My top 3 strategies for dealing with people who DON'T want you to stop drinking.


When we decide to stop drinking it's common for a lot of us to experience some 'push back' from our family and peer groups. Generally speaking the people around us don't like it when we stop drinking as it upsets 'the apple cart.'  We have all been conditioned to drink alcohol and abusive drinking has been normalized in our culture.

So 'not drinking' is seen as very weird. It's a bit like being a vegetarian in the 70's. People look at you funny.It can also be really difficult to deal with as it's a lot of outside pressure when we are at our most vulnerable. However, there are some strategies that we can use to successfully deal with this situation.

Strategy 1: Be Prepared. 

It's pretty simple if we are prepared for an 'attack' we are more equipped to weather it. It's also important to know that your 'not drinking' frightens people. They don't want to change their own drinking behavior and if you're not drinking, they interpret it to mean something about them. So their strategy is to get things back to how they were.  Which is you drinking again. This is their motivation and end-game. By knowing it's coming you have a much better chance of dealing with it.

Strategy 2: Have a plan. 

When you are around friends and family, especially if it is a 'drinking situation.'  Arrive late and leave early. If possible identify a 'safe' person to hang out with, someone who isn't going to pressure you. Have an exit strategy. Rehearse what you are going to say when you are ready to leave. Keep it simple and just repeat.

Strategy 3: Do Not Accept the invitation to get into a discussion/argument about (your) drinking. 

This is the end game for someone on a 'mission' to persuade you to start drinking again. They want to ENGAGE you in a debate and discussion. Because then they can push your buttons and lay out all the rationalizations they have for you NOT having a drinking problem. The strategy is simple here. DO NOT ACCEPT THE INVITATION.

This is good practice for a much wider problem which is letting go of what others may (or may not) think about you. Here's the bottom line: what other people think about you in sone of your business. Trust me when I say there is incredible freedom in that.

For more advice on this subject please watch the video below.

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In this video I go through my top 3 strategies for dealing with people who are pressuring you to drink. Or, telling you that you don't have a drink problem. When you are prepared you are able to deal with this situation and stay sober!

Veronica Valli