You Don’t Need To Know Why Somone Isn’t Drinking

There are hundreds of reasons why someone chooses not to drink alcohol – but they don’t have to explain the decision to you.

The act of drinking is enjoyable. In some cases, it leads to destructive behavior. Some people don’t like alcohol. Medical conditions can lead to sobriety. It may be wise to avoid alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive.

Trish Caldwell, senior VP, says, Whatever the reasons, none of them are our business, which provides addiction treatment services. Caldwell and others discussed why people should never ask someone about their sobriety. “We don’t have to know why somebody is choosing to engage in a behavior that they find to be a part of their wellness practices to support them.”

Never Ask Why Someone Isn’t Drinking

It could force people into painful conversations they aren’t ready to have, like addiction, infertility, or other personal struggles.

The person may be in recovery or working towards recovery, Caldwell says, or in a “contemplative stage of change,” where they acknowledge a problem but don’t know what it is.

What To Do When Someone Doesn’t Want To Drink

If someone declines an alcoholic drink, you can say, “OK. What else can I get?”

Caldwell says, “That’s the response. It’s best not to push friends or family to answer questions about a loved one’s decision not to drink for one night or for years.

Be Inconspicuous When Avoiding Alcohol

There are ways to avoid probing questions about alcohol consumption without being obvious. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get a club soda with lime.
  • Fill a Solo cup with water. No one asks what’s in it.
  • A koozie covers a canned beverage like soda or sparkling water.
  • Bring your favorite beverage to a party. When they see you with it, they are less inclined to ask.
  • You can also try nonalcoholic drinks.

Caldwell says If you use a decoy drink or not, you have to make people feel comfortable and avoid making them feel like they have to answer.