Learning from being drunk

In college I was first exposed to people who would get drunk when they go out. It was always fascinating because:

  1. People would be normal
  2. They’d drink this stuff
  3. They start acting differently

After more and more drinks it was very easy to see people getting chattier, louder and generally less inhibited. It’s clear that alcohol is pretty good at spicing up a party, but why do we need it?

It always bugged me that some people HAD to drink to have fun. Maybe they didn’t have to, but it really enhanced their good time…but why?

Being slightly nerdy I would select random people at a party and analyze their behavior from sober to drunk and in between. I would also do it with the best test subject I could find: myself. Now THIS is fun science :-)

I would take mental notes of what I was doing differently when intoxicated. There are a lot of good traits about being slightly intoxicate like the willingness to chat up strangers, feeling less nervous and not worrying so much about things. You tend to become a slightly more “fun” person when you’re a little tipsy.

There are also bad things such as not being able to comprehend things as well, loss of coordination (I can barely play the guitar if drunk), paying lots of money for alcohol, not remembering things as clearly, the whole driving issue and waking up feeling like crap.

So the novel of idea of NOT drinking, yet trying to emulate the GOOD qualities of being drunk popped into my head.

Over the years I’ve randomly decided to not drink on some days….no reason other than to just test pretending to be drunk. Not drinking is easy. It really isn’t that hard to refuse rounds of drinks because you can ALWAYS pawn off a free drink on someone else. You can also easily get a cola or other non-alcoholic drink to keep up the illusion. Almost 80% of the time the bartender doesn’t even charge me for a “plain Coca-Cola” or pineapple juice!

I’d try to mimic the “good” effects of alcohol when I did this, and to my surprise it actually works quite well with practice! It actually helps you have a lot more fun when you “pretend” to be drunk!

For example:

Let’s say you’re shy to dance, I know I used to be. I would always think “I wonder what people are thinking of me” or “I wonder if I look silly” over and over in my head. However if I was a little drunky munky I’d probably dance anyway, accept the fact I possibly look ridiculous, wouldn’t care what people thought and just have a good time.

So if I were sober and dancing, I would think WWDND? What Would Drunk Neville Do….and just do that. It actually takes some mental effort and practice to not emulate some drunky qualities, but it’s well worth it. It can also apply to many other situations in life.

This little technique has definitely helped me have a lot of fun over the years.

Now all this alcohol talk kind of makes me want a drink… :-)