A lot of us become really skilled at hiding our feelings, our frustrations and even our desires. Now if all you want to do is right hook your boss every time you see him, this is a great skill to have and by all means keep it up. But when all these feelings are pent up for months on end, you start to lose it a bit, and frankly not talking about your issues tends to mean they’re not being worked out. That’s where everyone starts going on about needing to talk with your friends, your mom, or even your shrink.
The problem is that this can be so hard! Especially being in college, where your mom is a thousand miles away and making time to just talk can be a struggle.
This is why going out to bars (once you’re 21 of course!) on a weekend can actually be so great. It goes like this: you and a friend or two meet up at one of your places to get dolled up to go out, and you casually mention a small problem in passing, putting very little weight on it. You start to pregame with a few drinks and your inhibitions begin to go down. You’re in a stellar mood at this point, ready to hit the bars. At the bar you have a few shots, see the guy you’re secretly in love with, get hit on a few times, and inevitably get cornered by some 40-year old creep offering you cocaine just down the street (true story!).
Now that you’ve drank your fair share, you’re all prepped and ready to get deep with that friend of yours. That little issue you brought up early in the night now becomes the topic of the conversation for the next two hours where the two of you sit in the hallway and analyze it to death and hopefully crank out a solution. This of course progresses into you venting on all the stress in your life, anything from how much you miss a home-cooked meal to what it’s going to be like if JP Morgan doesn’t hire you. So a good six hours after you started drinking, you realize you’ve unloaded everything that’s been putting wrinkles into your forehead for the past month, and suddenly a breath of air actually feels like a breath or air!
Another great part about this lowered inhibitions effect of a night out is that you can also discover certain feelings you didn’t know you had! When you do get cornered by the creep and finally escape, if you automatically sought out a specific guy or girl acquaintance in the bar to hug or whose hand to hold for just a little while, you can end up realizing you have strong feelings for them! Something you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t need to seek out someone you feel comfortable and safe with.
You also find out who your true friends are. Does your friend take you out for a slice of pizza to soak up the alcohol and later forces you to text them that you got home alright? If they don’t and later go on to post ratchet photos of you with a spilled margarita down your shirt on Facebook, chances are you’re just a drinking buddy.
By the end of the night, you’ve spent less than $30 dollars, hung out with friends, had a blast, danced, flirted, took cute pictures, discovered love, fixed some problems, and fitted several therapy sessions in. It’s simply the lowered inhibition that allows us to just let go and finally let things out when there’s a helpful friend ready to listen.
Now by no means should this be a weekly habit, your skin and liver would go to ruin! But now and then, a night out with a close friend can make all the difference when the struggles of life just begin to pile up too high.