Politely Turning Down a Drink February 12 2015

If you drink responsibly or don’t drink at all, you might find yourself in situations where people are really pushing you to have a drink with them. In the best case scenario, this is merely annoying, but easy enough to deal with. In some scenarios, however, it can be more complicated than that.

Depending on where people come from, they may consider having a drink together to be a rather ritual part of concluding a business meeting. Of course, you can always lie about why you don’t want to have a drink – come up with a cultural or other major reason, or whatever else comes to mind – but nobody likes to be a liar and nobody should have to be about making a health decision.

If the person you’re with is drinking too much and wants you to keep going with them, or if they want to have a drink and you don’t drink or don’t want to drink on that particular day, you can turn down a drink without offending someone. Even if it is something they expect based on your prior interactions – closing a big deal – you can be completely honest and still go out and socialize, but skip the alcohol, at least on that occasion.

Tell Them About Health Issues

Asian flushing can be pretty embarrassing when you or you and a few other people in a room are the only ones with nearly fluorescent red faces, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Just tell the person why you’re not drinking if a health reason like Asian flushing happens to be behind it.

If they really can’t get it through their heads, just tell them it makes you sick. It’s not a lie, though maybe a bit oversimplified.

Drink Slowly

Another good option is just to slow down your intake of alcohol. If you do want to have a drink, but just one or two, drink them slowly. If the person you’re with puts down more than that, that’s their business. But, when asked if you want a refill, you just point out that you still have plenty left. If they pressure you, just tell them that you don’t drink that much.

There are plenty of other ways that you can get around situations where you may feel pressured to have a drink. The thing to remember is that most people will probably be completely accommodating and that it’s totally normal to drink responsibly and take that effort seriously or, for some people, not to drink at all these days.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).