As a college student, stories that begin with "Oh, last weekend, when I was super drunk..." or "Yeah, I don't remember doing that..." are common. There's this idea that has been perpetuated by these stories that we act ENTIRELY different when we are intoxicated. In fact, someone who claims they don't act differently is the odd man out. But where did this idea come from? Do we actually act differently when we are drunk? Are we a "truer" or "more realistic" version of ourselves?
The truth, honestly, is underwhelming. Based on a recent study conducted at Purdue University and the University of Missouri, your sober self is not much different from your drunk self. The study took 156 participants and gave them a survey two weeks before the experiment began. In this survey, they asked the participants to attribute certain personality traits with either their drunk-self or sober-self. Then, on the day of the experiment, half of the group was given Sprite and vodka while the other half was given just Sprite. Both groups were asked to complete a series of tasks and were then judged by sober observers.
The results of this experiment were surprising to both the observers and the participants. The intoxicated participants claimed they were more open and less contentious and agreeable, but the observers claimed they showed little difference from the sober participants.
So it seems, really, that our perception of ourselves when we are drunk is different than how we are actually acting. Either that or when we are sober, we fail to see certain aspects of our personalities that become apparent when we are intoxicated. Either way, it's interesting to learn that our sober-self and drunk-self are so closely related.
In some ways, I think this idea is freeing. A lot of people claim alcohol gives them courage. Allows them to talk to people they wouldn't normally talk to or dance like no one is watching or let their hair down and just take a minute to enjoy life. Well if you think about it if this study has really proven that sober-you and drunk-you are one and the same, then why can't you be like that all the time?
You don't need alcohol to be courageous, or outspoken. You don't need a shot just to dance in your living room for fun or let your stress fade away. The ability to be carefree, kind, free-spirited, and happy... to be talkative and funny... it's always there. Always a part of your personality. So don't be afraid to let the real you shine through even when you're sober.