I know it’s hard, it was for me as well. I found that biting the bullet and just doing it helped though.
If we give short term reasons why we can’t bet like:
“I’m busy this week” or “I can’t afford it this month”
Then it is exactly that, short term. There would then be no reason for friends/colleagues not to ask again next week, the week after, the week after that etc etc Each time stretching our imagination as to finding a new reason not to, each time maybe stretching our credibility even. Certainly each time creating a new temptation that we don’t need. Sooner or later someone will ask us when we are having a bad day, our resolve is week and that’s when a slip might happen.
“No, I’ve decided not to gamble any more” removes all that, it’s dealt with and done, makes life a lot easier moving forward.
How much, if anything, you tell colleagues about your problem is up to you, personally “I’ve stopped gambling coz I got fed up with losing” worked for me lol Very few people outside of my immediate family know about my gambling issues.
The funny thing is I was worried about avoiding all the card schools etc at work, turned out that there weren’t many after I stopped gambling – it had been me that instigated most of them!
There are still the odd times that the question comes up but everyone knows i don’t gamble now, whilst it seems to us a MASSIVE thing to stop gambling to most people out there choosing not to gamble is no big deal at all so it’s not really commented on. I have my stock “I don’t gamble” answer if invited to join a work syndicate or sweepstake. I also have a strategy for any charity raffles etc so that I just don’t look like I’m a tight wad. If it’s a charity i would support then i just put a £ in the pot and say I don’t need a ticket, that usually impresses people, or if that makes things awkward for them I buy a ticket but instead of writing my name on it I just write “return the prize fund”.
Anyway those are just a few thoughts, hope that helps.