Hey all, first post here. Been reading the site every day for about a year and a half (as well as catching up on past content) and perusing the community once in a while. I'm looking to step that up a bit as it seems like it can be pretty helpful. Anyways, on to the purpose of my post.
I've found that sometimes when I drink, I can have a bit of a nasty side come out. I don't get angry or violent, but very sarcastic and rude. I have to be entirely honest in order to get the best advice: I'm quite judgmental and critical (not synonymous, critical in the 'disapproving' context). Sometimes when I drink, I don't filter that side, which generates comments that become hurtful.
I'm in a serious relationship and a point of contention has become the way I sometimes act when my girlfriend and I go downtown with friends. I can sometimes turn into an ass, say by actively complaining when people want to go to a certain type of club that isn't my scene and making snarky remarks, for example. Sometimes, though, I'm content to do what others would like to do, and have a jolly old time.
I don't like to get out-of-control smashed, but when we all go out, I do drink to get drunk (as does everyone else in the group). It seems like the sarcasm and impudence isn't caused by excessive drinking, since as noted above, there are nights where I will be drunk all night long and be normal in that regard.
I have suspicions that there are deeper-seated issues that need to be dealt with (frustration issues or something of the sort, maybe), but for these purposes I want to know if anyone has any "tips" or anything they use or remember when they drink in order to keep their filter working.
I know there will be a bunch of questions, so please ask away, and I'll do my best to answer as truthfully and detailed as I can.
tl;dr - Would like some tips to control my sarcastic attitude while drinking.
Looking for self-control? Well firstly, don't get drunk.
But I know that your looking for a way to have your cake and eat it to. (pretty much impossible). It may not be the funnest way to do it, but for me, yeah have a drink or two with friends, but when it's time to get drunk, get drunk alone.
See who is in that group that you might have some issues with. Do you act out when they are the ones leading the group that night?
Another major factor can be your attitude before the drinking. If you are in a crappy mood and have no patience for the dancing places before you drink, the drink is only going to bring that to the surface.
I call it my "I'm going to be a little bitch tonight" and recognize that I need to stay home or that I need to avoid that person or scene all together.
The question is how to keep the filter on when you are taking drugs that turn off your filters.
Seems like the answer it is to not take (or not take as much of) the drug that turns off your filter.
I enjoy a good drink and I have found brews that hit me too hard. I have a friend who does not drink and does not particular care to be around drunk people. We meet up once a week before a game night to eat before the game. Out of respect for his feelings and without asking I switched my drink choice to something that I know will not hit me to hard. Nice relaxing drink for me, but not enough to shut down my filters.
We all have various modes and I understand the desire to let it go, but you have to think ahead of when it is the right time. I don't drink unless I know I am in a safe enough space, I don't get drunk unless I know I am in a safe enough space with sober people able to step in if something hits the fan. My wife and I trade off who is drinking when we go out.
I would say to set a drink limit before you go out. Stick to that limit and nurse the few drinks that you order. If that is not possible then don't drink.
Also try and see if there are certain individuals that bring out this behavior and if it is due to them then you only have to limit yourself when they are around.
If you don't like who you become when you drink ... don't drink. If its just when you drink around certain people -- don't drink around those people. If its just when you drink hard liquor, don't drink hard liquor. Find the problem -- and then control your drinking when that situation comes up (or control your drinking completely if the problem is just you).
Ultimately, I just don't see the need to do soul searching to find a way to drink without becoming an asshole when it'd probably be easier to just give up the booze. There are other ways to have a good time.
I find that certain drinks can set me off... I avoid tequila like the plague. I also find that alcohol tends to amplify the attitude that you bring in to the drinking experience... So if you are being a dick while you drink, you probably were being dickish before you began. I think the key is to do something, anything, to get yourself into a good mood before you begin your night. If they are going to a club you don't enjoy, find something there that you can focus on... My personal preference is ladies' rear ends.
For example, I am not a club person. I don't dance at all. So when I went to a dance club in the French Quarter with some friends, needless to say I was bored to death. My solution was to find the other person who had the same attitude. We went out on a balcony and played, "Name the Cleavage". We called out different types of cleavage that we spotted on the people walking below. (The best was probably "Wesley Snipe Cleavage"... Yeah, we spotted a big muscled up black guy in a dress.)
The point is to find something positive to focus on. If you focus on the negative you are going to have a terrible time and bring everyone else down with you.
I don't think I'll ever understand what's so great about drinking that people must do it even when they don't enjoy it or the consequences. I think you're in one of those situations where the literally simplest solution is emotionally the hardest. Your literally simplest solution is to drink less or not at all.
Another slightly less simple solution is to stay home on nights when you're in a bad mood, or think you will be. Also suggest things the group can do that are more your thing. (I also think the American obsession with groups of friends is misplaced, so seeing this group in different settings, perhaps more one-on-one interaction, perhaps getting other friends, would be a totally healthy solution.)
Or, it could be a depression/anxiety/mood disorder. Or a self-esteem thing. Find the "deeper-seated issues," fix your problem. Start with your primary care doctor. If you feel that's not cutting it, ask for a referral to a specialist. If you go on certain mental health medications, you won't be able to drink, and you'll kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
I don't know that groups of friends is a uniquely American obsession. My experience with Europeans leads me to believe they're incapable of moving about the world in anything less than groups the size of small herds.
And my German roommate said she had 1 or 2 "friends." Everyone else was a classmate or "known person" (her translation when I asked if there was a German word for "acquaintance"). The idea that she would become "friends" with the other exchange law students that semester was literally completely foreign to her. (About 4 of them did end up "hanging out" a bunch together.)
While trends can be tracked across a populace, population wide trends are not necessarily indicative of individual experience; nor does individual experience negate trends across populations.
That being said, my experience with Europeans also leads me to believe they're afraid of the dark.
That level of formalism in the European culture makes sense in a place where you can't just pickup and move somewhere else. Places where you and your family live and have lived for many hundreds of years tend to be more reserved.
It's also pretty normal for introverts.