Why Some People Will HATE That You Don’t Drink

And What You Can Do About It.

Photo by Alex Mihai C on Unsplash

“No matter how good you are, someone is always going to be against you. But never let them be the limit of your success. “

— Terry Mark

When I made the decision to give up alcohol almost two years ago, it had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. I was in a place in my life in which I had experienced what alcohol was able to give me up to that point, and I thought it was time to see what abstaining from it would give.

It’s so interesting that over the course of this time I’ve noticed that some people have not been too happy that I’ve made this decision. And while I can’t say that I know 100% why, I do have a few ideas that I think are worth consideration.


This is generally the most obvious reason. People who have spent a lot of time hanging out and having fun experiences with you while drinking will automatically think that you will no longer be any fun when you decide to abstain.

The thought process will be that since the majority of your memorable times involved large amounts of alcohol, to take that away would decrease the chances that you could duplicate said times.

And while I must admit there can be some truth to this (read my AINYF article here that addresses that reality), the long term view is that you can be as fun and enjoyable without the negative effects that alcohol causes.

What you need to realize is that although some of your friends will no longer want to hang out with you for this reason, those who remain are the individuals who were truly your friends from the beginning.

There will be those individuals who will call you to do things that involve drinking, and when you tell them you can’t because you’re trying to be careful to not live that lifestyle anymore, the calls and texts will eventually stop because they will not be willing to do anything else to continue to spend time with you.

This is just something you will have to deal with and can overcome once you are in a good place to do so. Once you’ve had a long enough period away from alcohol that the physical and psychological cravings no longer affect you (this is different for everyone), then you can venture out and attempt to engage in activities that involve alcohol.

You just have to make sure you stay safe by giving yourself an out if the temptation becomes too strong for you to handle. What you’ll notice is that these situations will feel a bit awkward at first because your body has to learn how to have fun again WITHOUT alcohol.

As shared in Things You Will Have to RELEARN When You Stop Drinking, you’ll have to get used to hanging out and experiencing the feeling of a party, bar, or club without alcohol to allow your body and mind to get used to it.

Due to your body becoming so used to the artificial endorphin spike, it will take some time for it to begin producing feelings of excitement and enjoyment without it.

However, as long as you are willing to fight through this awkward stage to learn how to have fun again, you should be able to begin experiencing a similar type of enjoyment that you had before with no problem.


When many of my friends heard I was no longer drinking, they were surprised because they never looked at me as someone who had a problem. We would go out and drink copious amounts, and I always ready for work the next day or at the gym first thing in the morning.

They would mistake my ability to recover or will power to fight through my hangover to do whatever was needed for that day as evidence of my control over alcohol.

The truth was that alcohol had all the control over me because I had to force myself to wake up early to get stuff done instead of not drinking at all because it impaired my ability to do so.

If I were truly in control of alcohol, instead of drinking on nights in which I had a commitment the next day, I would’ve abstained to ensure I was on my A-game. Instead, I would tell myself that I would only have a “few” that eventually turned into a six- or twelve-pack and a few shots to boot.

Some of your friends may find it difficult to recognize this, as they only see what is happening on the outside, as you appear to be in complete control in most scenarios.

To be able to combat this, you have to be willing to open up to them about the extent of your lack of drinking control and how this has affected your life up to this point.

This could ultimately lead to your sharing with them all the ways you feel that alcohol has hurt your life and giving them a full view of how your struggle with alcohol has been something that has not been easy.

To help them understand where you’re coming, you have to make them fully aware of the reason behind your decision and be as honest as possible. They will be the biggest alleviator of any future questioning from them.


And bringing up the rear is the one dark secret that very few people will ever admit openly.

Just as we shared in the AINYF article, What Stops MOST People From Quitting Drinking, the biggest reason that many people will not like that you have stopped drinking is that it makes them question their own relationship with alcohol.

Very few people want to admit that they have a problem with something that they feel brings them so much joy. Many people see alcohol as the one thing they may look forward to each week or day. Their physical dependence is probably pretty strong, but their psychological dependence is probably much stronger.

Therefore, the possibility of losing it because it may be doing more harm than good absolutely terrifies them.

This is the reason that many times when you tell others that you are no longer drinking, they will immediately begin sharing that they don’t drink that much or feel that they have a handle on it.

Many times, this is them convincing themselves they don’t have an issue rather than convincing you. Other times, they might question or challenge you about making such a choice by stating that you didn’t really have a problem and shouldn’t have given it up.

Of course, their reasoning lies behind the obvious question of, if they drink as much or more than you and you feel you have a problem, then what does that mean for them?

For this reason, their logic tells them they can’t accept that your quitting was the right decision because if it was right for you, then perhaps it would be the right decision for them.

Probably the only thing you can do in this situation is to make sure they understand that your decision was based on your own unique set of circumstances and situation.

One’s relationship with alcohol is very personal and everyone has to make this decision for themselves. As shared in Why Stopping Drinking for Others is a BAD Decision, one has to make this decision for themselves only.

This has nothing to do with anyone else.


So what can you do for people who HATE that you quit drinking?


That’s it. There is really nothing you can or should want to do. Their dislike of a decision you made for your life has more to do with them than with you.

There are some who will give you the advice of telling people you are taking a break for a while or make up some excuse why you’re not drinking to make others feel comfortable, and I couldn’t be more AGAINST that.

This is not about their comfort. This is about your life and what you need to do to feel great about living it.

I’m not saying that you should criticize others for drinking or constantly bring it up to shame them to stop just like they shouldn’t try to get you to start back.

However, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of making this decision for yourself and your future and should be proud that you have matured to the point that you are ready to make this commitment.

And if you ever need a reminder of why you should stay the course and not change your commitment to being the best you ever for others, just do what one of my favorites t-shirt quotes reads…

Be you…they’ll adjust.