It's often useful to have excuses to give when you're not drinking. Of course, you should just be able to decline a drink without giving reasons, but sometimes people can be annoying and won't just accept that you don't want one. Our culture often revolves around drinking, and people who choose not to participate are seen as boring. That's silly, but won't change overnight. So here are some handy excuses to give when you're not drinking …
This is one of the classic excuses to give when you're not drinking. It's something that people just can't argue with, as alcohol is contraindicated with many medications. People also tend not to want to ask questions about medical issues, so the chances are they won't ask why you're on meds. And if they do, you can just be suitably vague.
Don't use this excuse with people who know you don't have a car, as it will just look silly, but if you are actually driving, it's a great excuse. It's just not worth the risk to drink anything when you're driving. If you don't like alcohol it could be worth volunteering to be the designated driver. This excuse is also a useful one for people who don't know you but who keep trying to get you to have a drink.
Some people just simply don't like alcohol. So if you're confident enough not to worry about what people think (non-drinkers can be unfairly labelled 'party-poopers'), just tell people flat out that you don't like it. If they persist and ask why, just shrug and repeat that you just don't. You don't have to justify why you're not fond of it; it's a good enough reason on its own.
Sure, it's fun to share a few drinks with friends, like a bottle of wine with dinner, but smart people don't need alcohol to have a good time. If you're questioned on why you don't want a drink, you could simply say that you don't feel any need to drink. If they then take that as a criticism (some people do), that's their problem.
You could also say that you've already had a drink. Even people who think that a drink or two is essential may recognise that there's a point at which it's sensible to stop. Pretend that you've already reached that point, and say that you never have more than one or two drinks.
As well as medication, you could also use 'medical reasons' as an excuse for not drinking. Again, you don't need to specify; good manners will prevent most people from asking nosy questions about what these medical issues are. At most you can say that your doctor has recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol for a while.
Finally, you can try this useful all-purpose excuse. Just say 'Not tonight, thanks'. This on its own may be enough to stop any further questions. If people do ask why, you can employ any one of the previous excuses. If someone offers to buy you a drink, opt for a soft drink or say 'another time, thanks'.
You should be able to decline an alcoholic drink without needing to give excuses, but some people find it strange that you wouldn't want to drink, especially on a special occasion. Pick one of these excuses beforehand to stop people insisting that you drink when you don't want to. Are you someone who just doesn't like drinking?
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