‘You’re so boring!’- It’s time to stop judging and start supporting our sober friends

Grace | April 2023 | 8 minutes

It may just be night off, a month detox or a more permanent path of sobriety, but no matter the reason it deserves to be respected.

Taking a step back from boozing can feel a little lonely when your peers are still reeling in that Friday feeling. You may miss your drinking buddy but ultimately, you’ll miss your friend more if you fail to recognise the person behind their choice. It is your decision to enjoy that drink but equally their right to decline.

We all want to support our loved ones and choices surrounding alcohol should be no exception. Next time you’re on a night out with your sober mate, take a minute and ask yourself am I being supportive?

Don’t judge

Why your friend has chosen to stop drinking could be something straightforward. It maybe that they have an early start the next day and would like to avoid a lifeless hangover or perhaps they’re the designated driver are making the sensible decision to not do this drunk. However, these things can often lie a little deeper than what’s presented on the surface so providing a judgement free space is crucial. Your friend may not choose to share why they’re hopping on the wagon nor are they obligated to.

They owe you no explanation but if they do choose to open up, simply listen and appreciate how daunting it may feel. Being non-judgemental and supportive costs you nothing but provides them with the space they need to feel loved and understood.

How about now?

If a boundary has been set, then this same boundary applies throughout the evening. Continuously asking if they’ve changed their minds will only push them towards temptation. It may feel like you’re simply checking in, but this can be done without the mention of alcohol all-together. Asking how someone is feeling privately and compassionately is a far more productive approach of looking after your mate.

If they’ve changed their mind and decide actually, I do fancy a ‘bev’ politely ask if that’s what they really want. Don’t overly celebrate or commiserate the decision they make as ultimately the choice lies with them and them alone. Ask yourself the next time you question your friends’ drinking choices; is this for my benefit or theirs?

You look after you

We all want to look after our friend’s best interest. But as in any avenue of life you should always be your own priority. Your sober friend is not there to hold your hair back. They’ve chosen to come out for same reasons you have- to have fun! Therefore, babysitting you for the evening is not likely what they had on their agenda for the night.

Also appreciate the fact that as your drunkenness gets higher their energy levels will likely lower. The night may feel like its peaking at three in the morning but arguably theirs peaked hours ago. It can be hard to keep up and if they choose to go home, they don’t have to stay out for you equally as you don’t need to leave for them.

Have their back

Other people may not be as understanding as you. If you notice that others are giving your sober friend, the third degree step in. Being the best ally doesn’t just end at your behaviours so extend your efforts and speak to others. Usually when a drinker is questioning a fellow drinker they’re more likely to listen and reflect that perhaps they’re not being entirely helpful.

Having their back will help them feel less like the odd one out and remind them that the decisions to ditch the drink shouldn’t be abandoned due to peer pressure. They are not boring for going against the norm they’re brave, so celebrate this.