How to Say No to a Drink

Students say no to drinks all the time whether it's because they don't drink at all, they aren't drinking that night, or they are pacing themselves and in between drinks when offered one. 

It can feel rude or unfriendly to say no when someone offers a drink, but you can say no to a drink. People should respect your choice.

However, if you feel uncomfortable saying, "I don't drink", or you worry that might solicit additional questions, check out this video for some creative ways Princeton students refuse a drink.

You can also hold a cup with water or mixer in it and most people will leave you alone.  But if someone is still bothering you about it, you can say any of the following:

  • "I have an early morning tomorrow."
  • "I want to take it easy tonight."
  • "I have too much to do tomorrow."

You can also distract the person by changing the subject, suggesting that you go do something else, or saying you need to go to the bathroom.

If you say no to a drink, some people might ask you why you're not drinking. Here are some ways to respond.

If you see someone else being pressured to drink, you can use the Three Ds. You can directly tell the person doing the pressuring that it's not cool.  You can ask one of their friends to ask them to stop.  Or you can distract everyone from the situation by inviting the person being pressured to dance, to come with you to the restroom or to head somewhere else away from the person doing the pressuring.