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What Do I Do If My Not Drinking Bothers People?

by | Questions | 5 comments

(0.10) The simple answer
(0.32) Why are people bothered?
(1.05) The threat
(1.30) Your best friends
(2.00) Sabotage!
(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!

The Threat

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!

It’s true!

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.


  1. Renato

    Sup Kevin, I’ve been watching your videos the past two days and first i want to congratulate you for stop with this stupid habit of drinking alcohol. You said started at 14 and i did it to myself as well, 13 to 14 and keep it up till 34 then i started to get those long hangovers and all the brain laziness and lots of waste of money and getting tired of the same places and same conversations, i was like walking in circles, stopped in time.

    Watching your videos is like listening to my conscience, thank you man, great job and great speaking skills. Im 35 already and trying to quit for the last year. It went well for the 3 first months and i only drink on weekends but i was used to take it seriously, once i started i didn’t stop, as u say, when i drink, its to get drunk, this is always followed by doing more stupid things, like drugs in my case, cocain most, not always but u can’t imagine how worst is it associated with alcohol in therms of the hangover, its like 10 times worst, really shit stuff. u think u will die and the stomachache is the hell, good the pain happens to my body because some of my “friends” say they don’t fell it and thats an way for them to keep it up the very next day. We can find some good in bad things.

    Also i had to hear my body and if u have a bit of intelligence theres no way to keep doing that and not felling a fool so i dropped this habit, i wasn’t addicted to the cocain, it was more like a way to wake up for that laziness of the alcohol or to boost the things up like conversation, and at start u fell better, like alcohol, but them u can’t reach that happiness level again, no matter how much shit u put inside your nose, really stupid way to act. Also when u look from outside u can see that you weren’t boosted up, actually you were smashed and thinking u were good.

    I dropped the smoke habit when i was 30, fuck! it was the worst month in my life but it worth every second, i stopped together with my mom, we just hit 5 years and theres no way we come back with tabaco. Now im in my 3 week free alcohol and thinking in a completely stop, as you.

    Those 3 months were great, specially for my brain, im used to work out 3 or 4 times a week so my weigh was never a problem, anyway i have to say, after stop smoking i notice a great increase im my cardio performance that i didn’t think would happen in that level, we get so used to the stuff we do and our body assimilate and changes so gradually that we don’t notice the bad we are doing to ourselves until we stop it, thank us we can change if we really want to.

    Well, thats it for the moment, sorry about my english, its not my native language, im from Brazil.
    Keep it up with your goals and know that when u lose a “friend” for being a better person u just lost an enemy. The people that supports you its the people who really matters.

    Best of lucky

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I agree with you about the smoking, I tried to quit about 100 times. It was terrible. But I truly think it’s all in the head, though. I don’t think I had the same mental strength back then. And, it took a massive rift in my self concept to get me over the line this time. Welcome aboard Renato. You speak/write great English by the way. I’m struggling to learn Spanish, i wish I could speak as well as you can your English. lol!

  2. Kenneth Estephan

    I got to tell you, Kevin. I am 32 years old, and I never drank alcohol in my life. I am a law student at WMU Cooley Law School, and a lot of fellow law students rebuke me and cast me out into the shadows because I do not drink. Fellow law students have spouses and kids to deal with. But, as for me, I am still single. I never had a girlfriend. Plus, I do hear surprising news that there a lot of attorneys who do drink because they have to meet deadlines. They have to go to drinking counseling to help themselves get sober. They are too afraid to admit that they do have a drinking problem because they do not want to get exposed to their colleagues and their bosses about ruining their reputation. I get uncomfortable around people who want to drink. My uncle’s brother, on my dad’s side, died of alcoholism when I was 18 years old. I had a cousin who died of alcoholism related symptoms this year at age 44. My family tried to help him out to recuperate, but he did not make it. I did not know that staying away from alcohol can actually be bothersome to people, including perceiving you as a threat.
    I am still struggling, though, on quitting Internet porn. I got into it because I felt pressured in front of my peers when I was 13 about getting a girlfriend. Also, I would get stressed, lonely, and bored. Nowadays, I am beginning to understand downsides of doing Internet porn such as brain blockage, time wasting, and anger.
    Peer pressure is still my concern nowadays. If people my age just do not like the fact that you do not drink, then they are just not in your best interest. They just act like a bunch of high school kids.
    It’s politics shenanigans that my peers believe that it is okay to smoke marijuana, have LSD, phencyclidine, and so forth because they want to get high. But as for me, no thanks.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I completely agree with you Kenneth. Peer pressure is a major influence in the vast majority of people taking up alcohol… or most other drugs. Stick to your guns. Keep practicing your own authenticity. People who follow crowds usually get lost in it. The only way to make a difference in this world is to stand out from the crowd.

  3. Kenneth J Estephan

    I am 32 years old, and I never drank alcohol in my life. I am a law student at WMU Cooley Law School. A lot of fellow law students rebuke me, scold me, and cast me into the shadows because I do not drink. I hear surprising news that there a lot of attorneys who do drink. It is because they have to meet deadlines. It’s stress. They have to go through counseling to get clean. If attorneys reveal information that they have been drinking, the info goes among their colleagues and their bosses. The news will ruin their reputation. My uncle’s brother, on my father’s side, died of alcohol problems when I was 18. My cousin died of alcoholism related symptoms this year in January at the age of 44. My family tried to help him out to recuperate, but he did not make it.

    I am still struggling, though, on quitting Internet pornography. It is because when I was 13, I felt pressured in front of my peers about getting a girlfriend. I did not understand what it meant to have one. I used it whenever I would get stressed, bored, and lonely. I am beginning to understand downsides of Internet porn such as brain lock, anger, and time wasting. Each time I use Internet porn, I feel sorry for myself.
    I get uncomfortable about drinking among other people. It is surprising that there a lot of people my age who prefer to go smoke marijuana, use cocaine, LSD, and phencyclidine. it is political shenanigans. They want to use those kinds of drugs as a right under the U.S. Constitution.
    If I do not feel comfortable about drinking, then they get bothered and want to make trouble. The only way to want to be friends and join them is if you join in the drinking with them. That’s it. It sounds like they are not in my best interest. I did not know that being sober can actually be bothersome to people and perceive you as a threat to them.


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