How to Have Fun at a Party Where Everyone Is Getting Drunk

You don’t drink, but you’ve been invited to a party where things may get a little rowdy. You want to have fun, but you want to make sure you don’t end up being bored—or worse, a babysitter. How do you avoid feeling left out and make yourself the life of the party instead? Read on!


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    Have a bullet-proof exit strategy before you leave the house. This will ensure that you can have fun on your own terms, and don't fall victim to the whimsy of your friends, who may have different ideas about how the night will go. In order to plan for a good time, you must be able to leave whenever things get too crazy...or just boring.
    • Though life is unpredictable, you can get a reasonable sense of how wild the party will be based on the occasion. Are your aunt and uncle having a daytime housewarming party, or is it the 30th birthday party of a guy who refers to himself as "Mr. Blackout"? Having a sense of how the night will go can help you decide if you're just popping in to say hello, or if you'll have fun late into the night.
    • Figure out the ride situation. If you promised to give rides to your four best friends, then you have committed yourself to a long night, whether you want to be there or not. Leaving them in the lurch makes you responsible if they try to get home in an ill-advised fashion. If you only plan on staying at Aunt Nina's housewarming party for an hour, make this clear to your beer-guzzling cousin from the get-go, so he doesn't end up begging you to stay longer so he can get home without getting arrested. Remember that you're first and foremost a guest at a party, not a carpool mom or a night nurse.
    • Be realistic. Sometimes, there's no predicting how a party will go, and you just might end up holding back the hair of your new best friend as she hovers over a toilet bowl. Go into the party knowing that things happen, and that the party just might not be fun this time, even if your party plan was bullet-proof.
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    Don't make a big deal about being "the sober one." Not drinking is always okay, but if you want to have fun, you should avoid alienating people just because they're drinking and you're not. The other guests shouldn't feel uncomfortable about being tipsy in front of you. They're doing their thing, and you're doing yours.
    • Always have a drink in your hand, even if it's just a club soda or a caffeinated beverage. This will keep some people from feeling self-conscious that they are too drunk while you are sober, and will allow them to open up to you. This will also help you avoid that annoying guy who keeps tapping you on the shoulder to say, "Are you really sure you don't want just one drink?"
    • Avoid constantly talking about how you're not drinking, or pointing out how drunk some people are. It's great to be open about your habits, but you should avoid sounding judgmental or like you're nagging people who just want to have fun.
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    Use the party to your advantage. Don't think that being sober is a drawback. Instead, look at this as an opportunity to do something you've always wanted to do — but which will be easier to accomplish at a party where others are drinking, and therefore, more amenable to your ideas for fun activities.
    • Be the DJ. Are there a few silly and ridiculous songs that you have been too embarrassed to admit you like in public? This is your chance to control the stereo, and to hit up the dance floor to your favorite beats. So what if you make a fool of yourself? Those sloshed souls don't care! Have fun!
    • Play an old video game. Are you obsessed with a certain video game, but can't find anyone to play with? This is your chance to convince an eager drunk to pick up a controller and have some fun!
    • Try a new recipe. Have you been meaning to make that watermelon-and-feta salad for weeks, but were too shy to share it with anyone? This is your chance to find out what people really think about your culinary skills.
    • Make new friends. Use the party as an opportunity to approach that cute guy you've been crushing on for weeks, or to look for a new yoga buddy. Remember that not absolutely everyone at the party will be completely drunk, and you may still be able to have some pretty interesting — and coherent — conversations.
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    Get entertained by the drunk people. You may be sober, but that doesn't mean you can't have as much fun as the girl dancing around with a lampshade on her head. If you're at the party being sober, you can talk to drunk people and get entertained by their comments and antics; heck, you can even tease them about it later, without being obnoxious. Here are some great ways to have fun at a party by being entertained by the drunk people in your orbit:
    • Drunks can be fun to talk to. When your friend is buzzed, maybe he'll tell you that secret you've been dying to know. Or say what he really thinks about your best friend's new beau.
    • Drunks can be fun to watch! It can be really funny to simply watch them stumble around, and do things that they'll regret. Of course, you don't want to be judgmental of these people — being drunk is a choice, just as being sober is. Still, you can quietly chuckle to yourself.
    • Be the historian. Take this as an opportunity to take silly (though not incriminating) photos of your friends having a blast. They'll thank you the next day when they realize they didn't take a single photo the entire night.
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    Finish strong. As you get ready to leave, remember that you should leave a positive impression with the guests and hosts so you will be invited to their future shindigs — and can invite them to yours. Maintaining a fun attitude at the end of the night will make everyone see that you don't need to do a keg stand to be the most fun person at the party.
    • Remember that if you had a great exit-strategy, you should be able to leave when you want to. If no one is depending on you, leave as soon as you get bored or tired. You don't want to be remembered as the grumpy guest who wore out his or her welcome.
    • Make plans with your new friends. If you really hit it off with yoga girl, you can get her number, or ask if your crush wants to grab coffee some time.
    • Give yourself a reward when you get home. If the night was a bit taxing, unwind with your favorite TV show or your favorite dessert — or that leftover watermelon salad.
    • Sum up your night. The next day, ask yourself if there was anything you could have done to make the party more fun — or to avoid any unpleasant incidents in the future.


  • You don't have to feel left out. When people are together and drinking, they generally think they are much more drunk than they are.
  • If your good friends are getting really drunk, give them lots of water. This will prevent what would otherwise be a terrible hangover for them, and make them indebted to you (which is always a good thing).


  • Sharp pointy objects and drunk people are a bad mix.
  • If you attempt to blackmail someone with a picture, it may be harmful to your health and it can be illegal.
  • If you feel that the others are doing things you would rather not, like become rowdy, sexually harassing, or neighbors are threatening to call the police, leave. You can get into trouble inadvertently by being at an out-of-control party or situation and it's best to not be there when and if something bad happens.
  • Not having fun is bad for your health, so have fun. And having fun sober is even better for your health.
  • Do not take advantage of someone who is intoxicated and get him or her to have sex. This is considered rape--always.

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Categories: Parties