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wundayatta's avatar

Do people do things they don't really mean under the influence of alcohol or do they do things they really want but are ashamed of wanting?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) June 29th, 2011

I always felt that alcohol was no excuse for my behavior. I felt like I was doing what I wanted to do, but was too inhibited to do while sober. I hear a lot of people saying they wouldn’t do whatever they did while drunk had they been sober. I believe that. I think we are often ashamed of what we do because our social inhibitions would prevent us from doing it if sober.

But I think people do what they really want to do while drunk; it’s just the social rules that prevent them, normally. So they are ashamed of their behavior, officially, but they can blame it on the drink and people will understand. Underneath, they are really happy about what they did, although often they may not admit that, even to themselves.

What say you?

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25 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Well, alcohol is said to inhibit a person’s inhibitors.

But, I have seen my friends who are alcoholics really do and say very mean things that I do not believe is really who they are. Alcohol takes away judgment also, and our brains are full of many parts, desire, logic, ego, etc. When alcohol turns off certain parts of the brain it is not the whole personality you are getting. I don’t see why we should considered the liquored up brain the true self?

Just my opinion.

GracieT's avatar

Interesting question! I can’t say that the one time that I was drunk I wanted to do what I did- get sick over and over. So for me, at least, no.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I believe they do things they really want to do when sober.
That is why I took the challenge and now moon people without the help of liquid courage.It has been most liberating…and breezy

mazingerz88's avatar

Can’t imagine how many millions of awful things have been done and then blamed on the bottle. Ridiculous!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think it is true in a very specific way. You will do or say something you don’t honestly want to or feel like doing, because you think it will make somebody important to you (romantically, socially) like you more. You want the approval of that person in an honest way. You will do stupid things to impress them on occasion when drunk.

Blondesjon's avatar

That shit is for amateurs.

I blame my bad behavior on sobriety.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t necessarily think the truth comes out…just the opposite. Drunk people say and do dumb things I don’t believe they would say or do sober. Not much truth in stupidity.

Blackberry's avatar

I do things I really want to do. If I’m sober, I may not dance in public.

redfeather's avatar

A little of both, for me. I do some things I really want to do, like walk up, grab a guy, and take him to the dance floor, and then some things I really don’t want to do an it comes out of no where.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Its such a bullshit excuse when people blame it on the alc-alc-alca-alcohol.

It will open me up to doing things id normally want to do but wouldnt ie dancing and such but the whole “yea I cheated on you last night, I was really drunk and accidentally fucked this other girl” thing is bullshit.

What ive noticed most from me with alcohol is Ill talk about things with people that I normally wouldnt but never anything thats like super secret that I wouldnt want exposed otherwise.

Coloma's avatar

I think alcohol lowers inhibitions, so for a very inhibited type it may allow for behavior that is normally kept under wraps. In my case I do not change or act out, or act differently when I drink, I just become slightly elevated in my normal behaviors, humor.

There is, as always, often more than a grain of truth in ones acting out behaviors under the influence. It is not an excuse, but it is a truth.

Many things other than alcohol can promote hidden desires, impulses.
Some people use cutting humor to express their true feelings under the guise of a ‘joke’, teasing, and then claim they were just being humorous when in reality they are being passive aggressive.

I think alcohol just enhances the state of mind and personality of the imbiber.

A depressed person becomes more depressed, maudlin.
A happy, humorous person just becomes even happier and more humorous.
An angry person becomes more blatantly angry, combative.
A repressed person drops their inhibitions more so than an uninhibited person.

Alcohol has never caused me to do anything I wouldn’t normally do sober, and it has never allowed me to cheat or become violent, and I have never blacked out, or not rememberd my actions while under the influence.

It’s a very personal thing for the person and personality involved, another ” know yourself” thing.

zenvelo's avatar

It is a bit of both, but it is no excuse.

Alcohol inhibits the good judgment. One of the more obnoxious things I used to do when I drank a lot was to hit on every woman I could (it did not make me popular). I would never do that sober, because it is distasteful to me and the women I know.

I agree with @uberbatman, getting drunk is no excuse.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s a mix of both, depending on a person. For some people, alcohol does make them say the truth but it’s not that they’re lying when they’re sober, it’s that they just won’t reveal these things but will, when drunk. In general, I rarely excuse anyone’s behavior because they were drunk. I hate drunk people.

Glow's avatar

Well, the one thing I know about alcohol, is that it helps to loosen people up. You feel relaxed and more open to doing things that normally would make you nervous, such as socializing in a large group or socializing in general. Of course, not all the things that people are nervous about doing are good things, lol. Like, if you’re nervous about punching some guy in the face, that might be a good thing to be nervous about. Alcohol can just make it so that you feel less nervous about punching some guy in the face and you may be more inclined to doing it. It also makes it difficult to think clearly (when too much is ingested) and you won’t think twice about punching some guy in the face, thus making it even more likely for that to happen! :P

OH yeah, it IS a persons fault for not using better judgment and self-control to not drink too much alcohol to begin with, so you don’t get to the point where you wanna punch some guy in the face and do it…. I don’t know why I keep going back to punching a guy in the face, but hey, it happens when people get drunk :P

jerv's avatar

The thing to remember here is that we are full of many different things. We all have aggression, restraint, a desire to socialize, a desire to be left alone, logic, irrationality, grace, clumsiness… you get the idea. There are a lot of things in our head that are balanced a certain way, and chemicals (like alcohol) shift that balance, though how it does so varies from person to person. Thus, it depends on a lot of variables.

athenasgriffin's avatar

Alcohol makes me super fun—for the first few hours. I’m happy and vibrant. I sing and dance and generally act like a normal person letting loose. However, after four drinks and time, I kind of go over the edge. A potent combination of exhaustion and inebriation drives me into a state of listlessness. That is when I make my excuses, because next comes cruel me.

I don’t think that alcohol makes me do anything that wasn’t already inside me.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes and no.
My example: Super drunk off my rocker one evening I confided to a new partner that I was still in love with a previous in that it would take some time for my emotions to catch up with my logic, that the buildup over time spent of falling in love, like and whatnot wasn’t simple to turn off instantly upon discovering reasons to breakup. New partner freaked out and took it as if I was still in love in the way of wanting the old stupid relationship back, took it as a threat to what was building in the current relationship.

Had I been sober then I wouldn’t have shared that at all. I would have said something along the lines of it was a good thing the old relationship was broken, as frustrating and painful as it was and that would be the end of it.

Both statements are the truth but one is minus drama inducing detail or imagery, I think.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

My personal opinion (based on experience), alcohol makes people stupid….not more liberated, or more fun, just less intelligent.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is only one time, when I was in college, that I got so drunk that I could not remember what I did afterward. I am not much of a drinker, but it was a slow weekend so I wanted to see what would happen. I was told about some dumb things I said, nothing terribly serious. So I guess the drunk version of ourselves is in some way different from the sober version and it is not just a matter of ordinarily holding back.

JessicaRTBH's avatar

While alcohol is no excuse for any behavior it may make you say or do something you regret. In my case I got into a silly argument with the SO and said something rude because I failed to understand what he was trying to communicate in the first place. I reacted to what I thought was being said. I believe without alcohol communication would have been much better and without my bad reaction. Alcohol = bad listener and quick temper for me sadly.

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Coloma's avatar

The best “happy hours” I have ever had have been unplanned, all by myself. lol

A few years ago, one summer night I cracked open a bottle of local Meritage I live in a major winery zone and had the BEST time! haha

I was playing my drums to some CD’s and my goose Marwyn was hangin’ out by the pool with me. I was singing to Shaggys, “Angel” song and wailin’ on my Djembe

Swam, drank, swam, played drums, music. Finally went in around midnight and then, baaad idea opened a bottle of Orange Muscat from another local winery. I was having SO much fun! Playing more music, bangin’ on all my drums, had the mood lighting goin’ on, Marwyn trippin’ around the house with me. lol

That Muscat threw me waaay over the edge…all of a sudden lamps were falling over, I decided to take a shower…next thing I know, I wake up cold and wet in my bed, music playing, hair all wet and crazy, goose still in the house at 6 a.m. haha

rock4ever's avatar

When you get drunk you lose your sense of judgment. It makes you do whatever you want when you want. It basically makes you act exactly like how and what you are on the inside.
I would make a really bad drunk…

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