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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.61 – What To Do When You’re Partying But Don’t Drink Alcohol

What To Do When You’re Partying But Don’t Drink Alcohol

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains that you can still enjoy partying even without drinking.

  • David Tian Ph.D. suggests drinks that you can order if you don’t drink alcohol.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells us what we should do with people who gives us a hard time just because we do not drink.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 61 of Man Up, I answer the question of, what to do when you’re at a party and you don’t drink alcohol?

[Intro Music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Music Fade]

Hey, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 61 of Man Up! The sun is going down in Bangkok here. Beautiful Bangkok. I’m in my home hotel and I can finally open the window so you can see it. The sun’s not shining in so it’s pretty cool. I’m going to remember this timing, 6:09 (pm). Ideal time to shoot more video. Cool!

A question from the private Facebook group. This one comes from Ash.

“Hi David!” This is a good punchy question, so I will just read the whole thing. “I have a question about going out with a girl or a social group but avoiding alcohol. What’s the best or natural way of going about it and places or things to keep in mind that will make a date or hangout nothing less than interesting. It’s not because I can’t but more on health grounds, thanks!” Great question!

Many – believe it or not, Ash – many of my friends that I hang out with who actually… some of them work at night life don’t drink alcohol as a rule. So there are lots of ways getting around it. Well, like first of all, what do you drink instead? And then… that’s the easy part… and then what do you say so that you don’t have to answer a billion questions about it.

But some people are really fervent supporters of it but sometimes if you say the wrong thing, they’re just going to try to make you drink. They see it as a challenge or they try joking around with you and so on.

A lot of the guys, you know you can actually make some pretty cool choices at the bar. If you’re at the cocktail bar it’s pretty easy. Most of the bartenders love to make mocktails. So if you have a mocktail version of a favorite drink, they usually will be up to the challenge of doing that. So, cocktail bar. You can also usually order something that’s like a tea-based that’s really cool. I know some of my bartender friends really like to drink tea. And if you’re like into meditation or yoga or something, tea is usually a whole part of that culture.

So tea is a good way to go. For the guys who are in clubs and they’re not going to have tea or anything fuzzy, you want to be quick, right? You can make it look like you’re drinking alcohol by having a fizzy drink. Or you could ask for soda water, just throw in a lemon or lime in it and usually people won’t ask you too much about it because it could be a vodka soda or something. You can also get a dark drink like a diet coke, throw in a bunch of limes and look like a mixed drink. Okay, that’s pretty straightforward.

Probably what you’re more wondering about is what to say. I happen to enjoy alcohol. I’m trying to cut back on it for – also for health reasons – but also for discipline reasons just so to stay more focused on my work and so I’m not so hung over in the morning. But I got to admit, man, in Shanghai I way overdid it! For the guys who were there, you know we way overdid it.

Like one of the things I want to do is take it in moderation but let me think about my friends – I have many friends! Actually in Shanghai, the majority, more than fifty percent of the guys in our group – the people in our group – didn’t drink! Actually the girls are drinking a lot more than the guys. A lot of the guys – by rule, for years – do not drink. It’s not because they were alcoholics before. It’s just for other reasons, health reasons, mental and emotional reasons maybe.

Some of the things they say is that they actually say it’s for religious reasons. And maybe it’s not but that usually gets people out of it. Like no one wants to debate religion in a bar or club. So there’s an Indian holiday recently where they walk on fire and all that…I can’t remember the name of it.

The guys in Singapore and India would know,and there’s like kind of fast that leads up to it… Damn it I’m so sorry I can’t remember what it is…but my Indian friends would just say I’m preparing for whatever that festival is. The Muslims have, well they’re not supposed to drink at all but many of them do, my friends who are Muslims do. What’s the name… Ramadan! You know, so they’re not going to touch it, and you go okay so you don’t want to go there, right? So you can just say for religious reasons.

But be prepared for people like me, smart alecks like me who ask, “Oh what religion? I’m interested.” But for me it’s a positive perspective, right? I’m interested what your religion is, why you subscribe to it, what you find interesting in it – but it’s all from a positive way. So if it’s a lie, and you’re hanging around smart people who might be inquisitive about it and want to know what religion you would dare to, maybe you don’t want to go there.

Unless maybe it is a religious reason in which case just say it. You know, it’s for religious reasons. Be proud of your religion, man and preach it! Maybe preach is the wrong word there. But yeah, you share it.

Okay, so if it’s for health reasons, what’s the specific health reason? If you say you’re diabetic, whoa! Off that, right? So no one’s going to touch you if you have a real specific health reason.

I say, when I’m off it, I say “you know I’m fasting for something or I’m on a cutting diet. You know, and… they might rib me on working out too much or something but I think that’s just stupid. And if anyone would rib me on that I would just stop hanging out with them because they are idiots and I don’t want to hang out with idiots.

So it’s also another like… so… a theme that runs through all these Man Up videos is who the fuck are you and what do you stand for because that will tell you what you’re going to put up with in other people. You got to know what you’re going to put up with other people.

So know what your standards are. Know what you’re going to put up with in other people if they really give you a hard time but you think it’s an unreasonable hard time then stop hanging out with those people and start finding people who are cool, okay, who will complement your lifestyle choices.

And there are lot of them. I just want to tell you out right now that more and more people are cutting alcohol out of their diets along with the rise in fitness. Also it’s coming a decrease I think, just from my personal experience, because a lot of my friends I used to party with hardcore we’re all now like super off alcohol. Like they’ll only drink for very special occasions. And only like a little shot here or there.

Even the bartenders they’ll taste it but they’re not going to go far at all so it’s pretty cool! Because I’ve seen guys go way out, way overdosing alcohol, then they swing back for years with no alcohol. It’s pretty cool! So there are a lot of people who don’t drink. A lot of cool people who don’t drink. Just to put it out there, Ash! You’re hanging out with the wrong people if you don’t believe that.

Okay, so there you go! Join the private Facebook group. I’m answering all those questions all the time and I want to hear your questions. Those are the lifeblood of the show. So join the private Facebook group and until then, Man Up!