There's really no easy way to say this, but abstaining from alcohol makes people nervous. Just have a drink- what's your problem, I'm headed to the bar are you sure I can't get you one, aww come on not even ONE glass of wine, are you on a cleanse, are you pregnant ?!? The commentary is plentiful. I keep smiling and decline, as I watch the glasses around me empty fast, the classic nervous swirl of the ice hoping to find one more chug hiding somewhere at the bottom. My water glass reaches my lips and I can't stop thinking about an excuse to head home.
Side note, are we following how this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever?
First, there's no getting around the blanket assumption in which too many believe, in order to enjoy one's self we must be in pursuit of intoxication. Now, let me state, if you are a person which loves going out to party, I'm not judging. Having a drink or three, eases the load for many people who don't indulge everyday. It even eases the load for those who's vernacular is controlled by, it's 5 o'clock somewhere... Please, don't be confused, I'm not preaching about how one should treat their body, I'm simply trying to highlight how easy it is to alienate someone that chooses not to indulge (especially for my friends that have chosen to live a life free from alcohol dependency).
Let's start with a common ground, we are all there to enjoy each other's company, to laugh, to decompress, to catch up, and have a great time. Of course offer to buy a friend a drink, but don't persist if they decline. Have gratitude for your sober friends, they may be the one driving you home or helping you to the bathroom or remembering how to unlock the bicycle combo. Don't ever take someone passing up a drink personally (it's definitely not about you). Take a moment to reflect upon past behavior when out with friends, have you noticed others goading those not drinking or have you been the one hurtfully joking around? Step in and help change the conversation.
Small steps allowing us to be conscious of our behavior can only improve a night out on the town with friends! I raise a glass of ice water to toast that sentiment! Cheers!