20 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Don’t Like Drinking

A while ago, I wrote a post about how I don’t really like drinking alcohol. I was so thrilled to see that so many of you guys appreciated the post and could relate to it. Not being a big drinker has always made me feel like an outcast, and it made me feel better to see that so many of our readers could relate to what I was going through. I was helping you, you were helping me! Awesome! 

Some time has passed, and I’m still not a big drinker. In fact, I barely drink at all. One, I don’t really like it. Two, I literally can’t drink that much because I have chronic stomach issues and alcohol makes me feel like someone is stabbing me repeatedly in the stomach. It’s not fun. I almost always avoid alcohol, and it has really made my life pretty difficult. You don’t realize how socially important alcohol is to people until you stop drinking.

michael scott

Many of my friends drink when we go out or go to parties or just hang out in general. I never judge anyone for choosing to drink alcohol and get drunk, but that doesn’t mean people don’t judge me. I have to deal with a lot of annoying comments and a whole lot of people who seem to think I’m “boring” because I don’t want to get drunk with them. It’s a bummer, and I spend a lot of time wishing that alcohol wasn’t so important in our society so that I could feel less alone. 

So, I was inspired to write this post about things that happen when you don’t drink. Sure, I’ll have the occasional drink once in a while, but for the most part, I’m the sober one. And it can get… interesting. Here are 20 things you’ll only understand if you don’t drink: 


1. You always have to be the one who drives.


You’re fine with doing it, because you don’t want anyone drinking and driving, but it still kind of sucks sometimes.

2. Literally everyone will ask you why you don’t drink, and they are not satisfied until they have a legitimate answer. 


“I don’t like it” is not legitimate, apparently. Personally, most people won’t leave me alone about it until I tell them I have serious stomach issues and alcohol feels like death.

3. Sometimes you consider pretending to drink just to get people off your back. 


4. Then you feel like a huge phoney and spend the whole night hoping no one catches you. 

nick miller

5. You’re either cracking up laughing over the drunk people around you… 


6. …Or you want to stop being friends with everyone because OMG drunk people can really be the worst when you’re sober. 


7. You get to brag about how much money you saved while everyone else whines about how much money they just spent on drinks.


8. If you’re of age, you feel really uncomfortable when you go out to dinner, don’t order a drink, and then the other person you’re with doesn’t order one because you didn’t. 


But they OBVIOUSLY wanted one. Just order it! Why do I have to drink for you to drink?!

9. Before you go out, your friends will beg you to drink with them that night. 


10. Even people who have known for years that you’re not a big drinker will still be like “Are you going to drink tonight? Why not?” 

emma stone

11. You consistently meet people who think they can change your mind about not wanting to drink.

drink it

They can’t.

12. You sometimes feel embarrassed about telling new people you don’t drink just because you’re so used to negative reactions.


13. When everyone you’re with takes a shot, you just kind of stand there feeling awkward. 

sex and the city

14. There’s always one person who’s convinced you’ll take the shot if they buy it, even if you said no, so they buy it, then get annoyed when you don’t take it. 


I literally said no. What is so hard about understanding that?

15. You have to learn how to respond to rude comments like, “That’s so boring.” 

katy perry

Sorry I don’t need to drink to have a good time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

16. You get stuck with herding your drunk friends around and taking care of them when they’re sick. 

act normal

17. Sometimes you feel a little left out from all the drunk bonding that is going on around you. 


18. If you drink occasionally, then when you DO have a drink, everyone acts like it’s the best moment of your life. 

not impressed

Chill, pls.

19. Sometimes you get to a point where you can’t even make plans with people because they’re only interested in drinking and you’re not, and being around them is tough. 

amy poehler

20. It’s fine, because at the end of the day, you have the last laugh when you wake up in the morning hangover-free. 



Are you someone who doesn’t really like to drink? What can you relate to? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


8 tips on how to deal if you don’t like drinking but your friends do

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  • Nessie

    I wish people would quit being so stupid. People who literally think they have a say in your life, what you eat or drink or how you will act are the most boring, annoying and dumb people alive. I can’t even stand ‘friends’ like that. For me a ‘friend’ that doesn’t respect my way of life and what I choose for myself but instead tries to constantly ‘force’ their way on me, is no friend at all and definitely not worth me wasting my free time to hang around them when I could be doing much better and more enjoyable things than sitting around on a stupid bar and trying to get them off my back about drinking. F@ck that. I’ve got better ways to entertain myself.

  • Kris

    This is so true! I hate the fact I get moaned at and pressured to drink when I go out with friends. I’m almost 30 I can do what I like. They don’t seem to realise that it’s not me not drinking ruining the night, it’s them moaning at me all night about it! It’s not fun for me to listen to and them buying me wine when I don’t want/like it is just frustrating so I’ll usually leave early which only adds to them thinking I’m boring. Like why does me not drinking effect you?! I can still laugh and the same jokes and join in the conversation. People would think it was so rude if I did the equivolent of what they do to me such as buying them Pepsi when they wanted wine, pouring water into their vodka, moaning at them to drink less etc.

  • KeiraKnows

    Not big on the taste of most forms of alcohol, and my body reacts to being drunk like I’ve ingested poison. If someone can’t deal with your not drinking, just look him/her straight in the eye and tell them that booze makes you criminally psychotic towards people that look *just… like… them*. Control freaks suck just as much as, if not more than, being hungover.

    • Wally Wellard

      Cause it is poison?

  • Shagwell

    I find myself very puzzled by the whole subject. Where I live and in the circles in which I move, (and this has been the case for many, many years), if I don’t want a drink when offered I politely decline.
    If I offer someone a drink, and that person declines, end of discussion.
    The furthest a conversation will go is “are you sure?” – but that really does close all further discussion on the subject.
    And the most important thing is – nobody thinks any more or less of a person for declining.
    No explanation is required.
    No “persuasion” is exercised.

  • Indi G

    Pro tip: put water or club soda in a red solo cup and people at parties will assume you’re drinking. Alternatively hold the same can of beer all night no one will notice you’re not drinking but they’ll see the drink in your hand and stop nagging you to drink. Yai!

  • Annisa Hasan

    To all the posters, we should hang out and have an alcohol free ?

  • Rimwor

    I had that problem since high school. My friends were drinking, smoking and always trying to convince me to try it too. But I said “no” all the time. I was drunk two times in my life (I am almost 30 years old), and it happend only once when I couldn’t remember everything from the day before. And I felt twice time like dying so … after that I have decided – never ever. Of course I will drink a little bit, but I know when I have to stop and then I drink juisce or whatever without %. I don’t care what other people think. If they are annoying I’m telling them to leave alone all I will go home 😛 or …that is the easiest – that I brought a car 😛 ha ha No, usually I just say that I don’t like alcohol, I don’t like to drink and I don’t want to. Amen 😉

  • tabaqui

    I can relate to these because they *do* happen except – I don’t give a fuck if people are pissy or ‘negative’ about me not drinking. I don’t drink. I don’t like it. Get over it. If anyone wants to get in my face about it, I’m more than happy to get right back. Never feel ashamed for not being falling-down-drunk and puking on strangers or pissing in a car!

  • Natalie

    I’m straight edge for multiple health reasons. I can definitely relate to this post. I’m not of age, but when people around me talk about drugs and drinks and what they prefer, and then they make you comment on it.., and you say “no I’m straight edge, so I don’t have anything to add” and they all snarl “good for you, princess”…

  • ahnah

    Yup, mostly i’m 5 it’s the chance to make fun of my friends and make then do crazy things, mostly my friends don’t really care about me not drinking but the 2,11 and 12 having to justify to strangers your reasons is just absolutely ridiculous and sadly true.But there’s one thing that you didn’t say it and i would add when everybody is somewhat drunk and being silly you have the chance to let go and be silly too since they all are drunk and no one is gona judge you.