If you know that you tend to over-drink at social outings, you may be nervous about attending an event like the company happy hour. Consider some tips for not getting drunk so that you can enjoy time out with colleagues.

1. Set Limits

Set a limit for yourself before the night begins and stick to it. For instance, “I will only have two beers” or “I will not drink hard liquor.” When you reach your limit, order a non-alcoholic beverage, like seltzer water with lime. By continuing to hold a drink, you can feel as though you are participating with your colleagues while still respecting your limit.

2. Alternate Beverages

As the evening progresses, do your best to alternate each drink with a non-alcoholic beverage. Ordering a seltzer with lime or cranberry juice allows you to pace yourself, but your colleagues likely won’t be able to tell the difference. Plus, consuming a non-alcoholic beverage between drinks helps you stay hydrated, potentially reducing the side-effects of alcohol. 

3. Turn Down Shots

If a team member offers you a shot, don’t feel obligated to drink the whole thing. Instead, take a small sip when everyone else pours it back. Then, set it on the bar—in most cases, no one will notice. If you feel uncomfortable leaving it, order a mixer like seltzer and add the remaining shot to it. 

4. Find a Happy Hour Buddy

Chances are, there’s another person at the event who wants to drink less too. Finding a friend to stick with throughout the night can make you feel less out of the loop and be an excellent motivator to stick to your limits. A happy hour buddy can adhere to these tips with you and remind you of your goals throughout the night.

5. Stay Engaged

You’ve been invited to happy hour because your colleagues want to spend more time with you outside of work. So, stay engaged in the conversation and mingle with your friends. They aren’t interested in whether you are drinking or not. 

6. Get Involved in Other Bar Activities 

Most bars come equipped with music, dancing, and games. Consider trying one of these activities to keep you involved in the action without needing to drink. For instance, invite your group to play a game of darts or billiards as an alcohol-free way of bonding.

7. Avoid Bad Influences

You might encounter a coworker who over-drinks and assumes you’ll join them. In this case, do your best to avoid this person. In the event, this individual wants to take shots or order you a drink, excuse yourself and play darts or go to the bathroom. 

8. Connect with Confidant

If you struggle with company happy hours, you’re not alone. Fortunately, Confidant is here to provide you with the tools you need to approach networking events with confidence. 

We offer educational materials, helpful worksheets, and someone to speak with to understand which tips work best for you. Plus, Confidant can provide a safe, affordable medication, Naltrexone, that can help reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Naltrexone can be taken 30 minutes before drinking or as a daily-use medication to stop your brain from producing endorphins as you drink alcohol. 

Though you’ll still feel the effects of drinking, Naltrexone will help curb your desire to keep consuming alcohol, which allows you to respect your limits. Naltrexone has been trusted for more than two decades and has been featured in more than 30 studies

You may not be able to avoid alcohol at company outings, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel the evening is out of your control. By following these tips and exploring your options with Confidant, you can enjoy company happy hours.