“It is most absurdly said of any man that he is disguised in liquor, for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety” –Thomas de Quincy
Don’t take this the wrong way, but Drunk You is more fun to hang with than you are.
This is a good thing though.
Well, for me at least. As a bartender I’d be out of a job if not for this fact.
We all love booze so much because it makes us less inhibited and more honest. We become talkative, brazen and extroverted. And we’re a whole lot more likely to walk over and introduce ourselves to that person we’ve wanted to meet for the last three months but were too chicken shit to do so.
Now aren’t these all characteristics you’d want in your everyday life? Why, though, are so many of us unable to tap into this persona without first tapping into the keg?
You may think it’s because you’re just not wired that way…that you’ll never be that brazen truth-teller you were last night after a few cocktails. I’m here to tell you otherwise. See, if you can be the witty extrovert who doesn’t care what others think when you’re buzzed, then it’s in you. You just have to discover how to get it out on a regular basis.
1). Let’s start by figuring out exactly what part of Drunk You I want you to emulate.
After years behind the bar watching people go from dead sober to dead drunk over the course of the night, I can tell you with near certainty that 98% of people are at their wittiest best self somewhere between the 1 ½ to 2 drink point in their night. Prior to that, they’re still warming up. After, they start chasing it. So really what we’re looking for is not so much Drunk You, but rather…who is Buzzed You?
Next time you’re out with your friends pay close attention to that moment in the night when you’re on your second drink. How do you feel? What’s different about that moment than the rest? Notice how comfortable you are in your own skin (and on a side note, this is the point in your night that you should be approaching that aforementioned person of interest. NOT when you’re 10 drinks in. Ten-Drink-Last-Call You ain’t the best You. Trust me. That You should go home before it makes an ass of itself).
2) One thing you’ll notice about yourself during this second drink sweet spot is a tendency toward Yes.
What I mean is, you’re open to things…in particular, things the other person is saying. There’s a rule in Improv comedy that no matter what the other actor says, you “Yes and…” it. The scene will flow much more smoothly when the actor takes what the other one says, accepts it, and then adds to it.
Disagreement is okay, but don’t deny what the other person wants to be talking about. Drunk You rolls with what they’re saying and adds to it, taking the conversation to a deeper or more entertaining place.
Do this sober.
“Yes And…” takes the convo to unique places. “No” and “But” shut people down.
3) Drunk You is also honest.
You say what’s on your mind as opposed to the normal You who holds a lot of it in. Honesty gets us away from cliché and boring conversation topics.
Sure, if it’s hurtful to the other person, keep it to yourself. But if it’s about you—even your insecurities—then by all means, lay it bare. So rare is the truly honest person, that when we come across one, we are naturally drawn to them.
4) Another thing about Drunk You is you’re generous.
You’re much more likely to buy a round for your friends. Generosity pays off in all aspects of your life. Don’t worry, I’m not saying you have to volunteer at the local pet shelter; I’m just saying do the little things. Hold the door. Buy your friend a coffee. Ask people, ‘you doing alright?’ with actual interest. I don’t care how put together someone is, they have SOMETHING they’re stressing about, and if you ask them that question with a genuinely interested look, they will appreciate the chance to vent.
5) Here’s a weird one: Have something in your hand.
There is something about the body that it feels more comfortable holding an object.
When we’re drinking, we have that thing in our hand that makes us physically more comfortable. But at other times when talking to someone we don’t know what to do with our hands. It’s why people cross their arms or make other counter-productive gestures. And we’re at our absolute worst when listening to the other person. We fidget and project discomfort when that is exactly when we should be doing the most to draw the other person in.
This may sound crazy but you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll come across subconsciously when you hold something in your hand whether it’s a coffee cup, a pen, or a coin twirling between your fingers.
What it really comes down to is Drunk You is confident. You You? Well…you can’t always say the same thing, right?
Telling you to ‘just be more confident’ doesn’t help, I know, so I’ll tell you this instead: Nobody is thinking about you.
“Um, that’s supposed to make me feel better?”, you ask?
Actually, yeah. People spend so much of their time obsessing on their own crap that they rarely pick up on your insecurities and self-perceived weaknesses.
It’s freeing to know that your weaknesses are being overlooked by all these people caught up in their own tunnel-vision of self concern.
Enjoy this freedom to be yourself. Enjoy your real self.
Real You is fun. You just have to get out of your own way.