{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Don't drink. Need to figure out how to network without making it weird at happy hours. When the manager laughs at me ordering just water/soda/juice, what should I say?", "post_id": "58b31faea708f600100ab2b0", "reply_count": 63, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Don't drink. Need to figure out how to network without making it weird at happy hours. When the manager laughs at me ordering just water/soda/juice, what should I say?

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I am frankly surprised that your manager would give you even one ounce of grief about not drinking while at a corporate Gathering. There could be. Reasons for a person not drinking, all of which are valid, and some of which might be quite sensitive. You could be a recovering alcoholic, or have a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism. You might be taking medications that should not be combined with alcohol. You might be a diabetic or have some medical condition that warrants avoiding alcohol. Drinking alcohol might be against your religious beliefs. Etc., etc.

The point is that your manager is being quite insensitive to laugh at you ordering club soda and lime, and he is on rather shaky ground. That sort of peer pressure is reminiscent of high school or college mentality. You should not have to make any excuses, Newark do I recommend that you do so. I would just look him in the eyes, shrug your shoulders slightly, and say that you have never been much of a drinker.

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A lot of these people have suggested saying things that are essentially making up excuses or being less than truthful. If the manager was genuinely interested that would be a totally different situation and you could explain why if you want. But anyone who pressure or makes fun is disrespecting you and doesn't deserve a reason. Just say "I don't drink" or "I'm enjoying my ____ tonight." You don't need to lie or explain why you are avoiding alcohol to someone who is being an ass about it. The awkward in that situation is the manager, not you.

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That you were an alcoholic

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Tell them that avoiding alcohol is a condition of your parole, as is staying at least 1,000 feet from any school, and that you desperately want to avoid going back to prison.

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^worst advice I've heard on FB this year.

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It's not weird to not drink.. just say you don't drink that often if they ask... it's only weird if you're weird about it.. this is coming from someone who drinks a lot

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Say a close family member/friend died of alcoholism when you were younger so you've always preferred not to drink. No one can make fun of that.

Be sure to name another vice so you don't sound like a prude, mention your love of gambling, smoking cigars, or strip clubs.

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Bring cocaine, it will make you chatty.

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Order exuberant fancy mocktails

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Club soda with lime. I drink but usually during the week my goal is to get to the gym and booze and weights are a bad combo.

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Just say no thanks. You don't owe anyone an explanation. I order Diet Coke myself

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It's meant to be. Thanks

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"I'm pregnant" works best if you're a dude

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If anyone gives you grief tell them you're paleo. They will be so scared that you're going to talk their ear off about that (or worse crossfit) that they will never make a big deal about it again.

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Sorry @D1 no apologies for my response. We have a core value "Respect for the Individual" and that certainly includes refraining from laughing at team members, much less those who choose not to drink. And there's nothing hostile about defending your personal boundaries from others who attempt to ridicule you for them. Any executive responsible for leading others should know and behave better.

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OP asked how NOT to make it awkward.. saying anything related to alcoholism or a family related death makes it 10x more awkward. I'd say something like "I gave up drinking for the month of <month>" or "I'm doing a diet and alcohol is not part of it". Both are easy and not awkward.

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D1 said it perfectly OP. It won't be awkward and no one will think twice about it. I have a medical condition that's worsened by alcohol so I don't drink, but I never tell people that actual reason because it gets extremely awkward...stick to the diet or giving it up for a month with your friend kind of thing

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Newark = nor. That's what I get for using voice to text

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Say you are allergic to alcohol. They can't make fun of your health condition.

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I'm always upfront and say I don't drink, never gotten any push back or anything. (made me a popular guy when I had drink tickets to give away at DU)

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