Stay strong in your choice

  • Published
  • By Matthew Palmisano
  • 182nd Medical Group

The other day was the first day of spring. The weather is getting nicer, and it is going to be BBQ and parties around the corner. Ever tried to pass on a drink at a party or bar only to end up as the punchline to every joke or pressured by your friends for the rest of the night?

It can be tempting to give in, but there are ways to say “no” to another drink without feeling guilty or missing out on the fun.

Stay strong in your choice. You don’t have to explain your decisions to anyone. Don’t make up excuses that will lead to embarrassing questions or extend the conversation.

Whether you’re trying to cut back on your drinking, avoid the extra calories in alcohol or are the designated driver, there is nothing wrong with drinking less or not drinking at all.

Learn to say no in a simple, direct way that leaves no room for argument. Try one of these lines next time your friend asks if you want a drink:

1. No, thanks.
2. I’m good.
3. I’m driving tonight.
4. I have an early morning tomorrow.
5. I’m just not feeling it tonight.
6. I need to cut back on my calories.
7. Actually, can I get a water/soda/seltzer? (Hold a seltzer or soda to ward off questions.)
8. I just finished one—give me a minute!
9. I’m not feeling great. Trying to take it easy tonight.
10. I don’t want to ruin my gym workout—sticking to a healthy diet right now.
11. I’ve hit my limit.
12. I don’t drink.

Even with these lines, you might still hear, “Come on? Just one!” But stay strong in your decision to cut back or not drink. If saying no makes you nervous, set a reminder on your phone while you’re out with the line you will use. Make a promise to yourself to stick with your decision—your body (and wallet) will thank you later!

Have a great spring!

Matthew Palmisano, MSW, LICSW, US ARMY CPT (Ret)
Director of Psychological Health
182d Medical Group (MDG)
Comm: 309-633-5774 DSN: 724-5774
Mobile: 309-210-8390