It’s no secret that a lot of our actions and personality traits are influenced by the people that surround us. Sometimes we can’t control the people who influence us, such as our parents and coworkers. However, we can control who our friends are (for the most part). And while having fun with your friends is important, it can be difficult to find things to do together when you’re embracing sober living and they continue to drink. You don’t want to feel pressured to drink, especially when you’re still struggling to keep sober, but at the same time, you don’t want to alienate your friends just because you chose to stop drinking. Have no fear; there are ways to meet them halfway while staying sober.
1. Avoid going to places where the sole purpose is to drink alcohol, such as bars and pubs. If you’re at the bar with your friends and you’re not drinking, you don’t really have much else to do so you become restless and start to feel the pressure.
2. Find hobbies you can share together. Find a hot new TV show to get obsessed with together or join a club or Frisbee team at your local YMCA. Doing activities together that don’t involve drinking will still allow you to bond but won’t be a hazard to your sobriety.
3. Talk to them about it. They’re your friends for a reason! They’re going to understand and support any decision you make concerning your well-being. Explaining to them your situation may seem like you’re making yourself vulnerable, but if they’re truly your friends, they’ll do what they can to make you happy.
4. Keep your goals in mind. You got sober for a reason so keep that in mind when you’re spending time with your friends, especially when they’re drinking. There’s nothing worse than coming so far and then giving in to temptation.
5. Make other sober friends to hang out with while your friends are drinking. Whether they’re long-term friends that you spend weekend nights with at the movies or short-term friends you meet at a party, having at least one other sober person to chat with will keep your mind off getting a drink.