How to Survive Social Situations (Sober!)

I'm a total lightweight when it comes to alcohol.

I've always had a super low tolerance (which has gotten even lower with age) and these days I rarely drink at all.

Even at the height of my high school and college “partying” days, I physically could not consume more than 2 drinks in an entire night, no matter how hard I tried.

However, I didn't let this deter me from going out and being social.


My friends all drank so I learned very early on how to have an awesome time in social situations on a light 1-2 drink buzz or while being completely sober.

It wasn't always easy though.

I used to feel left out and different from everyone else. I used to feel like I didn't fit in or that people would think I was weird.

Fortunately I don't feel that way or waste my energy caring about that stuff anymore.

In today's post, I'm going to share with you the strategies that I use when I go out so you can try them the next time you want to partake in social situations without partaking in the booze.

So whether you're a lightweight like me or you're trying to lose weight, detox your body, or just want to reduce your consumption of alcohol altogether, you'll want to check out this post!

Remember: Just because you're not drinking, it doesn't mean you can't go out with your friends and still have a good time!

8 Strategies for Surviving Social Situations (While Sober!)



If your hand feels naked without a drink, opt for a glass of water or club soda with lime. Ladies, if you'd prefer to forgo the glass altogether, bring a clutch purse when you go out so you can hold onto that instead.


Instead of making the night about drinking, make it about socializing. Focus on who you're with. Chat with your friends or get to know new people. Be present and engage with others. Get curious. Ask questions. Get drunk off of connecting with others, laughing with your friends, and the feeding off the energy of the crowd. Let go of the idea that you need to drink in order to have fun (or to dance or to talk to people). You don't.


Are people giving you a hard time and pressuring you to drink? Shrug it off- this isn't about you, it's about them. When it's all said and done, the fact remains that you are the one who is going to experience the consequences (hangover, nausea, sluggishness, bloat), not the people pressuring you. If these people don't respect your decision, they’re probably not the people you want to be spending too much of your time with. Plus the next day when they're recounting the events of the evening, they're not even going to remember (or care) that you weren't drinking.


Trying to lose weight? Not only will the alcohol itself derail your progress (especially if what you typically drink is high in sugar or calories) but there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll make poor food choices and overeat as a result of drinking. Would you still have eaten that burrito at 1am if you hadn't been drinking beforehand? I don't think so :)


Ask yourself how you want to feel the next day. Do you want wake up at 2pm with a massive hangover realizing that you just wasted your entire morning? Or would you rather wake up early feeling refreshed and energized with the whole day ahead of you?


Revisit your intentions before you go out. Why don’t you want to drink? You’ll be more likely to stick to your commitment if you have a compelling reason backing up your decision. If you don't know your why, your motivation to follow through is going to be very low. Get crystal clear on your why so you can commit fully.


I've been sober in social situations for so long that it doesn't bother me in the slightest so if I find that it bothers someone else, I go the humor route. For instance, I'll pull out the "I'm a cheap date" line (a no brainer when I was single), say that I have the tolerance of a toddler, or refer to my glass of ice water as "water on the rocks". Cheesy? Yup. Lame? Very. But it always made the other person loosen up and laugh. Mission accomplished.


If someone asks why you're not drinking, they're not judging you (even though it may seem that way). Rather, they're just curious. Resist the desire to give a long list of reasons as to why you're not drinking or feel like you have to explain yourself. I usually go with a simple and nonchalant "I'm not in the mood" or "I have an early morning" or when I was training for races "I have a long run tomorrow" and then I change the subject. If you don't make it a big deal about it, no one else will. If they do, they're projecting their own insecurities - it's not about you, so don't worry about it. I think you'll be very surprised at just how many people will respect or even admire your decision when you confidently decline.

Which strategies are you going to try the next time you want to partake in the festivities without drinking? Do you have any tips or strategies you’d like you add to the list?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!