Emily Syphas has been sober since April 2018 and founded Sober Social later that year to empower and support people wanting to explore and lead a teetotal lifestyle.
“Telling your friends you are no longer drinking can feel like a big mountain to climb,” Emily told us. “Especially if you’ve always been a party girl with an ‘up for anything’ attitude.
Whether you’re putting down the prosecco for Sober October or teetotal is a lifestyle choice, explaining that to friends can seem like one of the hardest parts. But cutting out alcohol doesn’t have to stop you partying, or even being social.
“For some, it can feel like you are losing your identity because your friends are no longer getting what they signed up for. But you have to find new ways to navigate your friendships away from alcohol and present your shiny new self to your friends (and the world).”
As well as hosting a sobriety podcast and coaching members on their own journey, Emily hosts alcohol-free events in London’s premium night-out venues to prove that a sober life is anything but dry. Here, she shares her tips on things to do with friends that are fun AF (that’s, alcohol-free).
The more open I have been about not drinking, the more rewarding and deeper my friendships have become. Letting people know the reasons why you’re not drinking gives them a chance to understand. You will be surprised how much more support you get when your friends know your reasons.
Suggest fun activities
Suggest meet-ups away from your usual drinking environments, like getting together for an exercise class, meeting for brunch, going for a walk or grabbing coffee. It can mean getting to know each other on a deeper level as you begin to enjoy other activities together (i.e: not just getting smashed).
Make sure you’re realistic about your friendships. For example, if you are going on a boozy night out and you know everyone will be drinking, manage expectations and let them know you won’t be out all night – or if you feel more comfortable, politely decline and organise a lunch on another occasion. Don’t feel like you have to attend everything you get invited to.
Don’t worry if they don’t get it
Some people just won’t get it and just like life, friendships ebb and flow. There may be some people that you feel disconnected from when you make such a big life change but there will be others you will grow closer to who will be able to better support you. It’s okay to let people go and free up space for new friends to flow in.
And, the best things to say about living your best sober life:
“I feel more positive when I don’t drink”
“Alcohol just wasn’t serving me anymore”
“My life feels so much more fulfilled now I’m not drinking”