It is summer! And I thought this was an excellent time to write a newsletter about the link between alcohol and (social) connection.
Alcohol has been social lubricant number one since forever, and with summer in full bloom (read: blasting heatwaves here in Amsterdam) I find myself in situations where I need some lubrication. And I am in full investigation into what this does to my levels of connection: feeling connected to myself, and others.
Let me start with this: I love wine. I love drinking good wine, I love finding new nice wines, I love bonding with dear ones over a good glass – or bottle.
I am far from anti-alcohol. And, I have noticed more and more that alcohol impacts my level of connection, and capacity to connect.
Let me continue with answering my own question: yes, sometimes I do. Especially when I am a bit anxious to meet new people or feel slightly uncomfortable at that family gathering. A glass, or a few, helps me feel more self confident, more funny (at least I think so) and more extraverted. I use it as a way to actually numb my anxiety a bit in order to connect.
I think that was what most of my twenties were about 😉
What I also notice is that I drink when a lot is going on: to take a load off, to relax or to help me process (occasionally, drinking a bottle by myself has been the best thing I could do in a situation).
And then I sometimes drink to simply enjoy the moment and the people around me.
However, I have found that alcohol tends to get in the way of connecting deeper.
My love and I find we can get really disconnected when we drink, and are more prone to fighting. My sensitivity to my own inner awareness is lessened, and my sensitivity and compassion towards him are definitely lessened too. Hence more prone to fighting, because it is easier to get stuck in drama, in the images we have of each other and not actually connect.
We did a dry January together and it has been one of the sweetest, and continuously connected months we have had together.
I also have been known to melt into a gooey puddle when drinking, so it can be hard to tell.
What I am finding is a good barometer, is asking myself this question: am I drinking because I want to enhance a situation, or run away from it?
If I am already grumpy as fuck, I might get more snarky when I start drinking. When I am already open and happy, I might feel more of that with a glass of wine.
My experience has told me that going on an alcohol ride, together or alone, can be magical. And, it does numb my awareness to what is going on moment to moment. I become less subtle, and less tuned in. As my life is really about being more here, I am learning to play with what is good for me in the moment.
I want to upgrade my capacity to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable, to include everything in my awareness, and that means occasionally skipping a glass. And being socially indoctrinated around alcohol, I have found that surprisingly easier than I imagined.
So if you need a little pick-me-up to be able to have a good time at that slightly awkward office party, I would say, go for that bottle.
If you want to connect deeper, and also play with being a bit more tuned in to what is going on moment to moment: how about a nice kombucha?
My experience has been that drinking a bit less has me connected more. And since I am all about the genuine connection, I feel excited about exploring that more. And, there are those times when that bottle is an excellent idea.
Have fun exploring 😉
And have a great summer!
PS: credits to my marketing coach Michelle who came up with this catchy title. She is offering free marketing sparring sessions this month! If you are an entrepreneur that is looking for support with getting your genuine voice out, try one of those sessions! I highly recommend her.