Hey guys, Shogo here with another weekend blog for you!

Here’s a comment that a reader left on the blog that I really wanted to address. I’ve heard it quite a few times from guys and the topic is really relevant for guys who don’t drink alcohol but still want to go out and experience some nightlife.

Coach Shogo, I want to try something new: going sober in a club or bar, how can I put myself at ease and enjoy while not taking any drinks?  I’ve been studying this option for some time now, and it is very difficult to achieve…


First off, I think going sober is a great thing.  I think living an alcohol-free lifestyle is great.

That being said, I have to give you a disclaimer that I personally don’t live an alcohol-free lifestyle.  Now, I don’t booze it up every day, but I do like to go out a couple times a week and have a few drinks in the evening.  And about once I month I like to go out and actually get drunk.  Just the way I like to do things.

So if you want to go out and have a couple drinks, loosen up, and be less uptight when you’re out meeting people, more power to you.  (But if you HAVE to drink in order to open up at social functions, that’s a problem and we need to talk.)

And if you never drink alcohol because you don’t like the feeling of losing control of your senses, or you don’t want to put unhealthy things in your body, more power to you as well.  Don’t let the pressure of the drinking crowd get to you.

Is everyone at this bar getting drunk?

A lot of times I will go out and not drink any alcohol, or I’ll just sip on one beer the whole night, especially when I was bartending and just needed a break from all the boozing.

But if you’re not able to put yourself at ease in a bar or club situation without drinking, it’s for one of two reasons:

One, you don’t feel comfortable in a bar or club environment and you need the influence of alcohol to relax you and help you be less uptight.

Two, you’re self-conscious about being the sober one in the bar while everyone else is drinking and you don’t want to look or act like the odd man out.

Let’s talk about the first one.  If you don’t feel comfortable when you’re out in a bar or club, or you just can’t seem to mingle with the crowd, you should really consider not going to bars or clubs anymore.  Your body is telling you something.  There are plenty of other great things you can do in the evenings besides going to a crowded bar and standing around feeling like you don’t have anything in common with the people there.  But if you feel like you need the influence of alcohol to help relax you in EVERY social situation, that’s another issue altogether and something you need to deal with separately by putting yourself out there and opening up to new people every single day.

Now let’s talk about the second one, and that’s really the heart of the matter.  If you do genuinely enjoy going out and being social in bars and clubs, but you just want to cut out the drinking part of it, here’s what you do: you cut out the drinking.

Just get a glass of something nonalcoholic and hold it in your hand.  Drink a coke.  Drink club soda with lime.  It doesn’t matter.  Nobody is going to ask you what you’re drinking. On the off chance that someone does (and it will probably be another guy), just casually tell them you’re having a club soda and change the topic.

What’s really holding you back is that self-conscious feeling of being a little bit different from the rest of the crowd.  That somebody will look at you like you’re from another planet if you tell them you’re not drinking.

Here’s what I think about that: forget about the rest of the crowd.  You do whatever you feel like doing and you don’t look back.  So what you’re not holding a vodka tonic in your hand while you’re going around meeting people?  Trust me, there are plenty of people in the place who are also not drinking, especially women.  The more upscale and fun the venue, the more likely it is that other people are not getting drunk.  Just avoid those crappy little bars where the only activity in the place is to stand around getting completely hammered.  That’s just no fun.

So drink whatever you want to.  People are not standing around the bar talking about the fact that you’re not drinking alcohol.  Honestly, nobody cares.  When you see somebody standing at the bar only drinking water, do you start whispering to the people around you, “Hey, that guy over there is only drinking WATER!!”  Of course you don’t.  That would be weird.  But when it comes down to ourselves, we think that everyone around us is talking about us.  Trust me, nobody is talking about the drink you’re holding in your hand.

It’s far cooler to be the level-headed sober guy at the end of the night than the obnoxious drunk stumbling around with beer stains all over his shirt.