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What to say and do with your friends when you’re not drinking

When embarking on your journey to sobriety, there’s one hurdle to overcome before you can live your best AF life – telling your friends you’re ‘no longer drinking’. If you have always been the life and soul of the party or the up-for-anything kinda person, this can feel like a huge obstacle to overcome. From the feeling of lost identity to the worry that your friends are no longer getting the ‘you’ they signed up for, it is important to find new ways to navigate your friendships away from alcohol and present your new shiny self to the world. 

Here are our top tips on what to say and do with your friends when you’re skipping the alcohol:

 

1. Be honest

The more honest you are with yourself in regards to ‘not drinking’, the more rewarding and deeper your friendships will become. Letting people know the why behind your sobriety gives them a chance to understand your reasoning and support you on this. You will be surprised when your friends know your why, how much more they will support your choice.

2. Suggest fun activities

Suggest other ideas away from your usual drinking environments that could be fun for everyone involved. Go to an exercise class, meet for brunch, go for a walk and grab coffee. This can also be a good thing for your friendships as it gives you both an opportunity to do something new together and get to know each other on a deeper level (AKA not just getting smashed).  

3. Set boundaries

Be realistic. For example, if you are going on a boozy night out and you know everyone will be drinking, manage expectations and let them know you will be attending but not be staying the whole night. If it’s something that is too triggering, remember you can politely decline and schedule a lunch for a future date. Don’t feel like you have to attend everything you get invited to.

4. Don’t worry if they don’t get it

Sometimes people won’t get it and just like life, friendships ebb and flow. There will be some people that you may feel disconnected to when you make such a big life change but there will be others you will grow closer to, who better support you. It’s okay to let people go – it frees up space for you and for new friends to flow in.