How to Successfully Socialize Without Being Weird When You’re Alcohol Free

Dara Laine Murray
5 min readFeb 20

I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t even imagine having fun without alcohol.” I’ve been there. It’s hard to picture a night out without some kind of buzz. But it’s also possible to have fun without drinking, and here are my tricks for doing just that.

How to Successfully Socialize Without Being Weird When You’re Alcohol Free
Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Set your intention.

Setting your intention is helpful for when things get awkward or uncomfortable, because if something goes wrong and things start feeling weird (which they likely will), then at least now we know what our goal was supposed to be in the first place—and thus can use it as motivation when things get tough.

If I had gone into my first sober social situation without any idea what my goal was going into it, I would’ve felt lost and confused by all of these new experiences around me, but by setting some clear intentions beforehand (e.g., “I am looking forward to working on making new friends tonight!”), it helped me stay focused on achieving those goals throughout these interactions.

Be honest about why you don’t drink.

You don’t have to justify your choice, and it’s not about anyone else’s drinking choices. But the more open and honest you are with people, the better they will understand why you’re abstaining from alcohol in social situations.

Be clear about how much you’re drinking.

You should be clear about how much you’re drinking. If someone asks if you want another drink and your answer is “no,” then it’s important that they believe that and respect it. If someone offers to buy me a drink, I tell them that I’m alcohol-free, so they know not to bring me one.

If people are pressuring or pestering you into drinking more than usual (or at all), say no! Don’t feel bad about this; there are plenty of other ways for them to have fun without getting drunk, and there’s nothing wrong with saying no!

If someone tries to force alcohol on you after you’ve said no several times, don’t be afraid to call for help from friends or security guards.

Dara Laine Murray

Multi-passionate sobriety writer on Medium. Day job: Director of Research at a nonprofit. Stories = sober + stats. Editor:

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