Staying sober makes your drunk friends drunker

Considering going sober to after-work drinks? Well, you can, but science thinks that you’ll just do your friends more harm.



Well, the Friday afternoon post-work, pre-weekend drinking shenanigans are but a few hours away. But, you think, stepping on the feet of tradition as you secretly decide ‘I’ll go, but I won’t drink’. Well, shirker, you may well be keeping one eye on your health, and perhaps may live longer on the back of such a decision, but your friends might not be so lucky.

You see, according to a new study, you’re killing them.

And there’s one word for that: ‘selfish’.

Or, ‘Murderer’.

According to the study, (and bless those who were charged to collect the data from 400-odd unsuspecting drunks) found that within a circle, the exact level of individual intoxication was hard to figure, as was the danger that they felt at the time of asking. Which is a) extremely dangerous and b) a real buzzkill to lay at feet of those enjoying a Titanic steerage jig level of revelry.

The theory behind the study purports boils down to this terrible cocktail analogy. You’re olive in a martini (yeah I’ve never had one either), you and all your olive buddies in the glass are soaked with booze, and everyone is in the same place. Now, someone drinks all the booze, and places a cocktail umbrella in with you. Now you’re all still soaked (drunk), but this judge-y umbrella, loud shirt and all, remains dry (sober); which therefore reflects poorly on the olives (drunkennesseness), and hello there neg vibes, I didn’t think you were going to make it.

The boffins behind the subject put it thusly (which gave me the mental image of them keeping a bunch of sober people in a cage, driving that cage up to the door of a nightclub and slowly releasing the gate) “..Introducing sober people into a drinking environment would be predicted to have a greater impact on judgments, making people feel more at-risk and more intoxicated, compared to the effect on decreasing feelings of riskiness one might expect if very intoxicated people were introduced into the environment.”

What this could manifest itself into could be anything from your garden variety shame spiral to earnest/foolish emotional platitudes all the way to the oft-danced three-tequila-floor tango. Which, if you’re cool with, that’s fine by me, I shall not judge you. But science will. Yeah, those towering heroes you idolise now bitterly weep in disappointment in what you are set to do. Brian Cox, Robert Oppenheimer, Doctor Who. All of the science.

So, this afternoon, I’m not saying get drunk, we’re saying don’t get sober.

It’s not for you, it’s for your friends.

And their problems.




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