Disclaimer: This article is not condoning alcoholism, nor is it condemning people who do not drink for personal or religious reasons.
Heavy drinking is bad for you, but social drinking can be very good for your health.
Drinking alcohol is the favorite pastime of people all over the world – just about everybody likes to have a cold beer or warm glass of whiskey from time to time.
It has become such a huge part of our culture that when someone turns down a drink, it’s almost insulting.
I only know one person who doesn’t drink whatsoever – ever. She’s definitely an oddball, non-drinking aside, but she’s a very trustworthy person. However, most people don’t avoid drinking; most people just don’t drink under certain circumstances.
The problem is when you meet someone at a social gathering and he refuses to drink, even though you are certain he's drunk plenty of times in his life. How can you trust someone who refuses to relax and open up when you yourself are well underway?
1. Drinking is the socially acceptable form of modern-day socializing.
Hell, it’s been the acceptable way for a long time now. I’m not usually one to follow seemingly pointless traditions, but when it comes to anything in regards to socialization or the constructs of society, you have to play by everyone else’s rules – to an extent at the least.
To interact with other people properly, you have to respect their wants, comfort level and traditions.
In other words, you have to put your wants and ego on a level playing field with theirs. Of course, people have many reasons they do not want to drink, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t trustworthy… nevertheless, you should be sure to keep your guard up when around them.
They may be harmless, but they may be vile just the same.
2. People who don’t drink aren’t willing to let their guards down.
There are surely plenty of reasons someone would choose to keep his guard up, but whatever the reason – in a social setting – it often involves that person wanting to stay a wit above everybody else. It makes sense, but at the same time, it feels a bit shady.
How can you properly relax and enjoy yourself when there’s someone in your company refusing to make himself your equal? This is especially important to keep in mind during business interactions.
The Japanese, for example, have a heavy drinking custom with potential business partners – a meeting in which everyone is not only expected to drink, but to get completely wasted.
3. While under the influence, people tend to be more honest than they usually allow.
If you can hold your liquor well, you can hear a lot of interesting information flowing out of everyone’s mouth.
People will often reveal their true aspirations, thoughts and intentions when drinking – one of the best ways to find out what others really think of you.
Drinking is like taking a dose of liquid-ego; you focus in on what you want and feel, and pretty much lose focus of everything and everybody else.
The more you drink, the more you get lost in your own thoughts. This makes it commonplace for people to blurt out exactly what’s on their minds.
4. They may become very unpleasant when they’re drunk… which does say a lot about their character.
I know a couple of people who are horrific drunks – truly horrible. It’s like watching Dr. Jekyll turn into Mr. Hyde, one pint at a time. Amusing, but embarrassing.
Some people know what they turn into when they start drinking and are wise enough to avoid drinking when they feel it’s inappropriate to unleash the beast.
On one hand, good on them for having a bit of self-control. On the other… how could you possibly lose all control after a few drinks? What kind of person allows himself to turn into such a horrible person after a few drinks?
5. How much self-control people have while under the influence gives you a great idea of how much control they have over the rest of their lives.
There are some of us out there who can drink and drink and drink, and although get incredibly drunk, still manage to speak properly, walk straight and act like themselves.
Although physical attributes do have a lot to do with how well a person handles his liquor, mental strength also plays a part.
If a person is unwilling to drink then it may very well be because he has poor self-control throughout his life.
This may be acceptable in entirely social settings, but when it comes to looking for a partner (business or romantic), it’s always better to find someone who has control over his life entirely.
6. It’s rude to turn down a drink.
No one is asking you to get plastered – unless you happen to be in Tokyo – but if someone is offering you a drink, then take it. Drink it. You don’t even need to drink all of it – just sip on it throughout the night so that everyone else feels more comfortable in your presence.
It is a worldwide custom to accept a drink or food when someone offers it to you – especially in European countries. To refuse to drink is often considered rude and disrespectful.
If anything, you ought to take the drink, thank him for it, and hang on to it while you all chat. Drinking is often more for the benefit of everyone else’s comfort than it is for your own.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It