Facing questions about why you don’t drink

Why aren’t you drinking?

It’s incredible how this question can really freak people out. Trust me; I get it. It used to freak me out too.

Before becoming a life coach, I worked in communications, so I’m pretty good at writing up rock-solid talking points. Give me a set of tough questions, and I’ll draft foolproof answers. But for a long time this question was impossible for me to crack.

What did I do? I ran from it.

I spent a ton of energy trying to dodge the question rather than face up to answering it. Mostly, I think I was afraid of having a explain myself. Like I needed a really good reason to prove that not drinking and being normal could go together.

Mostly, I think I was afraid of having a explain myself. Like I needed a really good reason to prove that not drinking and being normal could go together.

Why is that? Why do we convince ourselves that we owe people an explanation?

Here’s what I noticed. The less I viewed my decision not to drink as a “big deal” the fewer reactions I got from people when I simply said, “I don’t drink.” When I made it a big deal, they made it a big deal.

When I had thoughts and fears attached to that statement, the energy behind those words totally changed. I didn’t deliver them in a self-assured, who-cares kind of way because I didn’t believe my answer was a who-cares kind of thing. I thought it meant something about me. I thought it was a big deal, and that energy came through in my answer.

Is it a sign that something is wrong with you or a pretty insignificant detail among the hundreds, if not thousands, of details about yourself?

The more worried I was about the question, the more people pried.

Your work then is to understand what, if anything, your answer means about you. Is it a sign that something is wrong with you or a pretty insignificant detail among the hundreds, if not thousands, of details about yourself?

You get to decide. But remember it’s less about landing on the perfect response and more about deciding what you want your answer to mean about you.