I work in an industry and environment where alcohol is always present- and the parties roll almost every night when there is an event- definitely a challenge for many people. However, I’ve seen mostly respect when someone declines drink. I took a 6 month dry period in that environment and only one person out of hundreds in all that time gave me a very hard time — trying to force me to drink- and it altered our friendship. Everyone else was cool. I found I had to carry around a glass of wine and not drink it in order to not enter endless conversations about WHY THE F I wasn’t drinking. So ridiculous. However I have another theory for you to consider: The ranks of startup leadership is often filled with arrogant jerks. Startup CEO ranks are filled with megalomaniacs. (I am a startup CEO, by the way, so I am not speaking from afar). As a man, I find many hard core business type men- especially highly educated and funded- unbearable in their arrogance. So- maybe it’s alcoholism or maybe it’s just jackassery! Or worse- a combination.