It can be difficult to turn down alcohol in a social situation. You don’t want to offend the person offering you a drink, so you accept a drink you don’t really want. Maybe you feel peer-pressured by those drinking around you. However, there are ways to refuse alcohol politely. Keeping it cool and casual can help you stay sober and keep everyone happy…

Refuse Alcohol Politely: Saying No, Nicely

“Sorry, but I’m driving later”

Saying that you plan on driving later is one of the best ways to refuse alcohol politely. Being the designated driver for a night out lets you spend time with friends when you don’t feel like drinking. It also encourages others to do the same down the line.

Most people will understand when you tell them this and not offer you anymore drinks. These days, everyone is aware of the effects of drinking and driving and how it should be avoided. If someone still does, however, then they aren’t worth listening too.

“No thanks, I just finished one”

This response is a good way to refuse alcohol politely because everyone drinks differently. How you feel after a drink is a personal matter. If you don’t want another right after finishing one, all that does is show you have good self-control

However, it also tells the person offering that you would drink if you felt like it. It was just poor timing for them to offer right after you had a drink. This way, they won’t take any personal offense to their offer being rejected.

“I’ve reached my limit tonight”

This is a good response to use if you regularly drink with the same people. Eventually, they’ll learn what your usual amount of drinks per night is. That way, they’ll only offer when they know you haven’t reached your limit.

People who are a bit more pushy might try and get you to go over your limit. They might try to say “everyone else is having another drink”, or assure you one more drink is fine. However, you have the right to have a personal limit. It’s best to just reiterate you’ve had enough and ignore them.

While it’s not uncommon to drink in social situations, remember that it’s okay to not drink as well. Being polite but direct will let your peers know you’re not interested while also avoiding the risk of offending them. There are plenty of ways to refuse alcohol politely, and avoid unwanted confrontation.