Monday, January 14, 2013

The British Evasion

It seems there's a trend in the U.K. for people to go "on the wagon" in the New Year. Two organizations - Alcohol Concern and Cancer Research U.K. - are both marketing a "dry" January to help counter the effects of too much partying over the holidays.  Of course, lots of people cut down in January. But if today's report in BBC News Magazine is any indication, it seems to be even more popular in the U.K.

However, abstaining from drinking can also pose problems. Lubricating social life with alcohol is such an ingrained part of British culture, that some people can be lost without it.

I've done a lot of socializing on cleanses and I think I've got it down to an art.  The important thing to remember is that you can have just as much fun with family and friends when you're sober as when you can drink. Honestly!

However, sometimes it can be a challenge to interact with drunk people when you're totally sober.  So be a good listener! Drunk people love to talk, so don't interrupt them. Just smile and nod and try to find some way to stay interested in your crazy Uncle John's story about how he sunk the Bismarck. Even though you've heard the story ten times.

btw, listening is an important skill any time, whether you're on a cleanse or not. Here are some really great tips from Dr. Raymond Morris of York University about how to be a good listener - whether or not there's drinking involved. Because it's amazing how easy it is to get caught up in your own mind chatter and forget to just listen. And being a good listener is a big part of being a good friend. :)

Active Listening by Dr. Raymond Morris.

And here again is the full BBC article about the dry bandwagon in Britain.