Friday 11 January 2013

"The" January Detox

It's really hard giving up drink for a month, isn't it? It is if you are a low-level alcoholic, like so many middle-class people. Are there any upsides? Well, it gives journalists an excuse to write about alcohol and their heroic intake even more than usual. "I really miss my drunk alter ego", says the Daily Telegraph's blogging "Dryathlete".

So here's a guide to drinking less while pretending not to.

Don't declare that you are detoxing.

Don't talk about booze.

Don't joke about booze.

Don't laugh at jokes about booze.

If you have any friends left... yes, that's the tricky part, isn't it?

Fortunately wikiHow has the answers.

Have you been, or will you be, in a situation where social drinking is expected? If you don't feel comfortable simply telling your peers that you do not drink, the following ideas may help you get through the situation.

Take a can of beer to the loo, pour it down the sink and fill up with water. (That would taste revolting.)

Have a drink in your hand but drink it slowly and occasionally go to the loo to tip some out.

Get someone else to "try" your drink.

Act drunker as the evening progresses.

Drink ginger ale ("beer") from a pint glass.

Drink a wine glass full of of tonic with a slice of lemon. Or a "rum and coke" (mocktails).

Go to the bar to get your own (soft) drink.

If someone asks what you want say you haven't decided.

Say you're on medication.

Offered a top-up, say: "Thanks, that's my limit."

Dump the shot on the bar floor, or into a plant pot when your "friends" are looking the other way. Placing your hand around an empty shot glass will make it appear full - then "drink" the air.

Here's more from wikiHow on How to Turn Down a Drink.

Decline gracefully, giving a polite excuse. (It doesn't really matter what it is: psychological studies have shown that people expect an explanation, but will accept almost anything.)

Order a "virgin" version of a regular cocktail.

Drink low-alcohol beer.

Create a diversion: chat, take photos, dance, eat snacks.

Take a drink and hold it: you don't have to drink it.

And finally... be assertive:

Don't attend future parties like this. If you have a hard time being firm, or this host has a hard time taking "no" for an answer, just don't go next time. When friends ask why you aren't attending, tell the truth. Say, "Well, last time I went, it seemed all anyone cared about was seeing me drink. I don't care to party that way (with alcohol or drugs) any more. Until I feel sure that my "no" will be accepted and I won't be badgered all night, I'm not going to go." That should take care of the problem, because your friends will pass what you said on to the host, and in the future, care will be taken not to offend you in this way again.

More You Are What You Eat (and Drink)

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