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Over 21 peer drinking pressure?

Look, I'm an adult. I'm over 21. I know what my body can and cannot handle. Its not even the drunkage issue. I simply can not process the alcohol without my entire body going crazy and It runs in my family. So why why why am I always being pressured to "Have a glass, relax." even after numerous denials? And don't give me that look or act to be personally insulted when I do. You would think adults listen? Do I have to take a glass, be evidently poisoned to show you? Does one have to eat a peanut to show their peanut allergy??? They will continue to pressure at every event. Yes the same ones! Does anyone else go through this? How and what is the best ways to handle this?

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  1. What kinds of situations are you talking about? Social? Work? I'm just curious because I have American friends who've worked in London (in finance-type jobs) who say that there's immense pressure to drink with colleagues. One friend, upon returning to the US, said he couldn't even bear to have a beer when we went out to dinner because he'd overdone it so much in London. He actually sounded really upset about it. He couldn't keep up.

    In social situations, though, I usually find that a smiling "No thanks" or "No thanks, I'll have a Coke" is the best response, even if you have to repeat it a few times. No requirement that you explain yourself.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Kagey

      I'm with Kagey on this. A simple, demure "no, thanks, just a Coke please" is all you need to say. If anyone is still rude enough to press the issue, just look slightly puzzled, and say "I'm sorry -- what's the problem?" In social situations, you can carry this off easily by just changing the subject, when the situation is with co-workers, its a little different (no need to offend the boss, even if he himself is offensive) but again, just changing the subject can work.

      There are other occasions when its just better to accept the drink, but not drink it. A toast at a wedding? Just raise your glass of champagne at the appropriate time, and then put it back down on the table while everyone else guzzles theirs.

      The best excuse that no one can argue with? Smile sweetly and say "No thanks ... I'm driving".

      1. re: Kagey

        Both work and social. As long as theres alcohol.

        1. re: DarthEater

          You have not seen pressure to drink until you travel to Asia for business.

          1. re: PeterL

            Or Russia!

            A friend who travels there often on business - he is not a teatotaller but a very sober, moderate drinker - says it is an utter minefield.

            1. re: lagatta

              In Russia: say you're Muslim (alcohol is haram, not that all Muslims abide by this but still). My partner was raised Muslim and is not religious, but that worked like a charm.

      2. I just tell them that they should be thankful to have a permanent DD. I stopped drinking after at bars after realizing that I can go out on the weekends without spending any money just by drinking only diet coke (most bars give DDs free soda). At first my friends kept trying to get me to drink with them but once they realized that they would never have to be DD they backed off.

        In other social situations when I don't feel like drinking, but I feel pressured to I nurse one drink the whole night.

        1. A couple of people in my life are in recovery and do not drink at all. I am shocked at the pressures people throw their way (not knowing they are in recovery). The worst is when servers repeatedly say things like "oh, come on. It is happy hour prices."

          One time we were in a group and the pressure to drink was coming on strong from a waitress. After several, "no, thanks Diet Coke is all I want" the other person got so frustrated he blurted out "look, I just got out of rehab, okay?" The waitress looked stunned and sheepishly walked away. After she left we all burst out laughing because I think she learned a valuable lesson. If you feel really sassy, you can always give that a try.

          1. My friend hates the taste of alcohol, and has made it widely known that this is the case. She makes the most atrocious face when offered. No one could possibly believe she's not 100% serious when she says it tastes gross. :)

            Another friend very pointedly says "No--health issues." People assume it's deathly serious because he's young and otherwise healthy. I don't know him well enough to ask but I strongly suspect it's more because he wants to stay healthy and is just sick of drinking alcohol from all the college binging, not that he's in serious danger. But who knows, he is good at keeping it vague.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Pei

              Pei, your first friend sounds just like my sister. I dont know how sis reacts when someone offers her a drink in a social setting, but when the family is together and alcoholic beverages are served, "would you like a glass of wine?" is met with "No, Im not an alcoholic." For the record, there are NO alcoholics in the family, and I doubt she knows any personally. Or maybe, since the rest of us in the family DO drink socially, she thinks we're ALL ready for rehab.

              1. re: Cheflambo

                In social situations I think you have every right to have your preferences honored. Just insist. (I like the "health issue" explanation.)

                When under pressure to drink in work situations, I have sometimes resorted to ordering a glass of wine. I let it sit on the table and at some point when no one is looking pour some out. It's unfair to be put in those kinds of situations but if you have higher-ups who are defensive about their drinking, making a stand can cost you. If someone happens to notice you're only pretending to drink you can say you are suddenly feeling a bit queasy.

                1. re: bibi rose

                  Something about having to pretend to drink really rubs me the wrong way. I know, it's totally subjective whether it's preferable to throw a drink out secretly or lie about health issues.

                  But I think this is key: if you're not going to drink, it's easier if you are the person who NEVER drinks. You can't sometimes drink a little, and then sometimes decide you're not going to. For some reason, that really irks people (yes, it's dumb). If you never start to begin with, then you're just the person who never drinks. Hopefully people will even back you up: "Oh, no, DarthEater never drinks (hint: don't even bother trying)."

                  Plus, you can't really use the "doctor's orders" excuse if people know you drink a little on occassion.

                  1. re: Pei

                    >>Something about having to pretend to drink really rubs me the wrong way.>>

                    Me too-- believe me. I hope the days when people are pressured into drinking at job-related events are coming to an end. That practice really is very harmful on all sorts of levels. I'm not even a teetotaler; I drink socially. I just think drinking and work don't mix very well. (Although, if your boss drinks heavily, you can often find out a lot of useful information from him/her.)

                    1. re: bibi rose

                      IN my catering days, more and more companies were opting for the cash bars at holiday parties and not promoting the open bar policy - or they would offer 2 drink tickets. I think this is a really wise idea not only for the attendees who may just want a soda, water, juice but from a liability standpoint.
                      Also, at the hotel I was at we always had an alternative for those who did not want champage or wine (non-alcohol) - if you are at a wedding , gala, or company party don't be afraid to ask!

                    2. re: Pei

                      Sure you can. We all take medications from time to time that say "no alcohol" so add a polite, "No, thanks- I can this week ." to your list of " shut-them-up fibs."

                      I have a family of alcoholics and occasionally take a month or more off my wine with meals to be sure I'm not slipping into needing it rather than enjoying it.

                    3. re: bibi rose

                      or at someone's home say: oh my gosh, the food was so good, i forgot to drink my wine.

                      and hope they don't guess you're just a little bit pregnant and not ready to announce it yet

                    4. re: Cheflambo

                      In reference to cheflambo's post: Well, intolerant non-drinkers are the other extreme...

                      1. re: Cheflambo

                        Refusing alcohol paradoxically MARKS you as an alcoholic! I was asked point blank when I ordered a mineral water at a bar: "are you an alcoholic?" (not by the bartender, by a jerk standing next to me). The logic is that only recovering alkies will refuse alcohol- so you sometimes have to qualify this.

                        1. re: Cheflambo

                          I had a boyfriend like that once. In my family we have a glass of wine before dinner at family gatherings. He was there for one of those dinners once, and I had one little glass of wine, and afterward he was all serious and telling me how terrible he thought that was. (No idea what his family dynamics were, other than that they were very religious in their own way.)

                      2. It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which total strangers like to tell me what to do. I don't drink because I can't -- I like it TOO much -- and my husband doesn't drink because, like you, it makes him feel really bad. For some reason, there is always a group of rude people who just aren't content with "no thanks." He's tried nursing drinks, only to have a waitress, come and check his "progress" and yell at him. I've found that I'm in possession of a rather intimidating dirty/haughty look that I employ during such occasions. As I overenunciate my order for Diet Coke, thank you. Also, during weddings I've found that if you pull a server to the side and ask for a nonalcoholic drink, you'll usually get one. Sparkling cider looks very close to champagne. But ultimately, don't worry about it. It's their problem, not yours and for the most part, people will leave you alone if you're clear and polite about not wanting to drink alcohol.

                        1. My twin sister and I have never acquired a taste for alcohol. Hard to say why not: the rest of the family likes its liquor, but, while some have drunk too much at some point in their lives, my sister and I never witnessed any alcohol-related problems. We could have worked at it, but really working at acquiring a taste for something that is expensive, high calorie, had the potential to make you lose control (not a good idea as a young woman college student in NYC), seemed silly.

                          I do OK now. Friends don't bother me that much about it, and they don't feel insulted because they know it's not that I'm a teetotaler mentally criticizing them for imbibing the demon rum (I used to work in a liquor store). But my sister lives in Dublin and it's a really big problem for her; people don't really accept the "no thanks" or the "I'll have a Coke" very well (we also don't like tea or coffee much, making another social ritual problematic for her). And, seeing so many people get so smashed so frequently makes drinking even less appealing for her. She's moving home soon.

                          1. My parents were heroin addicts in the 70's. I was thankfully given custody of to my great grandparents. My father went sober in the early 80's. My mother traded heroin for pills and then for her fifth of Smirnoff a day habit. Growing up and seeing all of that and having to rescue my mother every weekend because of her drunken stupidity made me make some decisions when I was still in my teens. Now in my 30's, I still rarely drink....maybe a margarita with some fajitas, a glass of wine at Christmas dinner, a mojito with girlfriends in the pool, a beer with wings while watching the Superbowl.

                            I have plenty of pushers...people that just go on and on and on, like it is hurting them that Im not getting wasted with them. I refuse to justify my reasoning for anything that I do to anyone for any reason. Period. After about the 10th time of politely declining I get a little shitty. That usually stops them in their tracks.

                            ChelleyD+justification of her life choices=NOT A CHANCE.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chelleyd01

                              I have never had anyone who doesn't drink to excess themselves insist that I drink with them. Offer a drink? Yes. Insist when I say no? Never. Those who insist after being told no are the ones who have the problem.

                            2. I think it is no one's business and extremely rude to pressure someone to drink if they simply say 'no thanks'. That should be all that need be said.

                              So, you shouldn't feel pressured. These people are rude!

                              But you knew that, I think.

                              I'd just continue to say 'no thanks' as often as it takes. However, if you must have a reason, there are plenty of people who never drink for religious reasons...have you tried just saying, 'no thanks, it is contrary to my religious beliefs' ? (if could be your own personal religion after all).

                              I am surprised by the level of pressure some of you report, however. Hubby recently was advised not to drink because of some medication he was taking, and went about eight months without alcohol. He was *never* pressured by wait staff in restaurants (even when I ordered drinks) and at social events, once he explained he was on the wagon for medical reasons, the pressure stopped.

                              Similarly, my daughter is Muslim and never drinks, and perhaps it is the hijab, but she is never pressured to drink...she has been offered a drink once or twice by a server who apparently doesn't get the meaning of the hijab, but she just smiles, politely declines, and that is the end of it.

                              I wonder if, as those of you discussing Great Britain imply, there are regional differences in the US: perhaps in the SF area there is less pressure than in some other areas? or maybe it is just the types of places I go to?

                              I do disagree with those that feel that you should take a glass of champagne and pretend to drink it at a wedding: again, some people have very strong religious or personal reasons not to drink. One can participate in a toast with fruit juice, sparkling grape juice, or just plain ole ice water!

                              BTW, dieting is another great excuse for not drinking...indeed, that is usually how I do lose weight, by cutting out those extra calories...

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: susancinsf

                                As an aside, toasting with water is considered bad luck within the Navy community (you know, drowning at sea and all).

                                Otherwise, back to the subject, I feel that having a beverage in hand stops people from asking if you want a drink. I only get asked if I want something when I am empty handed.

                                I tend to ask for a "gin and tonic-no gin, please"...I love tonic water...

                                1. re: Cathy

                                  yes, good point, I had forgotten that, though I have run across it as an issue once or twice when toasting on boats....(I spend a fair amount of time on boats though am not a Navy person by any means). Still, ginger ale or juice works...

                                2. re: susancinsf

                                  I think there are differences depending on where you live. I live in New Orleans, and it is totally the culture here for people here to go out and drink.

                                  Instead of meeting a friend at a coffee shop, we meet them at the bar. At restaurants, there are $.25 martini specials for lunch. It is just easier and cheaper and more accepted here - I kind of do question (internally) why someone isn't drinking if everyone else is, but I would never chastise them for not drinking.

                                  I think this is similar to the European mentality - in the UK, they're always at pubs, in France, they serve wine with every meal, etc. Not that everyone in Europe drinks, but it is more of an every day occurrance, so when someone doesn't drink, it might seem a little odd.

                                  I like the health reasons excuse. Or just a firm, I dont want to. I just cant imagine being pressured like that!

                                  1. re: cor

                                    Funny that you mention the coffee shop v bar thing. I cannot have caffeine. Even decaf coffee can make my heart beat too fast. And my coworkers are caffeine addicts. They drink coffee in the morning, energy drinks during the day (yuck), and in the hot days of summer made a big daily social event out of a trip to 7 11 for big gulps. I was definitely left out of a few workday social outings since my daytime drink of choice is good ole water. But if they suggested happy hour, I'd be all over it!

                                  2. re: susancinsf

                                    "...dieting is another great excuse for not drinking..."

                                    Yep. "Just water please, I'm saving the calories for dessert" is my standard line as a non-drinker. I get pressured all the time and it's no fun at all. Sometimes I use the "I'm driving" line if I think the calorie line will take the person I'm with down the "what are you, anorexic?" path (but that's another thread of frustrating peer pressure altogether).

                                    I'm glad to see this thread because as a chowhound I feel there are some that think I can't truly appreciate a meal without the wine pairing. (Anyone feel pressure when answering their current drink of choice profile question?) I opted not to go to a new restaurant opened by one of my favorite chef's because I felt it was promoted as a wine bar and I didn't feel like it was a place for me.

                                    1. re: creativeusername

                                      "(Anyone feel pressure when answering their current drink of choice profile question?)"

                                      I don't believe that it states favorite "alcoholic" drink.

                                      "I opted not to go to a new restaurant opened by one of my favorite chef's because I felt it was promoted as a wine bar and I didn't feel like it was a place for me."

                                      Why would you feel any different there than at any other restaurant with a significant wine and/ or beer list? There'd be a similar expectation to drink there as well right?

                                      Thanks

                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        Nope...it doesn't state alcoholic.

                                        Any other restaurant with a significant wine or beer list may not promote themselves as a wine bar and therefore doesn't make me think I'm expected to drink. Any restaurant that promotes themselves as a wine bar with a tapas menu will proabably not get my business. I've been to many restaurants that promote themselves as places to eat that incidentally have extensive alcohol selection and I feel perfectly comfortable dining there with no expectation to drink.

                                        1. re: creativeusername

                                          To me the only place that you would be "more expected" to drink is at say a "happy hour" mainly because of the drink specials ($1 drafts, 2 for 1 specials, etc). I can't imagine why a server would expect you or encourage you or anyone to drink more in a tapas/ wine bar restaurant versus at a standard restaurant. Has that been your experience?

                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            "Also the tapas bars that I've been to tend to have an average selection of alcohol while the wine bars try to have a much broader and eclectic one."

                                            Right...something I as a non-drinker really have no interest in.

                                            1. re: creativeusername

                                              But again this is typical of many many restaurants. Many of the greatest restaurants in the world have wine lists that are like a Manhattan phonebook. Would that keep you away from them as well?

                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                I didn't mean to imply that it was the extensive wine list that kept me away. It was their promotion of the establishment as a wine bar with an incidental menu that kept me away.

                                                1. re: creativeusername

                                                  ok besides using the term "wine bar" and serving "tapas" how else did this place promote itself that would lead you to believe that it would be more alcohol focused?

                                                  Thanks

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    I didn't think I needed more than that to feel that a place wasn't for me. If someone promotes an establishment as a bar with food I think they have a diffrerent priority than me as a non-drinking diner.

                                                    1. re: creativeusername

                                                      If that were only true then you'd have a point. I go to a tapas BAR in Philly called (oddly enough) BAR Ferdinand. As a matter of fact I was there once with my wife and a coworker with his wife (who doesn't drink as well). Here's how it went down.

                                                      We grabbed a booth and ordered for the table and shared the following:
                                                      1. Datiles Con Bacon - dates, bacon, cream cheese baked in puff pastry.
                                                      2. Patatas Rellenas Con Pure De Colifor Y Bacon - pureed cauliflower & bacon in fried potatoes
                                                      3. Patatas Bravas - fried potato spicy tomato sauce aioli
                                                      4. Manchego Frito Membrillo - stuffed fried Manchego cheese, frozen apple foam, walnut membrillo puree
                                                      5. Marisco - marinated shrimp, mussels, calamari, cockies, monkfish
                                                      6. Acaitunas soanish olives
                                                      7. Pato Confitado Con Sangria De Naranja - duck confit, orange sangria sauce, bitter orange toast
                                                      8. Flan De Cangrejo Y Esparragos - servory crab and asparagus flan
                                                      9. Surtido De Carnes - Sliced Serrano ham, chorizos, cured pork loin
                                                      10. Plato De Queso Assorted cheese plate, quince paste

                                                      And after finishing these we ordered a few more plates and were completely satisfied. The wives did have dessert and coffee and by the way my coworker’s wife had sparkling water all evening and oddly enough no one paid that the slightest mind (although her husband did offer her once a sip of his Rogue Chocolate stout which he said remarkably to him tasted of coffee).

                                                      So this notion of yours that if the word BAR is in the restaurants name and it serves small plates it suggests that everything is a mere pretense to drinking alcohol is completely inaccurate. And as a person who apparently enjoys good food you are doing yourself a terrible disservice when applying this basis to whether or not you will go to a particular restaurant.

                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                        yep. I'm sure you're right.

                                                        1. re: creativeusername

                                                          Great! Have a blast at the wine bar and get back to us!

                                                          Thanks!

                                  3. I rarely drink, but don't have that problem. Either I just say, "Not yet, thanks." Or - since you mention the "have a glass," I get something else - water, juice, coffee. I once nursed a glass of iced coffee for a couple of hours while everyone around me was downing multiple beers.

                                    And if they did it next time, I'd playfully poke them and tease them about their short memory.

                                    1. jfood does not drink and works in a drinking industry. Does he care if people ask him a thousand times about it. He merely answers "i do not drink." he owes no other explanation. he usually orders a sparkling water and nurses it though.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jfood

                                        good on ya, jfood. I do the same.

                                      2. Wow, i've never, ever had rude peer-pressure to drink, aside playful teasing from close friends. They all know due to meds I take, my drinking should be close to none. I do enjoy a cold beer or a glass of red wine with dinner every once and awhile, but i've never encountered a pushy waitress who "nagged" me to have a drink. I'm here in Las Vegas, and perhaps the cocktail servers in this city are more than happy to serve you a Coke, plain as opposed to a Rum and Coke. Even at a resto like Outback, with their 2-for-1 Happy Hour specials don't get pushy in trying to "get me to drink".

                                        I think I would bite back a rude retort, but just say "No thank you, i'm driving." That should be enough to put a waitress/waiter who was too pushy, or am I wrong in thinking this? My medical history is none of their business, and it's not something I volunteer out of the blue.

                                        I have also heard other countries like the UK and Australia might have a bigger "have a beer with the guys, don't be a wet-blanket and not drink" mentality. Is it just a misconception, tho?

                                        1. You're being treated rudely, and while it is incumbent on you to avoid being rude in return, that does not extend to feeling that you must be pressured into imbibing.

                                          Of course, you could accept a drink (hopefully silencing the bullies) and then not touch a drop of it - either pour half of it into the nearest potted plant ("no, thanks, I'm still working on this one"), or leave it somewhere ("no, thanks, I've already got one, it's right there").

                                          Alternatively, beg off like it's not just one of your 'ridiculous whims' ("I would, but my tummy's really on edge tonight and I think it would come right back") or just lie ("I would, but I'm on some medication that wouldn't go real well with it right now.")

                                          You owe these people your best manners, but manners often allow "polite fictions" and they do not require allowing yourself to be made ill. And if you were in AA, you'd probably feel even more strongly about it.

                                          1. I'm glad somebody brought this up, because it's been happening to me for years (drinking age is lower in Canada).

                                            Now, I'm not a teetotaller, but I don't drink a lot, for a lot of reasons - only one of which is a tight budget. But every time I go out, it's the same thing: Come on, loosen up, have some fun (meaning a drink). I don't need to drink to have fun, thank you.

                                            A side note: I find it's much worse when I go out then when I go to someone's house, say, for a dinner party. Maybe it's because only my close friends give dinner parties, and they don't care whether or not I drink.

                                            1. I'm 22 and I graduated college in May. Since college, I've found that I rarely even enjoy drinking, but a ton of my friends still need to have their weekend parties where they try and get plastered. When I accompany them but don't join them in their drinking ventures, they don't understand why. So I hear the frustration! Just take it in stride and hold your ground.

                                              1. I did a lot more drinking than someone of my age should have in high school and didn't drink at all in college, except maybe a glass of champagne on new year because of that, I now drink lightly, but I don't like getting drunk and have had some stomach issues and get sick easily here are things that have gotten me through the pressure which is less now, but in college man was it bad:

                                                First if it is really bad I just carry a drink with me, especially in social settings, or work functions. I will ask the bartender for tonic or a mix of fruit juice and if anyone wants to buy me a drink I tell the bartender he can make me another of what I had. This worked well in college, too.

                                                Second, I would also say I was on medication and could not drink, as mentioned above.

                                                When I would go to big parties like Halloween or frat parties I would carry a plastic container with some non-alcoholic beverage and then tell whomever that since I like girly drinks I thought I should bring my own drink.

                                                I find the best thing to do though is to change your company. I have changed to friends who know me well enough not to push this. I also have a few friends now who are alcoholics and do not drink and they therefore never pressure anyone to drink and actually people are more careful around them to say anything about drinking. I will drink around them only if it doesn't make them uncomfortable. I find they are my favorite companions to go out with. And my SO also helps, his friends drink a lot and when they pressure me he will say something and that helps because if he says something it seems to work better than when I say something.

                                                But, I can tell you as someone who quit drinking in college, there is always pressure and sometimes you just have to be blunt and then people will learn and stop.

                                                I am sorry you have been put in this situation I know it isn't a fun one. I find the best thing to do though is find friends who understand.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: ktmoomau

                                                  I agree with your advice to change company. None of my real friends hassle me. And frankly, the people who do are usually the ones who, IMO, drink a little too heavily. People who are secure enough in their own choices don't need to belittle yours.

                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                    Well, that sounds a bit judgemental too, non?

                                                    But of course no civilised person should hassle another for their unwillingness to consume anything. MYOB.

                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                      I didn't mean everyone has a drinking problem. :-) But the people who have bugged me in the past were frequently drinking to oblivion, alone. That, to me, is a warning sign. I might have spoken up if we'd been closer.

                                                      But again, they can do that to their heart's content as long as it doesn't hurt other people (and they don't give me grief).

                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                        Yep, that does sound like the sign of a problem (whether permanent or temporary)... But you are also right that it is none of your business, as long as they aren't intimates harming your life, drunken-phone-call addicts, or idiots drinking and driving... I was just fearing that you might be judgemental about those of us who like a nice meal with wine. Indeed it takes all kinds.

                                                        Some people are overly gregarious about everything, not just drinking, and want others to always "join in" whatever they are doing. This is often a problem at workplaces, where you have to face up to the social organiser types who are always taking up collections, buying birthday cakes, or wanting to go out together for food or drinks...

                                                        I think becoming mature involves appreciating people's differences and leaving them alone. In my circle, there are people who enjoy a drink, people who don't, and people who can't.

                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                          Nothing wrong with a glass of wine with dinner - I've been known to have one of those occasionally too. Though I can't claim to know anything about wine beyond "I like" and "I don't like."

                                                  2. re: ktmoomau

                                                    Thank you so much for your comments. I am going to relay them to my daughter a sophomore in college who likes to socialize but can't drink due to a GI medical condition. She has a had a hard time dealing with drinking pressure especially with the frat/sorority scene. She just doesn't feel comfortable with giving too much information on herself and doesn't want to come off as a prude. Honestly, it was easier for my oldest daughter who I am sure drank to "fit" in. After reading these comments about adults at work and social situations it is sad that one has to continue to feel pressured to drink. I was hoping it was more a college peer pressure scenario but it seems to exist elsewhere. At my age, I am comfortable asking for a drink and declining one without excuses. Age does have its perks.

                                                    1. re: foodseek

                                                      One thing she might investigate is to see if there are any service sororities at her school as opposed to social sororities they are often dry and focus on community service. It was one place where as a college student I felt I fit in and I found a lot of girls my age that didn't drink, or didn't drink excessively. Mine was Gamma Sigma Sigma, but there are others. It is sometimes really hard to find people who don't drink in college, or don't drink obnoxiously even.

                                                  3. I find this weird too. I think it makes people question their own behavior when someone else doesn't do it. Your sobriety instills fear into their hearts. People who want to get drunk don't want the wisdom of this put into question, so, they want you to get sloshed with them. Also it helps "hide the evidence" of whatever dreadful things they will do when drunk (or so they think) if no one can remember what happened. If you are the one person who knows what happened, then you are a dangerous person.

                                                    That being said, I was surprised when pressured to drink alcohol during a pre-interview "get to know you" dinner shindig with two members of the hiring team, who were, incidentally, drinking some alcoholic beverage themselves. I found that inappropriate. Then again, the next day, everyone wanted me to join them in bashing the boss of the place including her tacky wardrobe and jewelry (which I also declined to do). Definitely NOT a place I wanted to work.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: willownt

                                                      I agree with your first paragraph, I have found that to be true in my experience. However, I wouldn't be surprised if other posters found your words to be "judgmental"

                                                      I rarely drink now. I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine or a pint of Fat Tire, but I agree with a previous poster who said it's better to be the guy who *never* drinks. I mostly keep my occasional drinks to special occasions with family/close friends, such as New Year's, birthdays, etc.

                                                      1. re: willownt

                                                        To you, are "use" and "abuse" the same thing?

                                                        Thanks.

                                                      2. wow, thanks for the response! Some of these answers will come in handy for the holidays coming up!

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: DarthEater

                                                          I totally understand what you mean. I think there's a lot of pressure to drink in NYC because no one has to drive and people are less concerned about their health, than say, L.A. where everyone seems to turn in early. I don't get pressure from friends but worked with a bunch of people who would think you were very staid if you didn't have at least a couple drinks. I think it is actually better to hint that you're recovering from some sort of substance abuse problem than to say you just don't drink. A grim "I don't drink anymore..." should do it. People will leave you alone a lot faster and be chagrined that they pushed the issue. For some reason, former alcoholics get a lot more respect than teetotalers. I also like the idea of saying "I'm on meds."

                                                          1. re: traceybell

                                                            I suspect it is because people assume teatotallers are either religious nuts or people with control issues... Not that there is any excuse for ever pressing a drink (or food) on another person. There are also lots of people who press fattening food on people... sheesh.

                                                            1. re: traceybell

                                                              My LA friends stay up very late, often until 4-5am when at friend's houses. Bars until 2am. They smoke. They drink. Unfortunately too many drink and drive. LA is no healthier than anywhere else.

                                                              1. re: mojoeater

                                                                Amen that. It's very disturbing to me how blase many people in LA are about having a drink (or two or three) and then hopping behind the wheel.

                                                          2. Have a glass of sparkling water with a lime (Pelligrino is my favorite) usually stops any kind of "pressure".

                                                            1. i sympathize with your dilema, i really do. i went through a period in my life where i wasn't drinking at all and it was tough. but look it from the drinkers perspective. drinking is a social bonding thing. when you won't have a drink with someone, to them it's like you're saying "I don't really want to bond with you". the other things is that quite simply, drinking is more fun when others are drinking with you. who wants to imbibe alone?

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: psawce

                                                                Alone? Well I actually did this weekend (and have before many times). There were two beers that a place I go to had on tap that I really wanted to try:
                                                                a) Blanche De Bruxelles / Manneken Pis Belgian White
                                                                b) Rodenbach Grand Cru

                                                                I had a glass of each, actually took some notes and then left. Now I was social with a few of the other patrons and did enjoy a mild buzz but what drew me there wasn't merely "drinking" but the opprotunity to experience some very interesting tasting beer.
                                                                And the word "bond" or "bonding" is really ironic because when it comes to beer often I'm trying to bond with what the brewer is trying to say through his product as much as with others.

                                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                                  i'll buy that.

                                                              2. DarthEater, I was mulling over the processing issue, because I simply can't drink beer. And I don't mean 10 of them! Even a beer makes me feel gassy and unwell, and I have the bright spotting on my cheeks typical of an allergic reaction (I have many other allergies).

                                                                This is very inconvenient in certain countries and social settings - I don't drink anything sweet, so it means I have to hope they are serving mineral water...

                                                                1. Are these clients/fellow employees, or your friends and family? It's hard to deal with pushy clients as you want to keep the relationship solid and not seem difficult. Friends and family should know you well enough to back off and give you space. I don't want to sound harsh, but maybe you shouldn't go out with them. You've made it clear that alcohol does cause tremendous harm to you, yet they don't seem to care about your wellbeing. If it continues, you may just have to move on from them.

                                                                  1. I have a family member who is a recovering problem drinker and rarely attends parties because of all the pressure to "just have one beer", etc. And many of those people are aware of his history and still push him to drink.