“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Alcohol As A Crutch and Social Lubricant
Alcohol is no longer part of my life.
As a freshman in college, I had my first taste of alcohol at a crazy party that was broken up by the police. Carefully tasting my beverage with small sips, I loathed the taste of alcohol. I still remember my friend making fun of me for sipping alcohol instead of gulping them down like a “man.”
Alcohol was a normal part of my college life. Every chance we had, my friends and I would drink, especially on the weekends.
It was our way of priming ourselves for parties and having a fun time. The term “clubbing” was quite common after my third year in college after I turned twenty-one because going to clubs was our primary activity on Friday and Saturday nights.
Vividly, I still remember clubbing on a weeknight staying up until 2 a.m. despite having an early class at 8 a.m. the same morning.
Influenced by my friends and felt the need to fit in, I drank tons of alcohol even though I hated its taste and the unpleasant hangover I felt the next morning.
Often times, drinking alcohol meant “freeing” myself of my insecurities and self-doubt. Not constrained by my conscious filter, I spoke what was truly on my mind despite the possibility of not being liked.
This is especially true when it came to talking to women. For example, if I thought a woman was attractive, then I would bluntly say what was on my mind. This translated to teasing the woman about her beautiful looks by saying things such as “I like the way your hair feels” as I run my hands through her hair.
Most times, they would respond positively. Looking back, it was because of my confident and unwavering body language and tone of voice.
That’s because I didn’t attach myself to the outcome of the interaction. Intuitively, women can feel that on a subconscious level.
However, once the effects of alcohol dissipated, I became my normal self and was afraid to talk to beautiful women and express my authentic truth.
Alcohol gave me liquid courage and acted as a social lubricant for my interactions with women. This didn’t apply to talking with men because I didn’t feel the “need” for them to like me in return. In contrast, that was definitely the case for conversing with attractive women.
After numerous negative experiences of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, I slowly declined my dependency on alcohol. But more importantly, I despised the fact that I had to use alcohol in order to connect with others, especially women.
After going to clubs and attending party sober, I was able to get more comfortable with myself and others.
Relaxed in my own skin, I was able to truly express myself with the only intention of having fun. With that perspective, I danced and acted silly around others while maintaining personal integrity. As a result, I attracted others who liked my authenticity.
Now I don’t drink any alcohol at all because of three simple reasons. The first is that it’s unhealthy; the second is that I don’t like the taste of it, and the last reason is that I don’t need it to have fun and be social.
That’s because the ideal version of myself embodies all of who I am and is comfortable in my own skin. He is charismatic and can converse with anyone in any given situation.
Removing alcohol as a crutch, I have gained true social confidence knowing that I can be social anytime.
Harmful Effects of Alcohol
Most alcoholic drinks are made with GMO corn and chemicals that lead to liver damage and fat gain. Some of the domestic beers don’t fully disclose their ingredient list and contain harmful chemicals such as propylene glycol, BPA, and fish bladder.
Despite numerous studies on the benefits of regularly drinking one to two glasses of red wine, there’s no reason why you need to consume it at all.
You can still get the rewards of consuming antioxidants from natural sources that are non-alcoholic such as olive oil, blueberries, and eggs.
In addition, the small one to two drinks per day can lead up to seven to fourteen drinks per week. That can easily add up to 2000 to 3000 calories per week, the difference between fat gain and fat loss.
Not only does it cause dehydration, excessive alcohol consumption also decreases your body’s efficiency to lose fat.
Hardwired for survival, your body will prioritize on disposing of the alcohol than burning fat. Responsible for treating alcohol, your liver cannot metabolize fat when alcohol is present in the body.
Eliminate Your Dependence on Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is the norm in today’s society. Without an alcoholic drink in your hand at a social event, you’re likely to be seen as an outcast. But despite external pressure, you can learn to free yourself from societal expectations by being sober.
To be outgoing and social, you don’t need the help of alcohol. Instead, you can learn to be charismatic and friendly without intoxicating yourself.
Start with the fundamentals of social dynamics, then practice deliberately to become a better conversationalist and social connector. Having the ability to relate to others gives you the confidence you’ll need to remove the need for alcohol.
Just like any other skill, you can begin with small steps such as simply smiling at others or making and holding eye contact long enough to notice their eye color.
After getting more comfortable with the basics, you can move onto more advanced skills such as introducing yourself and starting a conversation with others. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. Eventually, you’ll be socially adept and charismatic.
Alleviate the Effects of Alcohol
If completely removing alcohol from your life isn’t possible, then here are some things you can do to mitigate the harmful effects of alcohol.
- For every one glass of alcohol consumed, drink one glass of water.
- Minimize the number of alcohol drinks per night to one or two when you go out.
- Reduce beer consumption as it contains many residual sugars. Hard cider is a great substitute for beer.
- Avoid mixed sugary alcoholic drinks since they’re also high in calorie.
- Consuming activated charcoal before you sleep can remove toxins such as alcohol so you can minimize your chances of experiencing a hangover the next day.
You always have the option to choose not to drink. But if you want to fit in without looking weird in social settings, then you can simply get a glass of water with a piece of lime that closely resembles a vodka tonic.
Despite not being naturally born social, your charisma lies deep within you. That’s because you can learn and become better at connecting with others.
Regardless your level of comfort in social situations, you can always start with the fundamentals and work your way up. With purposeful practice, you’ll inevitably improve and become the charming person that you want to be.
You don’t need the help of alcohol to make you more outgoing and fun as you can train yourself to be that all the time. But if you choose to consume alcohol for enjoyment, then do it. As long as you’re doing activities for the right reasons, then you’re making empowering decisions.
But if you can truly eliminate the dependence on alcohol, your life will enhance to the next level. Your new gained confidence will allow you to do other things that you once thought were impossible.
In addition to its expensive cost, alcohol harms the body in numerous ways. It’s best to minimize your consumption of alcohol or completely remove it from your life.
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Team, Gastrolyte’s Content. “Dehydration and alcohol.” Gastrolyte, 20 Mar. 2013, gastrolyte.com.au/dehydration/dehydration-and-alcohol/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.