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10 ways to avoid drinking when you don’t want to

By Quarterlife readers


Boozing seems to be a topic on a lot of our minds at the moment; with 25% of us choosing to become “non-drinkers”. Even if you drink, the pressure and day-after-dred can make it a bloody minefield.


When we asked you guys on Instagram last week about drinking - whether you do it, whether you feel forced to do it, and whether you have any tips for people who want to avoid doing it on nights when they really don’t want to - your responses came flooding in.


Nine in every ten of us drink. Six in every ten of us feel forced to drink when we don’t want to. And loads of you had brilliant suggestions on how to avoid being put in that situation. We’ve even tried and tested some of your techniques here at Quarterlife.


We’ve put together the 10 tips from you, our brilliant readers, to help you stay firm on going booze-free without feeling the pressure, the temptation or the sense of disappointment which makes you feel like you’re somehow letting someone else down by deciding not to drink (which, by the way, you’re totally not).


  1. Order a lime and soda and say it’s a G&T. Not that you should have to fake it, but sometimes it makes things easier.

  2. After the first drink, it’s much easier - drink something you really enjoy with loads of flavour.

  3. Always try to go to the bar on your own (on the way back from the loo is easiest) and insist on buying your own drinks.

  4. Turn other peoples’ comments on them (in a jokey way, not an aggy way). Ask them why THEY are so bothered by you not drinking.

  5. Stand your ground. Most people accept it nowadays and/or think it’s cool, so don’t be afraid to be loud and proud about it.

  6. Find a non-alcoholic drink you don’t usually drink and make that your bar go-to. It’ll feel special and different in the way that alcohol does, without the alcohol!

  7. Tell someone else you don’t want to drink so they can hold you accountable.

  8. Be the DD (designated driver). Or find friends to go out with that won’t pressure you to drink!

  9. Nap as your pre-game and keep the caffeine up throughout the night.

  10. If you’re not having a fun time, it’s ok to leave.

Image from unknown Pinterest artist.

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