My interpretation of the Latin saying “in vino veritas” is that what a person says while drunk is a reflection of their true feelings. Someone I know has said some very hurtful things while (rather significantly) under the influence that they would never have said while sober. To what extent do these things reflect their true feelings, and to what extent are they ramblings of a mind clouded by alcohol?
I don’t think what somebody says while drunk is necessarily truer. It’s just more unrestrained.
Less filtration whether that makes for more truth or not. It usually amounts to an embarrassment of some magnitude – it it’s recalled at all. It’s worst when it’s been recorded and played back in its full glory. Rarely a source for chest-pounding pride.
Drunks are no more truthful than anyone else. But I have known many who were considerably more garrulous. Particularly when you dump coffee down them trying to sober them up.
Moral: Never pour coffee into an intoxicated person. It simply means you will have a wide awake drunk on your hands.
There is no truth in booze. There is only lowering of inhibition and common sense.
I LOVE YOU GUYS —
OK, not really. Although I guess you’re alright.
Someone once said, or maybe wrote, it’s been years since then, that being drunk just makes you more of what you naturally are. In my experience over the years this has generally been demonstrated to be true.
I think people will still lie when under the influence, if that’s what they want to do. But alcohol affects the part of the brain that makes someone stop and think before they reveal their baser feelings. So if a person resents someone, but normally hides that resentment, it’s more likely to be revealed when that person is under the influence. It doesn’t reveal truth so much as momentary animal-like feelings.
My experience has been (like those above) that inebriation reduces self control, and therefore the uncontrolled self arises. If your nature is to lie than you may well do so with greater ease. Bigotry tends to float to the surface. All sorts of behaviors and beliefs the controlled self subsumes are set free with alcohol.
Generally I have found great truth in booze. The problem is that often it’s a truth you don’t want to know.
I find that catchy sayings tend to be more catchy than truthful.
I don’t know if I get truthful. More just goofy and silly. I’m more likely to do the lampshade-on-the-head thing.
You will be more likely to do it but do it less well, as you lose track of the lies more easily. And if you’re someone who lies all the time, that loss of tracks will make it easier to see through your bullshit.
My experience has been that lowered inhibitions also lead to passive agression becoming more direct. Thankfully most cases involved people who at that point couldn’t really do much about it (too drunk to hit anything except by falling on it, or drugged to the gills while bedridden).
At last night’s meeting of my Monday Alcohol Appreciation Group, a member explained in great detail exactly why he is currently juggling relationships with three women he doesn’t even like.
Essentially liars are no less likely to lie when they’ve been drinking.
But… if someone’s not saying everything that they might otherwise want to say, but are prevented by respect, social convention or fear, having a few drinks might lower the inhibitions that prevent them from saying whatever that is. For example, a guy might think his buddy’s new girlfriend isn’t the right girl, but the buddy really thinks she’s awesome, so he holds his tongue, until 5 beers in, and then out it comes, lubricated by the alcohol.
THAT is where the saying comes from, not that alcohol is some sort of truth serum that makes people unable to tell lies.
Which is bad, if you’re a big fan of inhibition and detest extraordinary sense.
“Cocaine intensifies your personality…but what if you’re an asshole?” – Bill Cosby
Now that’s a remarkably apt combo of quote and quotee!
True. Who knew?
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece on alcohol for the New Yorker that said the research indicates that, contrary to popular belief, alcohol doesn’t really lower the drinker’s inhibitions so much as make them shortsighted and suggestible:
Basically his point it that behavior while under the influence of alcohol is heavily influenced by cultural expectations as well as the drinker’s immediate surroundings.
I’m not so sure that is true.
In my experience, some people are “good drunks” and some are “bad drunks” (and some fall between).
A “good drunk” just gets sillier, more affectionate, and more talkative as they get more wasted - basically, more pro-social.
A “bad drunk” gets more surly, more aggressive, and nastier as they get wasted - basically, more anti-social.
It is not the case that the two of necessity line up with their non-drunk personalities.
Anecdotally, I’m lucky in that I’m generally a “good drunk”, even though normally I’m not very social - having a couple of drinks actually helps me in social situations. I have a good friend who’s a great guy normally and quite social, but who has to avoid booze because he is, notoriously, a “bad drunk”. I don’t think that his normal personality is to be abusive, rude and violent - but if he drinks, that’s what he becomes. So he doesn’t drink anymore (he smokes pot to party instead, which doesn’t have a negative effect on him).