Whether you are allergic to alcohol, choose sobriety, or simply just don’t want to drink, it is still possible to have a sober party. If you’re staying away from alcohol at a party and feeling awkward about it, here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable saying no to a drink. In this article, we’ll discuss how to party sober and also know how to handle drinking if your guests are not.  

How to feel confident when not drinking on a night out 

Start the night with a positive mindset 

If you have made the decision not to drink on a night out, you can still have a fantastic time during a sober party. You can have a lot of fun and enjoy yourself without the need for alcohol, and you do not have to feel like you have FOMO or are missing out. What you do on a night out is entirely in your control without alcohol. You can stay for as long as you want if you are having a great time, and if you are not, then it is up to you to leave whenever you want also. 

Be prepared for questions or comments

You don’t want to get into the subject too much, especially if sobriety is a more sensitive topic for you or your friends, but it might be natural to find people who will ask you why you are not drinking. You should be prepared for this by knowing what you will respond with to these questions ahead of time for your sober party. You can keep it relatively simple without going into too much detail, and it’s best to avoid getting super defensive about the topic. Some ideas for responses that you could use include the following:

  • I’m not a big drinker and I don’t feel like drinking
  • I just decided I’m not drinking tonight
  • I have an early start in the morning so I’m avoiding it tonight
  • I actually don’t drink. It just isn’t for me
  • I’m deciding to stay sober this evening

Drink a non-alcoholic drink

One way to avoid feeling tense or awkward is to always have a drink in your hand, especially if you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you are not drinking. This way, you can avoid questions about why you’re not drinking anything, and people are way less likely to offer to get you something to drink.

The best drinks for people who don’t like alcohol include iced tea, juice, soda water, sparkling water, sodas, or smoothies. Sugary drinks can be a great way to cope with missing that alcohol feeling. 

Avoid feeling the pressure to drink

Sometimes people can still try to encourage you to have a drink at a party, even when you’ve already told them you don’t want to and you are having a sober party. It’s easier said than done, but don’t feel pressured into having a drink just because someone else wants you to. Just politely decline and say you’re okay if anyone offers to get you a drink.

Saying no to a drink

If someone brought you a drink after you already said no, or even without asking, it’s okay to let them know that you’re not drinking tonight. If they insist on you taking it, you can accept it, but you really don’t have to drink it. Give it to someone else, or you could simply leave it on the table.

To accomplish this, be relatively firm but still polite when declining the drink. The other person may get offended if you get too defensive, but if they continue to persist after you have already said no, stand your ground and have confidence in your decision, as they should respect that.

Avoid spending all of your time on your phone

This can be really hard as when you are feeling a little uncomfortable in a social setting. It’s very easy to get pulled toward looking at your phone just to have something to focus your attention on. Focus on what’s going on around you and avoid your phone altogether during a party. If you’re feeling the urge to take out your phone during a sober party, try confiding in a friend or finding comfort in a conversation. Another great option is to focus on entertainment! The Pourhouse has awesome music all the time that can help take your mind off the pressures of not drinking. Focusing on entertainment is very easy and can also be a good distractor to use if asked why you aren’t drinking.

Remember how good you’ll feel the next day

Remember that the next morning you’ll be feeling much better than many people who are drinking if you’re getting worked up about the fact you are not drinking, and everyone is for your sober partying. It might be a good idea to make a plan for the morning after the party to give you something fun to look forward to. This could even be used as a reason for why you are not drinking if people ask you about it.

Know that it’s okay if you don’t want to drink

You should feel confident in your decision to not drink, whether you have decided not to drink that night or you stopped drinking completely. There is no rule that says you have to have a drink when you go to a party, and you probably will not be the only one who is taking on that decision that night. Be truly comfortable in your decision not to drink, and take pride and confidence in that you are still going to have fun, and you don’t need alcohol for that.

What if you are the one drinking with sober guests?

On the other hand, if you are the one drinking where guests might not be, you have to know the proper etiquette to make everyone feel included. To make everyone feel included sometimes means finding a way to include both people who enjoy a drink or two and people who are practicing sobriety. To help you navigate the alcohol free waters, here are a few quick tips to help with sober party guests. 

First, let the person decide what they are comfortable with. People abstain from alcohol for many different reasons, and those reasons may or may not impact how you drink around them, so it is best to let them know what they should expect at your event. 

Next, don’t force a conversation. Sometimes it’s a personal choice when it comes to sobriety. You never want to ask the question about why someone isn’t drinking. 

Next, you can have a drink but talk about something else. You don’t want to exclude any of your guests in conversions where they feel like they can’t participate. It might be totally fine to have a glass with your entree, but if the only thing you talk about is how good the alcohol is or how great the pairing is, then that added emphasis on the conversation could start to feel uncomfortable.

Lastly, just be honest. You can ask a few simple questions to know what is and is not cool with someone who is practicing sobriety. You don’t have to pry, but if you have a little understanding of someone’s situation, you can ask where to meet, if they feel comfortable meeting at a bar or being in the presence of alcohol. 

Along with these tips, if you are the guest, follow the host’s lead at a sober party. They will set the tone for the evening so pay attention to any cues to avoid taboo topics or anything that might make certain guests uncomfortable. 

Sober party etiquette

Alcohol can play a different role in everyone’s life, and being so prevalent in society, it can be difficult to navigate. If you are the one having sober partying or throwing a party where your guests are sober, it is crucial to know how to handle different situations. Luckily, you aren’t alone in either situation, and if you are honest and confident with your decision, navigating sobriety for you or your guests can be relatively simple. 

The waiters at Pourhouse in Minneapolis will be happy to oblige your decision to stay sober and offer a non-alcoholic alternative.

Whether you are being a gracious host or choosing to navigate sobriety yourself, finding the right things to say or do is hard sometimes, but once you do it, you’ll realize it can be done.