(0.10) The simple answer
(0.32) Why are people bothered?
(1.05) The threat
(1.30) Your best friends
(2.28) Reptile brains
(3.16) Take a look at those who’re bothered
(4.10) Explain a little
(4.41) Don’t be bullied
It’s Really Simple
The simple answer to this question is you can do nothing!
You are only responsible for the things in your life that are in your control …
The fact that other people are bothered about you not drinking is not in your control…
They’re the ones who are bothered, not you…!
Why Some People are Bothered
The Perfect Witness
Some people are just bothered that’s there’s going to be a sober person as a perfect witness.
You’re gonna remember all the crap that was said, all the embarrassing things that drunken people say and do, the things they won’t remember, the things they would rather forget, the slurring, the puking, the fighting, the passing out, the smeared make-up and torn clothes. They won’t remember most of this…But you will!
Another reason why people might be bothered that you don’t drink is because they don’t want you to change. They feel threatened by it!
Even your closest friends or family members may feel like they’re being placed under the spotlight by you quitting drinking…You used to go out with them all the time, you’d drink as much as them, fall home together, and now you’re saying you have a problem with it and you’re not gonna be doing it any more…
Who’re they gonna drink with now?
Does that mean that they might have a problem as well?
Who the hell do you think you are?
Do you think you’re better than me?
Why’d you have to change things? What was wrong with the way things were?
A difficult situation to come to terms with is when that person who feels threatened, no matter how close they are to you, tries to unconsciously sabotage your efforts because what you’re doing is destabilizing their picture of the world.
Creatures of Habit
The human brain (the oldest reptilian part of it) does not like change. It likes you to do the same things over and over. It’s safer that way. When you set out to change anything in your life, this part of your brain will fight you all the way until a new habit is established and you’re finished with all this ‘new way of doing things’ business!
We’ll talk about this a lot more in future articles and videos, for now just think that this is the part of the brain that has the most power to influence you, it controls all those basic instincts…staying alive, sex, hunger…self-preservation is the name of the game!
Just as your mind will fight against you when you try to stop drinking alcohol, even when it’s slowly killing you, so those around you will also fight against any changes they see you making to their status quo.
What Can You Do About It?
Like I said at the beginning, you can only control how you handle things.
The first thing to do is to look at exactly who’s bothered by your not drinking. If they’re people you don’t really know, then who gives a damn, forget about them and move on.
If they’re your friends, maybe it’s time to have a change of scene, get rid of those friends and make some new ones.
Many ex-drinkers try to maintain a lot of their old lives, going to the same haunts as before, and meeting up with the same buddies. But if these are drinking buddies and the only reason to hang out with them was to drink, it’s time to make a change. They’re still in the old world, in the old habits, when everything has changed for you. You’ve already moved on in your head, now it’s time for your body to follow suit.
Sometimes you just have to make the decision not to associate with certain people any more. The longer you’re off the drink, the clearer your perceptions will become. You should be able to see that the less you associate with certain people in your life, the better you’re going to be. Be strong willed, not the victim.
If it’s a family member or a really good friend, you’re going to have to spend some time with them to explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For the people you really care about it’s worth spending the extra time and energy to get this right.
You need to tell them that your decision is your decision and it’s final. There’s going to be no discussion about it. It has nothing to do with them and they shouldn’t feel threatened by it. You won’t be drinking anymore and you don’t want them to offer you any alcohol in the future. You are changing for you, for the better, end of conversation.
They will come around eventually. Once they see that you’re serious about giving up alcohol, most of them will be on your side and only too willing to help.