Social Lubricant

I came to a realization on Friday, sometimes I hide behind wine to make myself more comfortable in social situations. Not that there is anything wrong with a glass or two, but sometimes it turns into something more. In my current situation I know very few people and I feel like I need to put myself out there. Meet people, make friends, learn more about my area. It is exhausting.

In the past I didn’t have much trouble meeting new people, it is just finding events and groups to spend time with that is giving me trouble. On Friday I went to lunch with a lovely gent and was so uncomfortable that I ordered two glasses of wine. Later that afternoon I met some local hashers and again there was always a drink in hand. After that? Well I want to Shabbos dinner and the wine continued flowing. Somehow I ended the evening in the quad with a group of graduate students who, surprise surprise, were drinking more. Although I could have easily said no and put my glass down at any point, I didn’t.

I remember how I was after moving to Columbus. A shy young woman looking to meet new people who managed to gain friends. And fifteen pounds. I don’t want that to happen again (ever). Why is it that all the social events I manage to attend involve alcohol? I’ve been looking to attend more athletic activities, but I get so nervous going into these settings. When I’m stone sober I become so much more concerned about how others are judging me.

One day I’d like to be comfortable walking into a new group without a beverage in hand. I don’t know if that day will be coming anytime soon, but I have to start learning since orientation is about to begin in full force. I reviewed the events and each evening activity is sponsored by a bar. This does not bode well. Would someone please come here and be my wing person?

What tips do you have for curbing your enthusiasm drinking? How do you get yourself through awkward social situations?



About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on September 18, 2011, in Social and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. When I first started grad school I was a huge fan of social lubricant and everything we did was at bars. Needless to say, certain people got sloppy drunk and ended up exposing themselves to the entire program. Anyways, I guess for me I was happier once I had made a few close friends who I could get coffee with. Most of my friends I’ve met in class or at a group run and then invited to dinner or Starbucks or something. I don’t know if that actually helps, but you didn’t seem like you needed wine to loosen up when we met. Maybe go to the events and have a water only policy? That’s (obviously) what I do these days.

    • I didn’t need wine to loosen up when we met because I felt like I already knew you (you are that awesome). I’m trying to learn how to sip very slowly and I may have to start a water policy.

  2. sometimes i drink a diet coke or seltzer with lime to have the distraction of a beverage without really needing to drink one. sometimes the loosening up does help though. try just carrying water or something! it gives you something to do without feeling like you need to drink booze.

  3. fengshuiofgarments

    Just a visitor/fellow blogger who stumbled upon your blog:) I enjoyed this post. One observation I have made over the years is that in new/potentially awkward social situations the time it takes for the wine to make a difference is about the same time that people began to feel more comfortable anyway, without alcohol. Also, if I put the focus on talking with others, just generally making chit chat and asking new people easily answered questions about themselves, I slowly start to feel more comfortable and hopefully they do too. I, too, have tended towards a wine, then glass of water, then another glass-if-I-feel-like-it policy. Also..another really interesting blog on that subject:

    Happy socializing:)

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