Updated: Jan 12
Is saying, "no thank you" to a drink difficult? Is it really?
Let me ask you this nicely... seriously, take a minute and ask yourself that question before you keep reading?
What I'm trying to do is make this like a math problem. Doing math the math is easy.
1+1=2 - easy... just like forming the words "no thank you" - that's easy, too. It's the drama leading up to something and the drama that follows that makes doing something difficult.
The art of saying, "no thank you" takes practice in all types of situations. Be it at a social gathering, family party, GNO, or when you are home alone.
The difficulty is in the thoughts you create in anticipation of how to handle a situation when you know someone will offer you a drink.
The difficulty also lies in the anticipation of the end of the day when your usual habit is to have a drink and you are the one offering yourself a drink.
Yes, it is a great idea to have your replies to the ill fated question, "what would you like to have a drink" but you'd be better served if you practice how to handle the drama in your mind surrounding your habit of drinking alcohol.
My #1 answer is, "No thanks, I prefer not to tonight". It doesn't allow there to be any other follow up questions. You're not saying you're taking a break, or working on sobriety, or quitting, it just says 'just not tonight'.
My #2 answer is, "No thanks"... with a smile.
If someone does follow up with a, "oh, why not" then you just need pull up your big girl panties and have your own back (mentally speaking) and answer with sheer confidence because you are certain you're better off not having a drink and you won't sacrifice that just to make this other person feel more comfortable.
Of course I've used lots of other responses but I always felt like I was making it up and not being genuine with myself.
I wanted more honesty in my answers. When I'm honest with myself I exude that energy and I know people feel that energy which leads them to back off, so to speak.
If you want to not make saying "no thank you" easy then you must work on your mind and your thoughts.
Do you recall:
However you think creates your feelings. Your feelings guide your actions.
You are the only one that has control over your thoughts.
The mistake we often make is reaching for a drink when the discomfort arrives without even giving ourselves a moment to experience the feeling of discomfort.
If you want to avoid the discomfort and the 'drama' that's in your head you must be completely aware of the thoughts you're producing. If you don't like what's going on in your mind then you must work on creating a new belief around saying "no thank you" to a drink.
You can do so by asking yourself this:
What do you want to believe?
Do you want to believe that you thrive when you are alcohol free?
Do you want to believe that drinking takes more than it gives?
Do you want to believe that instant gratification that comes from booze is not worth it for long term well-being?
Make a list of thoughts and beliefs that are more powerful than saying yes to a simple glass of alcohol.
Remember, alcohol is neutral and has no human qualities. It just sits there in a bottle doing nothing. It's your thoughts about alcohol that make it what it is to you, that make you desire it.
This takes practice. Practice will make it easier. You just need to begin!