

As soon as I had a glass of something in my hand and also the fact I was using a wine glass the question went away.

I could go on the group call explaining of course but sometimes I just can’t be bothered!

The same rules apply if you are out in a bar. My favorite alternative is a glass of alcohol free gin and tonic which thank goodness appears more in some bars than alcohol free wine.

Bars often do and Gin and Free T and when this has some lemon, lime and garnish no-one even bats an eyelid.

It is also good for calorie watching by the way if you are using a low calorie tonic water like Fever Tree Light.

You can read my review of my favorite Alcohol Free Gin or Spirit here.

Yes it is not the cheapest option out there but it’s full of quality and stops those funny looks.

So you can say I fancy one but that one is an alcohol free one!

Alcohol Free Gin and Tonic

“Were you drinking first thing in the morning?”

The thing is people laugh when I say people say this but I had so many people tell me on the blog that they had this asked of them as well.

When you say you don’t drink alcohol people often have a vision of you on a park bench with a bottle or two.

The reality is people who do alcohol free lifestyle do so for so many reasons:

  • They choose not to drink
  • Can’t drink
  • Don’t want to drink

And the list goes on. From driving to running a marathon there are many reasons people fancy an alcohol free beer.

Drinking Alcohol in the morning

Yes of course some people opt out because of so called problem drinking but most of the people I chat to were not drinking alcohol on the way to work they just want to cut back.

However, people often go for the most extreme version of it so I now just brush those kinds of comments off or really embellish it:

“Yes on my favorite bench in the park at 8am and I loved it”

People are never quite sure what to say to that. Which brings me nicely onto !

You must have had a problem?

Now of course what is a drinking problem? Do you have to drink alcohol free to have had a problem?

Of course not.

Very often people don’t like to say to the Doctor what their weekly limit is and here in the UK you are talking no more than 14 units per week.

Problem Drinking

In fact one of my colleagues came back from the doctors once having been honest about their alcohol intake only to be told that she was probably an alcoholic.

She was shocked but actually her intake of wine in the week was a few large glasses of wine when she got in from work.

Of course, she let her hair down at the weekend.

In my experience people who point to problem drinkers generally are drinking too much themselves!

Remember one unit is just one standard drink not a pint of beer but a half and a standard glass of wine.

We have become so accustomed to having a large glass of wine and getting the whole bottle of wine free that we don’t think anything about it.

Yes I gave up alcohol because of my health but I was just a social drinker with friends really and certainly not on the park bench we talked about earlier!

In the current world alcohol as an addiction is really no different to chocolate or extreme sport as an addiction.

Chocolate Can Also be an Addiction


Yet it is seen very differently and it is certainly less emotive!

It’s easy to fall into any addiction and of course each one has a bigger or lesser effect on our health.

Alcohol is up at the tip of them unfortunately.

Alcohol and Hypnosis

One of the best online courses to do with addiction that I champion on the blog is from a brilliant coach and therapist called Mark Tyrrell who I have worked with previously.

From chocolate to alcohol in terms of mild addiction he has it covered.

The course can also be used anywhere safe with a set of headphones from a tablet, mobile or desktop.

I have put an affiliate link below and yes I get a small commission but if you read about it and use it I would love to know what you think.



Please come back and let me know.

What have people said to you when you don’t drink?

I would love to know if you have ever decided to cut back on alcohol or in fact give it up altogether.

What did people say to you?

How did you deal with it and did you care?

Of course keeping the benefits of cutting back on alcohol in your mind is always a good idea. However, never force others to do the same as that strategy just makes it worse!

Leave your comment below on when you don’t drink alcohol as I love hearing your views and thoughts!

4 thoughts on “When you don’t drink alcohol”

  1. Thank you for this article, 
    and great examples as to why people
    discourage alcohol and generally alcoholism.
    Having grown up, I have always seen alcohol
    as a very cultural thing, and that of course means
    that it is something you should enjoy and take pleasure from,
    as it is a very social thing to drink together,
    and I would most definitely discourage drinking alone,
    as that generally can lead to excessive drinking.
    Taking everything one at a time, and drinking
    at social events perhaps a drink or two does not hurt
    so remember: Do everything in moderation,
    and know when to stop drinking.

    Good job!

    • Great advice Leon, and some great stand out tips in there as well. 

      Everything in moderation is a great mantra to have. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on when you don’t drink alcohol.

      Much appreciated, Thankyou! Phil

  2. Great article. I think it really shows exactly how deeply dependent on alcohol our society actually is. I very rarely drink and if I do it’s usually a shot or two of something or maybe a glass of champagne on a special occasion. Beyond that I never drink, but I actually started drinking more when I changed social circles at work. We’d go out on a late Friday night and have a few drinks at Applebee’s before they closed. It wasn’t a terrible experience but I felt like I was doing it more to fit in rather than doing it because I actually enjoyed it. I’ve honestly been thinking about dropping alcohol entirely since I very rarely drink anyways.  

    • Thanks for an upbeat and self aware comment Rachel. Yes social networks both work and otherwise can be a major factor for alcohol comsumption.

      I often hear those stories about work based drinking which is one of the reason I am such a big fan of alcohol free drinks. It can really take the pressure off especially on a Friday night!

      I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting on When you don’t drink alcohol. All the very best, Phil


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