Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Tell them it is the most dangerous thing, whether it is social drinking or private drinking, it doesn't matter. Just say no to that, that’s it, finished!
In fact you should take pride in saying, ‘No’ in a social circle.
If you attach pride to it, ‘I am a teetotaler, I never touch alcohol’, then you gain a certain dignity even amongst your friends.
You should emphasize your own values. Even when in a group, carry on with your individualness and your individual preferences.
We do that all the time. We go to all these big meetings, everywhere, we keep our individual preferences.
You know the world has started recognizing this. Whichever institution that gave me a doctorate, in several places, and wherever I went, just to honor me they kept only vegetarian food and no drinks.
Usually in the universities they keep drinks and non-vegetarian food. But wherever it was that I went, whether Cordoba, or Netherlands, or the Nyenrode University, when they gave me a doctorate, in the reception they served only vegetarian food and soft drinks.
Even in very big conferences in the world, like the UN conference on HIV-AIDS, they have started keeping a section for vegetarian food. This was never the case earlier.
Even in The World Economic Forum, if you are vegetarian, they honor it, and have a separate section for vegetarian food.
This was not there before. About 10 to 20 years back, this was unthinkable. Even 10 years ago you would not find this in international forums. But now it has changed and this is because we have always stood our ground that we will not touch alcohol and non-vegetarian food. And the world honors that. So your friends will also honor that.
Even in airlines they have started doing this in the last 10 years. Before it was not so. Now, they even have Jain food on airlines, i.e., with no potatoes, carrots, etc.
You can specify what kind of food you want.
So, you must keep your personal habits and emphasize on them. Otherwise, first you start with social drinking and then slowly it becomes a personal menace.