21 Annoying Misconceptions That Non-Drinkers Would Like To Clear Up
"Lots of people assume you’re being sober *at* them, instead of doing it for yourself. I just want people to separate my choices from their habits."
1. First of all, don't assume the reason someone doesn't drink — because there are way too many to count.
2. For example, some people don't drink because of medical conditions or medications that don't react well with alcohol.
"Not all of us are non-drinkers by choice. I have a genetic condition that affects my body’s ability to process alcohol." —omgitsaclaire
3. Others are sober to support the sobriety of partners or loved ones.
"I’m sober in an effort to support my husband’s sobriety. As his partner I felt it was my duty to support him on this lifelong journey." —rmiller
4. And some abstain because of their faith.
"My reason for not drinking IS religious, but that is not an invitation for you to debate my faith with me. Particularly while you are drunk." —roonifer
5. Others don't drink to save money.
"I substituted drinking for traveling. I didn’t realize how much money it saves me until my colleagues asked how I afforded my annual trips and I realized that not having those weekends where I spend hundreds on alcohol quickly adds up." —kayleao
6. Or tbh, because they hate the taste.
"SO NASTY! Not worth the money or the calories if it tastes that bad." —jennyr4f9257e67
7. Some non-drinkers used to drink but they've, you know, grown out of it.
"I partied and drank way too much in my 20s, and my body can’t handle it anymore. I don’t want a two-day hangover." —danielleh66
8. And some people don't drink because...they just don't want to! There doesn't have to be a big ol' reason for it.
"People almost always act like there’s some dark secret they need to unlock when they learn I don’t drink. There’s not. Some people just don’t enjoy drinking, and the conversation should stop there." —beccers
9. Of course, some people *are* sober because of a personal or family history of substance abuse.
"My parents were functioning alcoholics and I'm pretty sure I could turn into them if I let myself. No amount of fun is worth doing that to my own kids." —thegreatcatsby33
10. So if someone who is sober doesn't wanna talk about why they're sober, leave it at that.
11. Non-drinkers aren't judging you for drinking, so please don't feel self-conscious or defensive.
"Just because I choose not to drink doesn't mean I'm some judgmental holy roller." —kellinicoleb
12. In fact, it really, really has nothing to do with you.
"Lots of people assume you’re being sober *at* them, instead of doing it for yourself. I just want people to separate my choices from their habits." —magw
13. Please have a variety of non-alcoholic beverages at your parties and get-togethers, because water and leftover mixers get really boring.
14. People try to pressure sober people into drinking all the time — so if you're tempted to be like, "Just have one!" maybe just...don't.
"I cannot just have one. I'm a recovering alcoholic and one leads to more and more. People are always trying to get me to 'just have one.' Respect my decision without me having to give the whole alcoholism story!" —thetasigma
15. And — I can't believe this has to be said — don't try to trick non-drinkers into liking alcohol. Because people do this apparently???
"I've had 'friends' spike my drinks or claim they ordered me a soda, just to find out it's a rum and coke. As if I wouldn't be able to taste hard alcohol?? Bish, please. I've learned through many hard trials that your real friends won't judge you — just as you wouldn't judge them." —jessleamaloney
16. For a lot of non-drinkers, being around alcohol isn't a problem.
"It doesn't bother me when you drink in front of me...and if it does, I'll tell you! But honestly 95% of the time I PREFER the people I'm with to drink alcohol as they normally would. First of all, drunk people are usually hilarious. And second of all, it makes me feel a lot better when everyone around me feels and acts normally and as they would act if I was still drinking." —annas4cca9aa77
17. But just because they're okay being around alcohol doesn't mean they wouldn't appreciate a break from booze-focused socializing.
"For the love of all that is holy, mix it up every once in a while and ask your sober friends to meet you somewhere other than a bar or a happy hour. Having to drink sad flat soda whenever we see you is not as much fun as you might think." —oalice5678
18. Non-drinkers still like going out! And having fun! And tbh, it's wild that so many people believe they can't have fun unless they're drunk.
"I have been alcohol-free for two years, and I still love to go out! I don’t drink because I like to be aware, I don’t lose things, get sick/tired/emotional, look like a mess, or worry the next day that I did/said something stupid. I save a ton of money, and do not have to worry about getting home. I don’t mind being asked why I don’t drink, but I hate when people act like you can’t/don’t go out anymore." —cleopatrareborn
19. So don't stop inviting them places because you assume they don't want to be around alcohol.
"I'm very open about being a recovering alcoholic. Unfortunately, people think they shouldn't invite me to things like having dinner with coworkers, or going out on weekends because it will make me uncomfortable. Trust me, if I'm not comfortable with a situation I'll tell you. Hellooo, leaving me out because of your assumptions is RUDE!" —s496453fe1
20. Some non-drinkers are happy to be designated drivers, but don't assume that they always will be.
"Just because I’m sober does not mean I am your ride home. Order an Uber!" —laurenr4203d9c56
21. At the end of the day, declining a drink shouldn't be a big deal at all, so curb your instinct to ask follow up questions or make it a Thing.
"It should be the same as declining a food you don't like." —madisonb4aac924b0
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, check out the resources available on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or talk to a representative on their free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline by calling 1-800-662-HELP.