Week six: Tackling beer pressure

Millie Gooch | April 2022 | 5 minutes

Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society, brings us some brilliant tips on tackling Sober Spring - the three-month sabbatical off alcohol.

Heaven is a place on earth but hell is other people (as the saying goes!) and what you may have started to realise is that however comfortable you are with your sober stint, the same reaction might not be true of others. Another thing you might have realised is that often people reel off these tropes like ‘Oh go on, just have one’ without even understanding why they’re so keen to get you drinking (spoiler: it’s often to do with their own relationship with alcohol). Here’s some things that I have found helpful when it comes to turning down drinks:

Practise saying no

It might sound like an embarrassing vanity exercise but grab your mirror and literally practise how you’re going to turn down a drink. From the way you stand to the words you’re going to use, having this go-to in your locker rather than an unrehearsed and flustered mumble is much more likely to stop any further probing.

Own it

It’s not even just a saying, research shows that people can actually smell fear and from my own experience, the more confidently I’ve turned down a drink, the less people attempt to twist my arm in the opposite direction. Stand your ground, try some power poses and don’t let anyone detect a vocal quiver. You should be really proud of doing something like taking a break from alcohol so believe in yourself.

Set boundaries

Not just a buzzword, boundaries can be really important when you’re taking a booze break. Perhaps you don’t want to talk about why you aren’t drinking or maybe you don’t want to go to a bottomless brunch. Whatever it is, making your boundaries clear from the start is the best way to skip through Sober Spring.

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