How to be Sober around Drunk People

Attitudes are changing ever so slowly towards the sober person. I see it here first hand in my home town of Dublin. More and more people are looking for non alcoholic beers. Mid Strength beers are available in more pubs than you would think. Sober people are slowly but surely infiltrating the pubs of the world…

This is coming from the beer companies. They recognise the market and they want to ensure they are supplying it. They want to be first in best dressed and are therefore implementing policies which hitherto may have seemed ridiculous and futile – Non-alcoholic beer in Ireland? Please!! But times do change. These massive global companies recognise this and are supplying the possibilities to change.

So let’s assume you are designated driving for the night. Or that you are long term sober. Either way, you are heading out with a group of friends into the city. You are going to be sober and they will all be getting pissed. What are the things to watch out for to ensure you have a good night? And more to the point of this article, what are the things to look out for, to ensure everyone else has a good night?

Order a Non Alcoholic Beer when out on the town
Order a Non Alcoholic Beer when out on the town

Order Non Alcoholic Beer

This may seem silly at first glance. What difference does it make? Why pay the same price for a drink which has no boozy effect on you? Here is the thing – Buying a bottle of Becks NA or Erdinger NA makes you fit in. When you drink a beer, even without the alcohol, you feel like you belong more in the pub. You feel less like a tool and this enhances the experience you have.

On top of this your friends and others will pay less attention to what you are doing. The fact that you are drinking something which looks like what some of them are drinking, means your non-drinking becomes unimportant. This means less time asking you why you are not drinking. This mean they can get on with their night out without those conversations with you where they explain away their guilt.

Down be an asshole when you go down Sober Street
Down be an asshole when you go down Sober Street

Don’t be an asshole

This may seem like a stupid piece of advice. Or, it may seem like something you should apply to any situation in life. In fact, this is probably the single most important thing in life if you want others to like you. People generally don’t like assholes. So try not to be one. But how to avoid this when you are out?

When you are sober you will notice a change in drunkenness normally five or six drinks in. People can go from mildly merry to very loud/obnoxious/repetitive/sleazy/silly/stupid/dulled/introspective etc. When you are sober you have the power to recognise this. Watch out for it. An asshole would pick up on these changes and be affronted by it. They would challenge the behaviour and demand it stops.

But this will not happen. Drunken people do not like to be told what they should do. Certainly not by someone who is not drinking. If someone is being inappropriate, then make a joke about it. Deflect away from it. Allow the drunks to enjoy themselves without being that whining, irritating Mom figure. If you cannot handle it and are driving people home, go for a walk. Go get something to eat. Come back an hour later as they hit the dance floor. Let the drunks be drunk for a while on their own.

Your night will be much smoother if you go with the flow and don’t judge. And their night will be much less confrontational if you don’t pick up on every deviation from the norm.

Be cool and crazy and people will still love you
Be cool and crazy and people will still love you

Encourage Funny Behaviour

If you are looking for some fun, then there is nothing quite as enjoyable as suggesting silly things to drunken people and seeing if they do them. Look on it as a social experiment. While you may not be open to chatting someone up, trying ridiculous moves or accepting weird challenges, your drunken friends may well be.

Your night will become more enjoyable if you take an active part in making fun for those who are drinking. This can be as simple as suggesting sillier conversations and seeing where they go. Or giving someone the boost to use their Dutch courage to chat someone up who is way out of their league. You do not become a manipulator, more a suggester of things which they cannot see while drunk.

They win too. Instead of harping on about the same old crap, they get the chance to broaden horizons and follow a new path. They will appreciate it in the long run, and love it in the short run.

So that is it. How simple it is. Three simple things can change your sober nights out – Order Non-alcoholic beer, don’t be an asshole and encourage funny behaviour. These are the first three steps to being thought of as one cool mo&*(#%^()ker.

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