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Do You Drink Because You Are Shy Of Other People?

by | Johns Hopkins 20 Questions | 4 comments

(0.40) Relying on alcohol to deal with life
(1.15) When I first started drinking
(1.55) Drugging it

A Big Question: Drink Because You Are Shy?

This is the third question of the Johns Hopkins 20 questions: “Are you an alcoholic?” and it covers if you ever drink because you are shy of other people

This is one of those questions which, in my opinion, if you answer yes, you already have an alcohol problem. And it’s a problem that will only get worse and become much more difficult to handle the longer you leave the underlying causes unresolved.

If you’re taking any drug to help you deal with life you’re gonna have problems.

“Many a man is praised for his reserve and so-called shyness when he is simply too proud to risk making a fool of himself.”
J.B. Priestley

Where’s the Easy Fix?

Why are we always looking for the easy way out? We want that magic pill so we can lose weight without having to get our fat arse’s off the couch to exercise, while still being able to chomp down on cream doughnuts and burgers.

When we get ill, instead of looking for the reasons why we’re ill and dealing with the causes, we want to take a pill that makes the symptoms go away. We are addicted to the easy way out of everything.

Shyness will never go away if you don’t deal with it head-on!

Nutjobs and Psycho’snutty-prof

Remember the 1960’s version of “The Nutty Professor” with Jerry Lewis. He was the bumbling, buck-toothed, shy professor who invented a serum that turned him into a Dean Martin like character. Buddy Love was a cool character, but he was quite despicable. The moral of the movie was… you can’t expect anyone else to like you if you don’t like yourself.

Drinking to try and change your personality is like a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenario. Jekyll created a potion to repress parts of himself that he didn’t like. Instead, the potion turned him into the younger, more aggressive, and animalistic Mr Hyde, a despicable little bastard. As the story unfolds, Jekyll needs more and more of the potion to remain himself.

Most of us don’t turn into Mr Hyde when we’ve been drinking, but we all transform into lesser versions of ourselves. We wake up the caveman, that reptilian part of our brain that deals with our most basic wants and needs… the thinking brain gradually gets pushed into the background.

My Trip Over the Sahara

When I first started drinking, 3 pints would be enough for the whole night. Before I gave up drinking, I needed to drink 3 pints before the night even got started, before I was “up to speed”, able to relax and enjoy myself. And once I started, I couldn’t stop.

When I knew we were going out with others, I would always arrange it so that I would be there a half hour or an hour before everyone else was due to arrive, even if it was my family. The first pint would be thrown down my throat like I hadn’t had a drink in days, like I had just crawled across the Sahara desert to be there. And that was always my excuse for drinking the first one so fast…”I was really, really thirsty”… not that I was a bit scared and needed my crutch.

I never realized how much fun you can have when you’re sober. I can really get into a conversation. I listen more, I understand more, I remember much more, and I really enjoy myself. I haven’t got a little golem trying to trip up my life on every turn.

Part of the Drugged Up Culture?

If you drink because you need Dutch courage, you have to start dealing the shyness as a problem. Don’t hide away from it. Everyone feels shy sometimes, you’re not alone. But by not dealing with it, or preferring to be drugged in order to socialize, you are digging a deep hole for yourself, one that’ll be very difficult for you to climb out of.

This article is part of a series posts on the Johns Hopkins 20 questions for ascertaining whether you have an alcohol problem or not. If you answer yes to this question and yes to some of the others in the test, you need to take a look at your drinking habits. You can find the master article here:

Leave a message below if I can offer any help at all in your fight with alcohol.

Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards…

Watch the First Videos:

Have You lost time from work because of your drinking?
Is Drinking Making Your Home Life Unhappy?


  1. Justyna

    I’m so happy I came across your YT channel and the website. It’s like reading my own story bit by bit…
    I’ve made my decision 2 weeks ago.
    The funny thing is that actually I already have all the answers (most of them) for the questions you answer but it feels very comforting to hear them from someone else.
    Please keep up good work.
    All the best

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Well done on the two weeks Justyna. My story is the same as so many. The thing about those 20 questions is that most drinkers could answer yes to some of them, even moderate drinkers. All you need are 3 yes’s for you to be classed an alcoholic. It is most helpful to you if you look at your own life. You know if you have a problem, you don’t need to be told or to take a survey.
      Alcohol is poison, physically and mentally. We’re just better off without it.
      Good luck to you in the future.

  2. Margaret

    dear Kevin my best friend has a functioning alcoholic for a husband although he has one DUI and sneaks beers at his business as he is the boss he now has children and his wife wishes for him to live a more sober lifestyle unfortunately he having seen his father be a successful functioning alcoholic sees no reason to change as he has suffered no consequences for his heavy drinkingwondering if you have any advice as to how to reach and save a functioning alcoholic before things get worse for him and his family

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Hi Margaret,
      To be honest, it’s a very difficult task to even speak to someone about a problem if they won’t even acknowledge that they have a problem. I always advise people who are finishing with alcohol to look after themselves first. If you were asking for advice because you have someone in your life who is determined to keep you drinking, that someone is doing it for their own reasons. The first thing is to have a sit down with that person and explain to them the how serious you are about stopping drinking, what it means to you to move onwards with your life and away from abusing your body. If they still won’t listen, you need to distance yourself from them. I’d give the same advice the other way round. You can only look at this from your perspective, how the other persons drinking is affecting your life. There needs to be open communication in the first place, laying all the cards out on the table and letting the user know how you feel. If nothing improves, you need to take more drastic action. We are all important in ourselves. If you’re with someone who is hampering who you want to be, it’s not good.
      My apologies for a very simplistic answer. This is a very complex problem in and of itself. I hope it helps you and your friend a little.
      Take care


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