Drunk People and Truth

Drunk people are incredibly entertaining sometimes, and are the source and subject of some incredible stories, which either make you wish you were there with them, or make you wish you were them. But alcohol has another power, and it varies from person to person, and sometimes it can produce completely different effects in people even though, in theory, it should do the same to both. Some flat-mates I know will warn me that when they are drunk, I should ignore everything they say. They become moody, or angry, or rude, and whatever they say is not worth listening to. Needless to say, they were right. The things they come out with are garbage. Either they are confessing their deepest love for someone (occasionally you), or confessing a deep hatred for someone (occasionally you). Sometimes, a confession of love and hate occur on the same night, and both times, it’s occasionally you.

With other people, it has an opposite effect. Instead of spouting garbage, they begin to tell the truth, and stop being diplomatic. I appreciate this in sober people. I would take a harsh truth to a comforting lie any day. I don’t like to be mislead. I consider diplomacy to be nothing short of a kind lie. And it saves me time and effort in a friendship if people are honest about their intentions and opinions. 

I rarely ever take the drunk person’s word for it. Generally, I’ll wait to see if they have the guts to say the same thing sober, and if they do, I know its true. 

The key to being a confident person is convincing yourself that all the bad things friends say to you when drunk are them being idiots, and all the good things are them being honest. This isn’t easy. It’s similar to applying an Orwellian doublethink, which I can only describe as intellectual dishonesty. As much as I try to make myself believe that the cruel things friends say when drunk are false, one fact rears up on me:

Alcohol, at its fundamental, biochemical level, lowers neurological inhibitions. That is to say, it reduces a person’s ability to control their actions, and what they say. And given that what people say is a direct representation of what they think, alcohol should, in theory, reveal exactly what a person is really thinking. So when a drunk or tipsy person lets slip an opinion of someone, you should take that as an unfiltered, completely honest thought. And that can be somewhat depressing, especially when they give their negative opinion of you, to you.

I don’t quite know what to make of it when this happens. A part of me is hoping that this is the wacky side of alcohol talking. I’ve been told by a heterosexual guy, “I want to make sweet love to you.” Now, this was clearly not true, especially consider he would get off with a girl later that night. But sometimes an opinion seems reasonable and plausible, and you wonder whether or not it is true. Sometimes it’s not crazy to say something drunk and believe it even when you’re sober. 

Lately, the line between honesty and stupidity in one person has has blurred in my life. I know what effect alcohol has on this person, and it tips towards honesty. The worst part is simply that honesty didn’t favour me in the slightest. I don’t know if they even have memory of this happening, but when all is said and done, I cannot help but wonder if they believe what they said. 

Call me insecure, I probably am. I shouldn’t judge myself by the opinions of others, given drunk or given sober. But a part of me will always be curious.



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