Many people have difficulty saying no. Even in everyday life, individuals take on too many tasks and run themselves ragged trying to work, have a home life, plan the school bake sale and volunteer to coach their kids’ teams.
But saying no can be even more difficult for someone who struggles with alcohol addiction. While you may want to say no in your head, your body may have other ideas. Your addiction makes it difficult to turn down a drink, and once you enjoy one, saying no to the next becomes even more difficult.
You do have a choice, though. While saying no is difficult, learning how to say no politely and following through with your intentions can improve your Recovery efforts and help you feel good about yourself. Learn more about polite ways to say no and how to refuse alcohol when someone offers.
Tips to Learn to Say No
Learning how to say no can feel hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you will get. Try these tips for just saying no:
- Be firm: Do not waver at all as you talk, and don’t leave room for someone to circle back later with the same question. Give your answer confidently and walk away. Lingering only invites unwanted follow-ups.
- Take the position of power: Keep yourself in the driver’s seat. Don’t apologize for your decision, and don’t reconsider later. Make it clear you are in control and have no intention of changing your mind.
- Set boundaries: Friends who won’t take no for an answer are not really friends. Cultivate friendships where both people feel comfortable refusing each other. If your friendship is based on mutual respect, then it won’t matter if you say no. You will remain close.
- Remain courteous: Getting mad at someone else often reflects how we feel about ourselves and our perceived shortcomings. When you stay courteous, you do more than reign in your temper. You also keep the perspective you need to make rational, well-thought-out decisions while staying in control.
How to Say No to Alcohol
Saying no to alcohol isn’t very different from refusing anything else. You should keep your reasons for declining alcohol at the top of your head so you can draw on them during your talk.
You don’t have to give a reason for your refusal, but many people like to. You can tell someone you are trying to stay sober, and explain your sobriety goals and the improvements you have made seen since getting on this path.
However, you don’t have to give reasons. You do not owe anyone an explanation for your choices. Being polite but steadfast will discourage others from asking you about alcohol again. As a last resort, you can remove yourself from the situation if you worry about peer pressure.