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Need Alcohol to Communicate

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Hi, I’m a quiet person who doesn’t talk much. When I do talk to someone I can’t think of things to say and it all feels a bit uncomfortable. When I drink alcohol and start to feel the effects I become more confident and open, my mood is elevated so I feel much happier and can pretty much talk to anyone. I’d like to be like that without the alcohol. I’m just not sure what to do? (age 37, from Australia)

Need Alcohol to Communicate

Answered by on -


You are describing a common phenomenon in which people use alcohol to lower their anxiety and inhibitions, sometimes allowing them to be more comfortable socially. However, there are risks involved with this approach that you wouldn’t encounter with other avenues, such as utilizing therapy or anti-anxiety medication. The other inherent problem is that you are not addressing the underlying cause, only masking it.

You may be suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder and would benefit greatly from trying one of the treatments I mentioned above, but you could also just be a quiet and shy person. The best way to improve any skill is to practice and seek training from the experts. So the best way to feel more comfortable socially is to put yourself in more social situations. Start small and work your way to larger groups and make sure to first practice with people who you already feel comfortable with.

Finally, look for a social skills group or a Toastmaster’s group to hone your skill… and be willing to accept yourself as you are.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Need Alcohol to Communicate

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Need Alcohol to Communicate. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.