Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: How Alcohol Affects Ego

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: How Alcohol Affects Ego

Has this ever happened to you? 

You’re partying, having a good time, not a worry in the world, when all of a sudden someone starts talking a little too loud, getting into other people’s space, and refusing to back down when challenged?

(By the way, people like to call acting like this “lizard-brained,” which I am not cool with. But that’s for another blog.)   

The most likely culprit is alcohol, which reduces activity in the part of the brain that controls rational thought, planning, and self-awareness. The prefrontal cortex, if you want to get, like, scientific about it. It’s the command center that keeps our ego in check.

Without that control center fully engaged, our egos can run wild. We become more impulsive, less self-aware, and less able to regulate self-centered behaviors. We’re more likely to speak without thinking, act on impulse, and focus completely on our own gratification. We disregard social norms and feedback. 

In other words, we kind of act like a dick. 

Look, most of us have been there once or twice, and to tell the truth it can feel pretty fun in the moment!

But that’s the thing: it’s only a moment.

After every night out, the sun rises and shines light on however you acted just a few hours before, and there’s nothing worse than realizing you were the worst part of the night.

Actually, there’s one thing worse: having to apologize for all that bad behavior.  

So the best thing to do is never let your ego get out of check in the first place.

It’s pretty simple: eat early, drink slowly, hydrate often, listen to your friends, and you should be fine. 

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