Everyone loves a party, but nobody likes a hangover, am I right?
Still for most people, that punishment is no reason to abstain from drinking the night before. I get it, some nights are simply so legendary that you can say without a doubt they’re worth the 5 day “epic hangover of doom” that follows them 😉
When I wrote about what I learned from quitting alcohol, I got many positive reactions from people who were interested in trying the same thing. Some for just 30 days, some for ever.
Almost everyone who tried it told me that they experienced the same things and generally felt in better shape. But they were quite relieved to “finally let loose again” when their challenge was over.
One thing I realized after listening these people was that my original post contained very little practical advice on how to actually make it fun.
That means I have something to make up to you. So here’s a post on how to still create those epic nights without a single sip of alcohol.
Ready? Let’s go 😉
Before we get into anything specific, the first thing you have to realize is that no party in the history of mankind was ever created by alcohol.
Maybe this sounds unbelievable to you. Some people would even argue that every party ever was created by alcohol. But they were not.
Parties are created by people who allow themselves to let go of all the pressures of life for a moment. And express that euphoria through behavior that’s “all over the place”.
If you want proof of this correlation, just take a look at all the lonely alcoholics. Plenty of alcohol, no party.
Now look at a sports team that just won a game. Plenty of party even before the alcohol starts flowing.
So yes, alcohol make it easier for most people to get the party started.But in essence the party and the alcohol are completely different things.
The problem is that most people, including myself, stop drinking only to realize they actually have no idea how to party without the alcohol loosening them up.
Since most of us don’t win a football game every day to get us in the mood, I’m going to look at all the good things alcohol does for you in this post (there’s already enough articles on the internet about the bad things) and show you how to achieve those things without drinking. You’ll start with the easy ones and work your way up right to the boss level of partying without booze.
Alcohol Gets You In the Mood
This used to be how every party started for me. Before I left the house I usually had some friends come over to drink a few bottles. There’s a much easier and quicker way to do this though, and I urge you to try it next time.
It’s called cocaine.
I kid, I kid. When I was doing cold-approach sales I had a co-worker who kept telling me that “motion creates emotion” . I tried it out. Whenever I felt my motivation drop or something got me down, I just sprinted to the next customers instead of walking. Yes, after a few times of doing this I arrived breathing heavily and had to take a few seconds before I could start my conversation. But I was also smiling and laughing and felt really good about myself.
I kept this in my mind and I’ve been doing similar things every morning and every time I go out ever since.
To get in the mood for a party without alcohol, just put up your favorite music on maximum volume and start singing along, dancing in your bedroom, jumping around. You can even do some push-ups and jumping jacks if you like. Take as long as you need (usually won’t be long) to get your heart rate up and make you feel like you’re King of the world (or Queen of the world ). Notice how different your emotional state is and how good you feel when you look in the mirror afterwards. Cheaper than a bottle of wine, right? 😀
Alcohol Is Worth Your Money, Water Isn’t
This is another hang-up for many people. They don’t want to pay for a glass of water in a bar when they can get a full bottle or more for that same price during the daytime. And drinking lemonade all night is definitely not the way to go.
What helped for me to get over this, is to stop thinking I was paying for the water. That’s not even tricking yourself, it’s the truth: You’re paying for the environment, the music, the service, and all the people working there. If you like those things, they are worth a few bucks. If you don’t like ‘em, just go somewhere more fun!
You can fix the “lack of variation” issue by creating your own mocktails or drinks by putting non-alcoholic drinks together. It doesn’t have to be on the menu to order it. Just ask for it and if they look odd at you, you can always explain you’re trying to make not drinking more fun. I guess you could even take shots of lemon juice if you want to 😉
In my original article I mentioned that drinking non-alcoholic drinks doesn’t save you any money at all, but you can fix this as well:
I was at someone’s house party last weekend, and he told me he rarely spends any money on drinks anymore when he goes out. He just drinks lots of water before and after, and only pays for entrance to the club. While this might be a little too restrictive for most people, you can definitely make it work. Depends on what you like better: Your money or having a drink in your hand. I’ll definitely try it soon.
You Only Like This Song When You’re Drunk
You know those songs you like to dance to when you’re going out but would never listen to at home?
I’m not even talking about guilty pleasures here but songs you generally consider horrible
I remember one of the drunkest nights I ever had. I remember one moment from that night: The DJ was playing a song I hated with passion. But somehow I still rushed to the front of the stage to dance along, only to find one of my best friends there, doing the same while he hated the song equally. We both looked at each other equally disappointed in ourselves and entertained by the ridiculousness of this situation. We decided the next day we had officially reached the level of drunkness we no longer considered acceptable for ourselves.
Looking back I wonder: Isn’t it much better to have the freedom to enjoy as much music as possible ? You don’t have to love every single song. But can you learn to appreciate something in all music that passes your ears?
That fact that alcohol can make you dance to that song means that somewhere deep down, a part of you likes something about it or at least has the capacity to like it.
One thing that helped tremendously for me was to learn not to judge music in the wrong context. This is especially a common mental trap for musicians to fall in. Most of the songs you hear when going out, are simply not made by people who intend to change the history of rock & roll for years to come. They are made to get people moving, pump their emotions up and be accessible to as many people as possible, including the “simplest of minds”. So why judge those songs on anything other than their ability to do that? That’s like saying you hate fish because they don’t walk on land.
After you’ve made that small switch in mindset, all you have to do is go with the music, not against it. Find something that you like in every song. A beat, a lyric, a melody, a feel or an attitude. Doesn’t matter. As long as you find it and allow yourself to feel what the music does to your body. You don’t have to dance. I’m not a dancer either, but if you’re not at least tapping your feet to the beat or something you’re missing the point.
As you read before, motion creates emotion. So absence of motion creates apathy. Which is not the best state to be in if you want to “party like a legend” 😉 Give it a try and let me know if this worked for you as well!
Alcohol Makes You Sociable and Smooth
Well, the part about being smooth is subject to debate 😉 But it is a fact that when you’re drunk you somehow start to talk to everyone, everyone talks to you and you meet all kinds of amazing people who you never meet when sober.
Why is this? Because you’re giving off a social vibe.
When you’re sober, it’s easy to get stuck in your head. Whenever you’re thinking about stuff internally, you are directing your energy inward instead of outward. Not only are you not talking to people, they instinctively know not to come talk to you because you don’t seem very open.
While physically hyping yourself up for the party will often be enough, if you still find yourself being a little “introverted” at a party you can simply fix it by doing what “drunk you” would do:
If you’re not holding a drink in your hands, make sure you don’t cross your arms. Keep your body language open and inviting to other people (this will happen automatically if you feel that way as well).
When your friends are gone for a minute, don’t whip out your phone. Talk to someone new!
Say hi to the people who pass you. Whenever you think something inside your head, talk about it instead of keeping it to yourself (yup, that’s what “drunk you” does, for better or worse) and if you find yourself interested in meeting someone, walk up and introduce yourself.
This may feel a little uneasy at first, but that’s just because you’re in a state of inertia. Once you’ve got yourself to take action, you’ll get into that same flow you have when you’re drunk. And you won’t even have to think about it anymore. Even better: Because you’re sober you will actually be able to listen to them and speak in a way that they understand 😉
The biggest issue here is getting over the idea that it’s weird to talk to random strangers.
Do you know why people go out?
To have fun in a social environment. If they wanted to be left alone they’d go somewhere private. People want to have fun and meet new people. Otherwise they wouldn’t spend an hour to look pretty before they go out.
You know how many people are not having fun or meeting anyone when they go out? A LOT! You just don’t notice them until you go out sober. So they’ll be very happy to meet you for a change.
The only problem is that most people socialize in a very creepy way. It’s as if they need something from you or have some kind of secret agenda. This is especially true for men approaching women.
However, if you’re genuinely interested in meeting someone, respect them and you don’t try to be someone you’re not or hide something about your intentions, there is nothing creepy about it at all.
In fact it is much more creepy to stare and not talk. And in that case you’re actually denying yourself and the other people a fun conversation.
If this is a little scary to you (because you’re afraid of rejection, ridicule, the other person being unfriendly,etc. ) , we’ll fix that at the end of this post . But first my favorite part:
Alcohol Allows Legendary Things to Happen When You Least Expect Them
This was a huge one for me. Alcohol was always my favorite drug because it’s so unpredictable. It’s like every shot you take is a dice you roll with the potential to “unleash the chaos” for better or worse. That’s why I loved it so much, and judging from all the “post-party Facebook status updates” I guess the same is to be said for everyone else.
By day you live an ordinary life. But at night, when none of your co-workers are watching, you retreat into the closet, come out in a different outfit, have a couple of drinks and things get EPIC (in capital letters)!
Many of us love booze because we all love for crazy exciting things to happen. But at the same time we generally avoid doing the things in our life from which we are not sure what the outcome will be (AKA the stuff that can allow crazy things to happen, for better or worse). Isn’t that funny?
I think this is because alcohol offers a shortcut for a price. It “forces” the craziness instead of letting it come naturally. But when you “force” something, while it may give you faster results, the result will be less stable in will leave you in debt. It’s a deal with the devil.
For example if a lock is stuck, you can slowly find a solution until it opens smoothly. This will take some patience. But it will fix it permanently without any debt to be paid afterwards. On the other hand, if you use brute force to open it, the lock will open immediately. But it will be broken and you’ll need to buy a new lock after that. Debt.
If you want to become famous and slowly build your fanbase organically, you can accumulate large following that is very loyal to you over the span of a decade. Or you can force your fame in some way by getting massive exposure for something stupid without the experience or core fan base to back it up. This way you’ll have a lot more followers quickly. But they will forget all about you as soon the next big thing comes around.
Alcohol does exactly the same for you: It sells you a shortcut to craziness. But you’ll have to pay the debt of the hangover and the results are not very stable.
Yes, alcohol caused me to wake up with 2 women in a room full of money once. But the other 90% of the time it caused me to wake up with 2 hangovers in a room full of “How the hell did all those things end up on the floor? And why am I surrounded by stolen road signs? Who is Jeff? Where’s my left sock?”.
So what is the more reliable, free way to craziness?
Simple: acting on your impulses. When I first quit drinking I literally had moments where I thought “Oh man, if I was drunk I would’ve totally done X or Y right now”. So what is the solution here? Do those things anyway. Fall in love with the unknown. Don’t be afraid to make bad decisions. Of course you shouldn’t do anything that you know could hurt people. But if there’s any sign of doubt, just do it. After all, you’re here to loosen up tonight.
Be at the cause of the party, not the effect. If you need entertainment, make some for yourself. Don’t sit around and wait to get entertained. Even alcohol won’t help you with that, it only helps when it turns you into a party starter.
You know those exceptionally epic nights? They happened because of those impulsive decisions you normally don’t make. Things rarely turn out as bad as you expect them to go in your head (unless you’ve been there and know what will happen of course). That night, they happened because you took some bold risks. If only you could remember them though 😉
Now why is it so hard for people to get on that same level of thinking when we’re sober?
Alcohol Stops You From Giving a Fuck
This actually somewhat of a misconception. When you’re in that “drunk sweet spot” it seems exactly as if alcohol just made you throw away all your fucks and you have zero left to give about anything.
What a great way to live.
Well, I hate to burst your bubble on this one but it’s actually one big prank played on you by the booze. Remember what I told you about using force as a short cut?
When you drink you are actually forcing a loss of fucks. So yes, you will give very few fucks for a while. But since you’re using force, there’s a debt to be paid. Your fucks are not really gone. Alcohol just keeps all your fucks safely tucked away in a little bag where nobody can touch them, until…
4 AM, you have one drink too many and it throws that whole bag of fucks right in your not-so-photogenic-anymore face. To make things worse it even seems like the bag now contains some fucks that weren’t there at the start of the night.
So now you start drunk-dialing your ex, leaving tear-ridden voice mail messages when he doesn’t answer, and texting all the booty-calls you don’t actually lik. Or you get into a fight with someone because you somehow started giving a fuck about the way they looked at you.
Yes, occasionally you can have a situation that is really getting you down and have you really stressed out. I don’t know, maybe your lost your job, your wife cheated on you or your pet velociraptor died. And you find you need alcohol to take the edge off. I’ll get to how to deal with those things in a minute.
First something much more common: Most people give too many fucks about things that aren’t even worthy of it. We give a fuck our favorite restaurant is closed for the weekend. We give a fuck when the person we’re rooting for falls out of the race in some reality show on TV . But most of all, we give a fuck about what other people think of us when we do something totally harmless and fun that we really want to do. So we don’t do it.
At the same time we totally admire people who save their fucks only for the most special people instead of being total fuck-sluts like you and me.
“Did you see Tom running around the festival in a monkey suit, spraying piña colada in everyone’s mouth from his penis-shaped super soaker? Awesome! That guy totally doesn’t give a fuck!”Friend of Tom
You know that time when you drank just a little too much and you suddenly transformed into a mean-lean-dancing-machine, busting out all kinds of crazy moves that made you feel that sweet mixture of pride and shame the next morning?
You guessed it, that was the moment you stopped giving a fuck about what other people thought of you. And you want to know the truth? They didn’t think anything of you. Because they were all too busy giving their own fucks about what you thought of them.
Sure, if you do something unusual some people might give you a weird look of disapproval for a moment. But after that they’ll just go right back to giving their own fucks and wouldn’t even remember you were that guy if you talked to them later on.
I personally find the economization of my fucks the hardest thing to do when I go out. Even though I’m already far from generous with my fucks in my day-to-day life, I still seem to be way too liberal with them at the start of the night.
I’ve stumbled upon a great way to get your fuck-spending-habits in check. It only takes five minutes but it will require a lot of courage, here it goes:
At the start of the night, do something really weird in public that you know people will judge you for but doesn’t harm anybody in any way.
It could be something like faking an epileptic seizure, yelling “I HAVE A REALLY SMALL AND UNUSUALLY SHAPED PENIS” or pretending you’re a chicken trapped in a human body. What exactly you do doesn’t matter, the only requirements are that:
• You really don’t want to do it. You have to feel a big resistance to doing it.
• You know most people will look weird or judge you for doing it.
• You pick something slightly different every time.
• You have to do it long enough to pass the stages of “I’m stopping it, this is stupid and makes no sense.”, “Alright that’s long enough” (is what she said) and “I proved my point, ready to party now.”
That last bullet is very important as your mind will trick you into stopping constantly so you can go back to the safe place of still giving your fucks away like a hooker on career day.
So what’s the final stage that you want to reach when you’re doing this uncomfortable thing?
Liberation. The stage where you think “This is so much fun, I could do this all night.” Which of course you don’t, because you need that energy to do all fun things you used to avoid when you still gave a fuck.
The most interesting thing about this exercise is that once you reach that point where you don’t give a fuck anymore, something in your demeanor changes. The subtle nuances in your body language that betrayed you were secretly looking for approval (or the absence of disapproval) are now gone. And people can feel it. Subsequently they also don’t judge you anymore (or perhaps you don’t register it, which is just as fine with me).
It’s like a nice peaceful ceasefire of fucks. You throw yours away and the people around you stop giving theirs as well.
If this sounds weird to you it’s only because you still have your fucks in your hand ready to give them about this blog post in the form of prejudice.
I really encourage you to try this out the next time you go out and watch the magic happen as your fucks evaporate. Then later that night, whenever your fucks start to accumulate again you can simply repeat this “banishing of fucks” ritual and keep your carefree party going. Without the hangover 😉
Not ready to try it? Well, I’m sorry to inform you. But that means you still give a fuck. And your party will be a little less legendary tonight.
What to do though, when something is bothering you that actually deserves your fuck?
Something you’ve been worrying about all day that you just want to escape from for a couple of hours before you can go back the next morning to consciously choosing to give your precious fuck to it? Simply put, a situation that matters.
Whatever it is about your reality that really hurts so much. Whether it’s your home situation, career or the well-being of your pet-goldfish: That isn’t part of your life when you are partying.
You may think it is but it isn’t. It is not happening right then and there. It’s happened in the past. Or you’re afraid it will happen in the future. But right then and there, there’s nothing you can do about it. Which makes it totally irrelevant.
Worry about the gold-fish or the career when you are in a time and place where you can fix it.
It would be stupid to spend the whole meeting with your boss worrying about what to wear to the party later that night when you could be focusing on saving your ass from getting fired, agreed?
Well, in the exact same thing: When you are in a time and place to party, worry about the party, not about losing your job.
Plan to deal with the situation the next hangover-free morning. And spend the night dealing with all the cool people you meet, places you go and adventures you embark on.
The cool thing is that because you are sober, you will be much more aware of these things happening and remember them for years to come. While they won’t prevent you from facing reality the next day.
Ready? Let’s party!
I really hope this was valuable for you, even if you’re a drinker. And if there’s anything else about it you have trouble dealing with, hit me up! You never know, maybe I’ve been through the same or I know someone.
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