A recent Facebook post from user Autum Willey about drinking (or, rather, not drinking) has been drawing quite a bit of attention.
The post calls out those who shame people who choose not to drink, and try to get them to do so.
Many people who choose not to drink, but still like to go out, have heard the line "Oh, but one drink won't kill you!" at one point or another. The biggest problem with this line, and way of thinking, is that there are some people who it could kill; alcohol allergy is a thing.
A less obvious problem is the assertion that the person doesn't have the right to choose whether they want to drink or not. That they're being "lame" or "ruining the mood" by choosing to remain sober.
The Facebook post shows a screenshot from Tumblr shows a conversation between 4 people:
"naturallytom: hi can we normalize the idea of choosing not to drink"
"softmoongf: no cuz thats fucking lame"
"faefox: hey it actually isn't! i get really sick whenever i have more than a beer or two and i absolutely hate how people assume i must be lame/a kill joy when i refuse a drink. people choose to be sober or mostly sober for a variety of reasons, e.g. addiction, medical, etc. and not a single one of them is 'because i'm a lame person who hates fun'"
"love-god-herself: The degree to which drinking is seen as a must in social situations is fucking weird, and I think the fact that people are more put off by non-drinkers than by how much alcohol consumption has permeated the culture is ... troubling."
Some people may be dealing with addiction, may have medical conditions that make drinking dangerous, or just may not feel like drinking that day; and they don't owe anyone else an explanation for their choice.
There was vehement disagreement from some on Facebook, most largely missing the original point of the post (or proving the poster's point by insisting that people who don't drink are lame).
Some, though, made coherent points.
There were quite a few who agreed with the sentiment as well.
It doesn't matter how polite the refusal is.
Sometimes it even escalates to threats.
The easiest solution is just to have a little empathy and respect that the person has a right to their own choices.
Everyone has a right to choose what they do and don't want to put into their bodies. Choosing not to drink doesn't necessarily mean someone wants to ruin the mood.
Opting out of drinking one time doesn't mean someone will never want to drink, and just because they drank the last time they went out, that doesn't mean they have to do so the next time.
If we can all just learn to accept each other's decisions, then everyone can go out and have fun.