Saying “No” to Offers of Alcohol

Say no to offers of alcohol

Saying “no” is a difficult thing for many people. Saying “no” to offers of alcohol when we’re newly alcohol-free can be even more difficult. But learning how to turn down offers of alcohol is something we can practice and learn to do so gracefully. As you become more confident in your alcohol-free life, this will become easier and easier.


Turning down alcohol is a powerful boundary to set with those in our lives. Most of your friends and family will be happy for you and learn quickly that you no longer drink alcohol, but some may need gentle reminders. Alcohol-free living is a time of establishing many boundaries with ourselves and our loved ones, and helping others adjust to our new lifestyle is part of that. This can feel a little shakier with strangers, with whom we may not be comfortable disclosing personal information, but we can navigate any scenario with preparation and practice.


The most important thing to note is that “no” or “no thank you” are complete sentences. If you don’t feel like elaborating further, then you do not have to. So often we add qualifiers to the end of statements like “no” - ways of softening or explaining - but if you’re not comfortable elaborating, then don’t! Practice this “no thank you” for small things first, then build up to being able to turn down offers of alcohol in social settings. You might even find that “no” is a powerful and freeing practice to bring into the other parts of your life.