What does your social life look like? Are you like Kim, who feels awkward at parties and turns to alcohol to “loosen up”? Or maybe you’re like Gary, the guy who is already outgoing, but gets a drink or two in him and really becomes the life of the party.
What Kim and Gary don’t know is that what seems like a harmless way to “fit in” or “have fun” can quickly turn into a social and physical crutch.
Be a Social Butterfly
It might seem impossible to have a good time without alcohol or drugs, but those who commit SUI (socializing under the influence) miss out on so many benefits of socializing sober:
- You have genuine interactions: True, it’s harder to start a conversation without the “social lubricant” of substances, but the dialogue you do achieve will at least be authentic. It won’t be the alcohol talking.
- You make significant connections: Under the influence, you aren’t likely to make any real connections. Drunken ravings or drug-induced “epiphanies” hardly make for significant conversations. Remaining sober allows you to truly interact with others.
- You won’t make a fool of yourself: How many times have you done something while under the influence that you regretted the next morning? Even if you aren’t an expert conversationalist, you’re less likely to say or do something regrettably dumb while sober.
- You make lasting friendships: What would it be like if you had more in common with your pals than drinking? When you socialize sober, it’s easier to base your relationships on common values and interests.
- Your mornings are easier: Imagine waking up the day after a party and feeling refreshed. Socializing sober means no hangovers. Parties no longer require a day of recovery.
- You discover new hobbies or interests: If you aren’t so focused on escaping the anxiety of the situation or simply getting lost in substances, you’re present in the moment. You could try something new and find that you enjoy it.
On the Flip Side...
Socializing under the influence has so many negative consequences. By attempting to use substances to be more social, you actually end up being less fun and interactive. Some of the most common social backfires include:
- You can experience paranoia and self-consciousness.
- You get sleepy.
- You become even quieter – lost in drug-induced thoughts or trances.
- You say thoughtless or hurtful things.
Image Source: iStock