Everything You Need to Know About Drunk Dialing


Drunk Dialing: All You Need To Know

Drunk phone calls, texts, and messages have cleared the air, on occasion, but mostly they just cause us to question the viability of joining the Merchant Navy or Witness Protection Program. Of course, we’ve all done it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle.

Thankfully, the universal nature of this human error has led some of the best and brightest to study the science behind it all!

Why Do People Drunk Dial, and Do Drunk Calls Mean Anything?

Well, they mean that you were drunk, of course!

No, we know what you mean, and the answer may either relieve or horrify you; studies have found that that old Latin adage “in Vino, Veritas” (“in wine, there is the truth”) really could be true. How? Well, Belisa Vranich, a noted clinical psychologist, has found that alcohol affects the cerebral cortex most heavily.

For those not in the know, this is the part of your brain that rings alarm bells when you’re doing something risky or dangerous. If you drink enough, the alcohol essentially gags that very practical and sensible part of you, and lets the less evolved and cautious parts of your brain run free. In short? When you drunk dial someone, whether it be to scream at them, flirt with them, or tell them you love them, it’s not the gin doing the talking – it’s very much you!

In fact, a study by Bartholow and Henry (et al) in 2011 found that alcohol not only lowers our inhibitions and allows us to dredge up hurts, feelings, and desires (old and new), but that it also reduces our fear of the consequences. So, not only does drunk-you say exactly what’s on their mind – they care less about the concern, hurt, or complications that their
words might cause.

The reason why we allow drunken calls to happen is pretty obvious, given what Belisa Vranich has to say, but you might still be wondering what was going through your head when you dialed that long-lost ex or childhood friend.

Well, Dr. Sean Horan has an answer for us. After reading various research papers and studies so we don’t have to (thanks, Dr. Horan!), he boiled it down to five reasons. Here is exactly why you drunk dial after too many shots:

1. Increased Confidence

Alcohol makes us less fearful of mistakes. When you drunk dial that sexy guy you’ve always had your eye on, you’re only doing what you’re too scared, or too rational, to do when you’re sober.

2. Entertainment

Drunk-you has no inhibitions and simply wants to have fun. You seek out people because you think whatever you’re about to do will be funny, entertaining, and make for a great story (one day).

3. Coordination

Drinking makes you crave social interaction, and so you find yourself drunk dialing left, right, and center in order to catch up with people, make plans, and find out what they’re doing.

4. Confession

That crush has been chewing at you from the inside for ages. You’re dying to get it off your chest and too scared to tell them when you’re sober; ding-dong, drunk-you has no fear and so you make confessions of love without reservation.

5. Arousal

You like the person, you want them, and you want them to reciprocate your affection. You might sext, drunk call, or even, but sometimes it really does just boil down to animal attraction.

Your Drunk Dialing Survival Guide

There’s no reason why drunk calls have to happen; if you know that the looming holidays are a real and present danger to your “no drunk dial” streak, then there are three simple tips that could help you to save face!

1. Turn your phone off: It might not stop you if you are desperate to talk to that one person you’ve always had a crush on, but most drunk dials are impulsive. In the few minutes that it takes you to find your phone, turn it on, and get signal, you may come to your senses.

2. Leave it in a drawer: Less viable if you’re going further afield and will need it, but if you’re drinking at home, at a friend’s house, or even at your local bar, it could be a good move. Put your phone in a drawer and sashay away!

3. Swap with a friend: Swap passwords so you can contact each other if necessary and give your phone to a trusted friend who will stop you from making that call you know you shouldn’t.

If the damage is already done and you’re in the middle of a post-drunk-dial shame spiral… breathe!

“Should I apologize for drunk texting?”

You ask. Well, that depends on what you said;

1. Embarrassing: If what you said was embarrassing, but otherwise harmless, simply explain yourself (if you really need to) and laugh it off. Few people will take offense or judge you for getting drunk and oversharing.

2. Discomfiture: If you think that what you said might have made someone uncomfortable (for example, if you tried to sext with someone who wasn’t interested), apologize and talk it over. Set boundaries and the person is sure to let it slide.

3. Hurt: If you said something nasty or caused an argument, you should definitely apologize. In fact, a sorry card and a talk about what happened might be in order as well!

So, remember; when the holidays roll around, don’t drink and dial!