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What Determines Your "Drunken Identity"?

An expert explains why you tend to make a complete fool of yourself while your friend is able to stay calm and collected during a night out on the town.

Factor #2: Your Environment

Going back to the car with no brakes analogy, Gowin says the way you react to external factors while drunk is exaggerated because you’ve lost a lot of your impulse control and awareness. If your environment makes you feel nervous or threatened, that anxiety could make you act more aggressively or defensively than you normally would, he says. The people you’re with can also trigger strong emotion, which alcohol supercharges. A biting remark or sideways glance from a partner or a friend could send your anger through the roof, Gowin explains. (Not so fun fact: About half of all murders and two-thirds of domestic abuse events involve alcohol, he says.)

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