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Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

All too often, we hear of someone who has been injured or killed because they have either been drunk behind the wheel, or they have been in an accident with a drunk driver. Drinking and driving is a leading cause of death in the United States, especially with young people who have not yet learned how to drink responsibly. But, you can help to cut down on the number of drinking and driving incidents, simply by being a good friend. Here are some things you can do.

1. Be Assertive

Sometimes, you just have to come out and ask someone if they really are okay to drive. Often, people will tell you that they are, but other times, they will sit back and take a look at the situation and see that they indeed are too drunk to drive. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends if they are okay to drive.

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2. Get Friends Together

If you can’t talk your friend out of drinking and driving, it is time to gang up on them. Gather other friends together, and get them to help convince your friend that they really are too drunk to drive.

3. Keep Them Drinking

While this may sound strange, if you keep buying drinks, they will stick around long enough for the cab or other ride you have called to arrive. Then, all you have to do is tell them that their ride is there, and they will get home safely without any arguments (most of the time).

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4. Plan For Transportation

If you are hosting a party, plan to have transportation for all of your guests. Let them know in advance, and they can take a taxi, bus, etc. to your place rather than driving. Then, there will be no temptation for them, and they will definitely make it home alive and well.

5. Take Their Keys

“There are times when a person who has been drinking just isn’t going to listen, and will insist that they are sober enough to drive. Take it from me, they are in no place to reason their way out of a DUI,” says Grant Scheiner from the Scheiner Law Group. You know better, and you don’t want anything to happen to them or to anyone else. In cases where someone is being this stubborn, sometimes your only option is to take away their car keys. Often, you can trick them into handing over their keys, simply by asking to borrow their car to go on a beer or pizza run.

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6. Be A Designated Driver

If you are not planning on drinking, you can offer to be a designated driver for everyone you are out with who is. Everyone can have a great time and drink as much as they want, and you will make sure that they all make it home safe and sound.

7. Call Them A Cab

There is usually that one person who drinks way too much at a party, and then proceeds to drive everyone crazy. This is when it is time for them to leave. Instead of letting them drive, make sure that they get home safely by calling a taxi for them. If they don’t have money for a cab, pay for it yourself. It is a small price to pay to keep your friends alive.

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8. Let Them Sleep Over

One of the absolute best ways to keep your friends from drinking and driving is to offer them a place to sleep it off for the night. Let them crash at your place so they can sober up before they drive home. If they argue, offer an incentive, such as a tasty meal that they will want to stay to enjoy.

Featured photo credit: Stefan Stefancik via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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