Enjoying Happy Hour Without the Alcohol

Reviewed Aug 31, 2017

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

  • Snack on appetizers.
  • Drink non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Find alternative places for get-togethers. 

It is no secret that alcohol and “happy hours” go hand-in-hand. Look at any advertisement for your local bar’s happy hour, and you will almost certainly see alcoholic drinks advertised at reduced prices. So is it a foregone conclusion that the only reason one attends a happy hour is to consume—in quantity—cheap alcohol?

For some individuals seeking relaxation after a hard day’s work this may indeed be the case. Our society—through media in all its myriad forms—perpetuates the idea that there is a connection between alcohol and positive social interaction. We are swamped with messages that drinking alcohol is essential to gaining acceptance from an alcohol-consuming majority. And indeed, often real-world circumstances reinforce this idea.

“Happy hours” have become one of the most common forms of after-work entertainment among co-workers. In some cases, these occasions provide important opportunities for building and sustaining professional relationships that can become important to our careers. They also provide the opportunity to maintain connections with co-workers we may not otherwise see outside of the office.

So if your choice is not to drink, are you destined to be excluded from these after-work get-togethers? The answer should be a resounding “No!” Drinking alcohol is a personal choice. You have the right to attend social functions without feeling pressured to drink. Admittedly, in the case of happy hours, this may be more difficult, since alcohol is usually the “main event” of the gathering. But it doesn’t have to be. Remember that restaurants and bars use alcohol as a vehicle to entice customers inside, and ultimately the real purpose of gathering with co-workers after a hard day is talking and relaxing outside of the office.

Nevertheless, the desire to “blend in” with your co-workers may be strong. Here are some tips for enjoying happy hour without the alcohol:

  • Look at those happy hour advertisements more closely. Chances are the bar or restaurant is also offering appetizers at reduced prices. Snacking on these foods will give you something to do while some of your co-workers drink.
  • Many bars and restaurants offer non-alcoholic beverages “on the house” to encourage the use of “designated drivers.” Take advantage of these freebies.
  • Surround yourself with other non-drinkers who wish to socialize without the alcohol.
  • Above all, do not feel that you have to “apologize” for your decision not to drink. Your choice requires no explanation.

If you wish to avoid traditional happy hour events entirely, suggest after-work gathering places where alcohol is not the main focus. Go to coffeehouses or places where you can relax to local music performances. Suggest after-work activities that involve physical activity, such as aerobics, jogging, or working out at the gym. Start a book club and serve coffee and snacks in your home while enjoying good conversation.

The decision not to drink doesn’t have to make you into a social pariah. You may find that taking the initiative to find alternatives to the traditional happy hour scene will be met with enthusiasm from others who also may be anxious for a change of pace.

By Barbara A. Gabriel

Summary

  • Snack on appetizers.
  • Drink non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Find alternative places for get-togethers. 

It is no secret that alcohol and “happy hours” go hand-in-hand. Look at any advertisement for your local bar’s happy hour, and you will almost certainly see alcoholic drinks advertised at reduced prices. So is it a foregone conclusion that the only reason one attends a happy hour is to consume—in quantity—cheap alcohol?

For some individuals seeking relaxation after a hard day’s work this may indeed be the case. Our society—through media in all its myriad forms—perpetuates the idea that there is a connection between alcohol and positive social interaction. We are swamped with messages that drinking alcohol is essential to gaining acceptance from an alcohol-consuming majority. And indeed, often real-world circumstances reinforce this idea.

“Happy hours” have become one of the most common forms of after-work entertainment among co-workers. In some cases, these occasions provide important opportunities for building and sustaining professional relationships that can become important to our careers. They also provide the opportunity to maintain connections with co-workers we may not otherwise see outside of the office.

So if your choice is not to drink, are you destined to be excluded from these after-work get-togethers? The answer should be a resounding “No!” Drinking alcohol is a personal choice. You have the right to attend social functions without feeling pressured to drink. Admittedly, in the case of happy hours, this may be more difficult, since alcohol is usually the “main event” of the gathering. But it doesn’t have to be. Remember that restaurants and bars use alcohol as a vehicle to entice customers inside, and ultimately the real purpose of gathering with co-workers after a hard day is talking and relaxing outside of the office.

Nevertheless, the desire to “blend in” with your co-workers may be strong. Here are some tips for enjoying happy hour without the alcohol:

  • Look at those happy hour advertisements more closely. Chances are the bar or restaurant is also offering appetizers at reduced prices. Snacking on these foods will give you something to do while some of your co-workers drink.
  • Many bars and restaurants offer non-alcoholic beverages “on the house” to encourage the use of “designated drivers.” Take advantage of these freebies.
  • Surround yourself with other non-drinkers who wish to socialize without the alcohol.
  • Above all, do not feel that you have to “apologize” for your decision not to drink. Your choice requires no explanation.

If you wish to avoid traditional happy hour events entirely, suggest after-work gathering places where alcohol is not the main focus. Go to coffeehouses or places where you can relax to local music performances. Suggest after-work activities that involve physical activity, such as aerobics, jogging, or working out at the gym. Start a book club and serve coffee and snacks in your home while enjoying good conversation.

The decision not to drink doesn’t have to make you into a social pariah. You may find that taking the initiative to find alternatives to the traditional happy hour scene will be met with enthusiasm from others who also may be anxious for a change of pace.

By Barbara A. Gabriel

Summary

  • Snack on appetizers.
  • Drink non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Find alternative places for get-togethers. 

It is no secret that alcohol and “happy hours” go hand-in-hand. Look at any advertisement for your local bar’s happy hour, and you will almost certainly see alcoholic drinks advertised at reduced prices. So is it a foregone conclusion that the only reason one attends a happy hour is to consume—in quantity—cheap alcohol?

For some individuals seeking relaxation after a hard day’s work this may indeed be the case. Our society—through media in all its myriad forms—perpetuates the idea that there is a connection between alcohol and positive social interaction. We are swamped with messages that drinking alcohol is essential to gaining acceptance from an alcohol-consuming majority. And indeed, often real-world circumstances reinforce this idea.

“Happy hours” have become one of the most common forms of after-work entertainment among co-workers. In some cases, these occasions provide important opportunities for building and sustaining professional relationships that can become important to our careers. They also provide the opportunity to maintain connections with co-workers we may not otherwise see outside of the office.

So if your choice is not to drink, are you destined to be excluded from these after-work get-togethers? The answer should be a resounding “No!” Drinking alcohol is a personal choice. You have the right to attend social functions without feeling pressured to drink. Admittedly, in the case of happy hours, this may be more difficult, since alcohol is usually the “main event” of the gathering. But it doesn’t have to be. Remember that restaurants and bars use alcohol as a vehicle to entice customers inside, and ultimately the real purpose of gathering with co-workers after a hard day is talking and relaxing outside of the office.

Nevertheless, the desire to “blend in” with your co-workers may be strong. Here are some tips for enjoying happy hour without the alcohol:

  • Look at those happy hour advertisements more closely. Chances are the bar or restaurant is also offering appetizers at reduced prices. Snacking on these foods will give you something to do while some of your co-workers drink.
  • Many bars and restaurants offer non-alcoholic beverages “on the house” to encourage the use of “designated drivers.” Take advantage of these freebies.
  • Surround yourself with other non-drinkers who wish to socialize without the alcohol.
  • Above all, do not feel that you have to “apologize” for your decision not to drink. Your choice requires no explanation.

If you wish to avoid traditional happy hour events entirely, suggest after-work gathering places where alcohol is not the main focus. Go to coffeehouses or places where you can relax to local music performances. Suggest after-work activities that involve physical activity, such as aerobics, jogging, or working out at the gym. Start a book club and serve coffee and snacks in your home while enjoying good conversation.

The decision not to drink doesn’t have to make you into a social pariah. You may find that taking the initiative to find alternatives to the traditional happy hour scene will be met with enthusiasm from others who also may be anxious for a change of pace.

By Barbara A. Gabriel

Suggested Items

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.