Going out sober can be hard.
It shouldn’t be, but when the norm is liquid obliteration and rounds of shots, deciding to go against the grain can be a challenge.
Even the thought of going out sober can spike a little anxiety in people.
“I’d be so awkward!”
“Everyone would think I was lame”
“Alcohol makes it more fun”
“The boys / girls would rip me so bad”
When I first started going out dry it took a lot of self-courage and a thick skin not to let the peer pressure and internal fear change my mind.
I still remember a situation in high school when a friend turned to me and said;
“Don’t even bother coming this weekend if you’re not going to drink. I don’t want any fun sponges at my party.”
I don’t know why that specific exchange has embedded itself so well in my memory, but that experience helped me embrace sobriety completely. While that comment initially made me feel like shit, it was also a challenge.
Like hell I was gonna be a fun sponge!
I went to that party with one goal, to enjoy a good night out and not give a flying F what anyone thought.
Every time I felt a little awkward I just took a big breath, relaxed (kind of like mental yoga, I’d take time to chill my mind) and either started chatting to someone new or returned to the dance floor.
So if you’ve decided to give the bottle a break and want to head out sober, stick to your guns and make the most of your hydrating evenings.
While you will face some challenges starting out on your sober journey, there are a few things you can do to help relax and enjoy the night.
Without further adieu, here are my top tips for going out sober.
#1 Have something to sip on
Empty hands are an open invitation.
When you arrive at a party or bar, stow the keys and walk straight to the bar or kitchen and grab yourself a coke, mocktail or soda.
Whatever your boozeless choice, having a prop is key to the play of sobriety.
Holding something not only helps you feel less awkward, but drunk friends can’t try force a beer in to your empty hands.
The first few times you go out sober, you will probably feel awkward, I know I did.
Feeling self conscious often means people stand stony faced.
Don’t turn in to a sober statue, remember to relax and smile a lot. That doesn’t mean you need to stand there with a permanent face-splitting joker grin, but making sure you don’t look bored is actually pretty important.
#3 Forget stimulating conversation
I’m a talker. So this one took me a while to click on to…
Winding down a path of meaningful conversation will not happen at a party or in a bar.
Keep conversations to a sentence or two, MAX.
#4 Join in
This is what almost every sober person struggles with.
Believe it or not, your sobriety does not come with a sentence of sensibility.
When trying the dance floor sober for the first time, roll those shoulders back, stand up straight and beeline for a corner where possible.
If you can keep your back to a wall, it’s a lot less intimidating when you start to dance.
When you’ve found a spot, take a Mc Massive breath in, relax your body and imagine that everyone is so drunk and they’ll never remember what you looked like.
Once you can mentally detach from insecurity, you’ll be free to let loose without a fear of judgment.
To quote the cliched phrase…
Dance like no one will remember!
#5 Pack up on the way out of a house party
Dump a few empties in the recycle and gather the garbage before you head to the city or home.
It’s not your job, but the hosts will be stoked that someone took a few minutes to care for their pad.
Plus good juju.
#6 Stow the phone
Staring at your screen while out may placate feelings of awkwardness, but it will create distance from others.
As tempting as it may be to scroll through social media, try to assemble your inner courage and start a conversation with someone new (while also remembering rule #3…).
Save data and immerse yourself in the night.
I hope you found this list helpful!
If you liked this blog, be a GC and give it a share, leave a comment or get in touch with me direct, I’d love to hear your stories / experiences about deciding to go out sober.