Sheldon is a twenty-year-old third-year college student who is interning at a corporation. She attends a company party. She wants to mix in with everyone and make a good impression as she’s hoping to get a job with this company.
At this party, she notices most people having a glass of alcohol while socializing. Alcohol is against her value system. When a server brings a drink to her, she feels conflicted.
Should she take it?
What would people think of her if she refuses?
She feels uncomfortable saying no.
What would you do in that situation?
Let’s review what Sheldon can do.
Sheldon’s emotional mind said, “If you refuse you will be considered different. People will not respect you, you won’t get this job. You need to mix in.”
Her rational mind said, “If you drink you’ll break your own value system. You will put yourself at risk of all the consequences.”
She knows that alcohol can cause or worsen depression for many therefore it is called a depressogenic drug. It can cause a loss of inhibition. Sometimes, people lose control of what they say or do. What if she loses control and says or does something stupid.
In her school, she has learned all the medical problems that can be caused by alcohol, including liver cirrhosis, heart problems, and dementia.
She also has a friend who had struggled with alcohol addiction. Therefore she is aware of the consequences of addiction. She is aware that nobody takes their first drink with the intention of getting addicted to it, yet that first drink increases the risk. Her friend has told her that she used to feel deprived when she used to say no. Now she considers it her strength that she can say no with ease.
Due to all these reasons, she has remained abstinent till now. But at that moment, it was hard to remember all the reasons why she doesn’t drink.
The overlap between our emotional mind and our rational mind is our wise mind. So her wise mind helped her.
Her wise mind said; “If I am a vegan, I don’t feel bad about saying no to non-vegan food. I simply say no with ease. I am fine with my identity as a vegan. I don’t need any excuses. I don’t say “I can’t eat.” I simply share my choice; “I don’t eat non-vegan”.
So why not with alcohol. Why can’t I say no to alcohol with ease? I can feel confident in my identity as a “Non-Drinker”. I can say: “Do you have a non-alcoholic drink? Or “I’m fine.” or “I don’t drink alcohol.” I can also say “not right now” or “no thank you.”
Why would people not respect that? They may actually see it as a sign of character strength, confidence, and leadership. They may actually respect me more.”
So, she realized that she can say “No” with no problem.
If you have not thought through your reasons and your identity as a non-drinker, it would be hard to process all these thoughts at the moment when you get offered a drink.
If you have made up your mind and have chosen your identity as a non-drinker, it would be much easier to say no when a situation like this arises.
So think about it ahead of time. Make your choice. Become comfortable in your identity as a non-drinker. Say no with ease and save yourself from many problems alcohol can bring.
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