Food & Drink
Why many feel pressure to drink alcohol when socializing
“If you’ve ever made up an excuse to not drink alcohol, you’re in good company."
By Astrid Cooper via SWNS
Three in 10 adults feel pressured to drink alcohol when socializing, according to research.
A study of 2,000 adults, who consume alcohol, revealed 28 percent have made excuses to avoid drinking.
And 43 percent admitted to canceling social plans to avoid the pressure of drinking alcohol altogether.
Of those most likely to persuade others to have an unplanned tipple, friends are the worst (33 percent), followed by their partner (30 percent).
While others have faced pressure at weddings (24 percent) and work events (22 percent).
But for the 28 percent, who have made up excuses to avoid an alcoholic drink, 38 percent put it down to having an early start the next day, while 32 percent claim to be on medication.
And three in 10 tell others they’re the designated driver, even if they’re not, with a fifth lying about wanting to take a break from booze.
However, the real reasons people have chosen not to drink alcohol included wanting to wake up feeling refreshed the next day (32 percent), getting a better night’s sleep (26 percent), and trying to live a healthier lifestyle (25 percent).
Dr. Martha Newson, a psychologist specializing in human behavior who has partnered with non-alcoholic wine drink McGuigan Zero, which commissioned the research, said: “If you’ve ever made up an excuse to not drink alcohol, you’re in good company.
“The research found that people tend to rely on excuses that are functional, such as having work the next day or driving, placing responsibility outside of their control.
"Interestingly, however, the true reasons that people reported not drinking alcohol were embedded in self-awareness and personal development, such as health, sleep and wellbeing.”
The study also found a quarter of those who have felt pressure to ditch plans to stay on the soft drinks find birthday parties are where they have encountered the most pressure from others.
While 24 percent had an issue at a Christmas shindig.
It also emerged 59 percent of those polled via OnePoll, already do or would consider drinking a no or low-alcohol beverage.
And beer, wine and mocktails are among the most common drinks respondents have tried.
Sober curious celebrity Louise Redknapp said: “Let’s be honest, when we’re not drinking alcohol at a social occasion, we all feel the need to explain ourselves, make excuses and apologize to our friends and family for not "being fun."
"But it’s time to say no to peer pressure.
’’With so many amazing no and low-alcohol alternatives on offer, our drinking culture needs to change.
"So, for whatever reason, you’re choosing not to drink this festive season; lean into your decision and I’m with you all the way.”
A spokesperson for McGuigan Zero said: “Our research has shown that nearly 60 percent of people already do or would consider drinking no or low-alcohol drinks.
"It’s now a way of living for a lot of people.
‘’We’re passionate about giving people the tools to feel confident when choosing not to drink and McGuigan Zero allows you to still feel like you’re the life of the party, without the consequences the next day.”
DR MARTHA NEWSON'S TIPS TO NAVIGATE SOCIAL SITUATIONS WHEN NOT DRINKING:
1. USE RITUALS
Participating in the rituals of drinking – like saying cheers and clinking glasses – are powerful ways to signal that you are part of a group. Having particular drinks for special occasions, like mulled wine at Christmas parties or a glass of fizz at New Year, these are traditions that bring us together. So, try to include yourself in these rituals with low or no alcohol options by using the ‘right’ type of glass so you’re covered for every occasion.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Good friends want to include you in the fun and will feel like better hosts when you have the drink you want. By knowing that you won’t be drinking alcohol prior to the event, there will be less pressure on you to conform at the time.
3. JUST DO YOU
People who live their lives authentically, rather than making up excuses for themselves and their choices, are considered more honest and attractive by others, so feel confident in your alcohol-free drink choices.
4. KNOW THAT LOW OR NO ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ARE NOW PART OF BRITISH CULTURE
British culture has progressed dramatically in the last decade or so, with the focus we place on our physical health and mental well-being being one of the most noticeable changes. According to the research, most people only actually drink alcohol when they go out fewer than four times a month. This cultural shift toward less alcohol consumption shows no signs of diminishing.
Whatever your response, if you feel comfortable doing so, keep smiling - smiling helps you to bust stress by releasing tiny molecules called neuropeptides. We all deserve to feel good about the choices we make and have meaningful interactions with friends and family without alcohol. Everyone should be comfortable with the decisions they make to better themselves, and in turn, those around you will feel more comfortable too.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
World’s first mind-reading beer pump unveiled
"This is the world's one and only mind controlled, beer-pouring robot. It reads your mind and measures your mental focus."
SEE IT: Adorable video shows gorilla playing in the rain
"Bangori went for a dance in the rain!"
A third of parents believe their kids should be punished if they vape
“Most parents recognize the health risks of vaping and feel their child does too."
Too much screen time could lead to suicidal behavior in children: study
According to the team, adolescent screen time doubled to nearly eight hours a day at the start of the pandemic.
Man renovating kitchen discovers historic 400-year-old paintings
It is thought that the paintings may date back to 1660.
- Auctions7 days ago
Entire T. rex skeleton to be auctioned in Europe for the first time ever
- Tech7 days ago
Baby boomers adapt faster to smart home tech than any other generation
- Video1 week ago
Baby born ‘size of a toddler’ at almost 12 pounds
- Money1 week ago
Female business owners report improvement in work-life balance
- Outer Space4 days ago
Huge ‘doomsday’ blast from sun this week could have killed Earth’s internet
- Sleep1 week ago
Couples share tips for better sleep, including snoozing in separate beds
- Fashion & Beauty5 days ago
Designer creates $2,500 Teletubbies boots
- Health6 days ago
This party drug is more dangerous than cocaine: doctor