How to deal with the pressures from friends, family and others now that you’ve quit drinking

How to deal with the pressures from friends, family and others now that you’ve quit drinking


The first point you need to remember is that we live in a completely alcohol centric society. It is literally surrounding us all the time from ladies that lunch to after-dinner drinks to boozy weekend get-togethers and our culture creates this environment that alcohol must be included in all these different aspects for anyone to have fun.

Alcohol may be a social lubricator, a societal norm, and a multibillion-pound industry, but it’s now something you have decided you no longer want and with that sometimes comes a stigma and attitude from others.

By quitting drinking you are no longer conforming to what is expected of you in society and this brings out different reactions from the people around you.

What you need to realise is that by quitting drinking you have educated yourself on all the dangers and negative impact that drinking does but the people around you that still continue to drink, have not done this and so are in a different place.

When dealing with people’s reactions to you no longer drinking, you must understand that those who defend alcohol the loudest are often the people that are most concerned about how much they drink and will probably be the ones that have the biggest fear about stopping. These people can be intimidated by the fact that you have overcome the fear of no longer having alcohol in your life and all the positives you are demonstrating of living life sober, because you are no longer in controlled by the addiction.

Some people that you used to connect with when used to drink with them may now experience feelings of jealousy that you are no longer sharing drinking time with them and that you are no longer influenced and controlled by drink. They won’t like the fact that they still are, and don’t know what to do about freeing themselves from their addiction to alcohol, and this can cause them to have negative reactions towards you, try to see this for what it is and don’t take any comments personally, they are only projecting onto you their own issues and fears.

Other friends or family members that you come into contact with may not have known that you were unhappy with your drinking and so may act in a surprised manner and imply that you must have had a problem if you’ve had to stop drinking, they won’t understand that it’s that you actually wanted to make a positive change in your life and you see drinking and alcohol for what it actually is so with this situation you need to practice some level of compassion to those that don’t really truly understand your situation and if you feel you want to, you can take time to explain the reasons why you’ve quit drinking, or you can move on and express the excitement that you are now feeling with the positive change you’ve made in your life and not spend further time reflecting on the past.


You will find yourself facing situations all the time that involve alcohol, you need to remember that you have the choice you can make the decision, and you don’t have to put yourself in a situation where you’re going to feel uncomfortable. You may now find that going out to certain places with certain people you find boring because you’re not sat there getting drunk and you don’t want to be around other people that are just interested in just getting drunk, and that’s okay , that’s fine, it’s all about this change and you can do exactly what you want to do.

You will most definitely come across some people and they may even be in your family, that drink themselves but are in complete denial that they drink in an unhealthy manner and certainly feel probably embarrassed now that you’ve quit drinking because they no longer have you as an ally to drink with, you are no longer in the camp doing what they do, and that will make them feel uncomfortable, what will also make them feel uncomfortable is the fact that you’ve recognised alcohol for being the poisonous destructive fluid that it is and in doing that it highlights to them the negatives that they deep down know exist with their drinking but don’t want to face. In this situation you must just feel proud, proud of yourself that you have made the change and if other people feel uncomfortable with this then that’s their problem you are now free from alcohol enjoy every second of it.


You will find that your real genuine friends will be over the moon that you have given up drinking. The reason being is that your true friends who love you for who you are , and only ever want the best for you and if they are true friends they’ve probably known that you’ve been unhappy with drinking, they probably have known that you’ve been controlled by alcohol and desperately wanted to do something but not yet got to that stage. So, when your true friends find out that you are sober they will not be nothing but supportive and proud of you.

Becoming sober opens up a completely whole new world for you and yes you may find that some friends you no longer have things in common with now that you don’t drink together, that’s okay that’s part of the change, what will happen is as your life gets fuller with more positive activities so too will new friendships be created, and those friendships will be with people who come into your life because of the new way you’re living it, alcohol free.

Dealing with pressures from others friends, family, work colleagues can be made a bit easier if you have a few one-liners up your sleeve it’s always good to be prepared and then if you find yourself in a slightly awkward or difficult situation where someone is possibly questioning you as to why you no longer drink if you have a few comments or sentences that you feel happy with to respond to peoples questioning ready and at the forefront of your mind, it really does make situations a lot a lot easier to deal with.


I’ve listed below some suggestions you could possibly use

I’ve been feeling a bit rundown so I’m not drinking now

I’m on I’m on antibiotics

I’m doing a monthly challenge

I’m trying to be a bit more healthy

I have an important meeting at work tomorrow

I’m driving

I had a heavy night last night so giving it a miss today

I’ve got a be up early in the morning so need to keep my energy levels

There are also some other slightly more blunt replies you could choose to use should you want to take that approach, and these are

I don’t drink

I hate the taste of alcohol

Alcohol gives me a massive headache

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