How to deal with your non-drinking friend

Do you have a friend who is fasting from alcohol?

Are you staring at her like she has two heads?

Have you ended your friendship with her?

I hope not.

The reactions to my 73-day alcohol fast range from a congratulatory hug to visible recoil. More noticeably, I find that it makes people think about their own relationship with alcohol.

I get it. Drinking has a huge social component to it and it is a good social lubricant. But there is no need to give up your friend who is fasting. Here is how you can deal with your alcohol-free friend (whether her sobriety is temporary or permanent):

1. Do not talk her into having a drink.

2. Do not treat her like a social pariah or like she’s lost her mind.

3. Do not give her the “head tilt – I’m so sorry” look every time you see her.

4. Do not hide your alcohol from her or flaunt it in her face either.

5. Do not explain to her why you would not give up alcohol.

6. Do ask her how she’s feeling and provide encouragement.

7. Do continue to invite her to your parties and get-togethers.

8. Do treat her like nothing has changed.

9. Do buy her a juice or soda if she’s at a bar with you.

10.  Join her. You might be surprised at what you will discover about yourself.

Fortunately, this activity is gaining popularity even though people are arguing about whether or not it actually does any good. But at least it is being talked about and considered. Maybe you can try it for yourself next year whether you take a week off, a month, or even a year.

Have you tried fasting already? What was your experience like? Let us know!


4 Responses to “How to deal with your non-drinking friend”

  1. Art Vandelay

    Is it okay to do #2 and #3 above outside of the whole alcohol fast thing? Because they might be appropriate when I crush her at curling at other times.

    • Samantha Dublin

      Of course it is. But I think your friend is bringing her game face on and is excited to crush you to smithereens. (P.S. Bring it on.)

  2. Brett

    Also don’t ask your sober friend a bunch of questions. We don’t need reasons to be sober. That doesn’t have to be explained. The real question is can YOU go without.

    If we want to talk about it, we will. And please listen with compassion. Otherwise, order me a club soda and don’t ask me to hold your Jack and Coke while you go Karioke “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.

    That’s not cool.

    • Samantha Dublin

      I just want it to be clear that singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is TOTALLY cool… Just not the part where you treat your friend like a table for holding drinks.

      Seriously, maybe it’s not such a bad thing for people to internalize my fast… We could all benefit from a little moderation, right? I’m just glad it’s catching on.


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