Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Missouri–Columbia published a study in the journal of Addiction Research & Theory in which they observed 374 tipsy undergrad students and discovered each of them took on one of four personalities after a few too many: the Mary Poppins, the Hemingway, the Nutty Professor and the Mr. Hyde. The authors hope to use their findings to develop intervention strategies in the future, but we beat them to it.
You’re a Hemingway if… Like the whisky-soaked author, your drunk behaviour is so low-key that people have no idea whether you’ve had two or 10. If this is you, congratulations! But beware: you can still black out, and you and your friends may not see it coming, which could land you passed-out on the coat pile or worse.
Drunk Strategy: Pace yourself with your lighter-weight friends (just because you can toss back the vodka sodas doesn’t mean you should), and ask them to check in with you periodically (there’s no harm in a little walk-the-line sobriety test in the bathroom).
You’re a Mary Poppins if… You’re outgoing and sweet when sober, which translates to utter ebullience when drunk. You dispense bear hugs, lots of “I love you, guys” and plenty of sparkly chatter. Mary Poppins types are extremely pleasant to be around, so even with lowered inhibitions, you’re still a spoonful of sugar. Of all the DPs, this one is the most covetable.
Drunk Strategy: Don’t forget that boundaries do exist. Every time you’re tempted to slur a declaration of undying love, ask yourself if you know the recipient’s last name. If not, dial down the feels.
You’re a Nutty Professor if… You’re normally quiet and reserved but shed your introversion and become more confident, social and opinionated when soused. This can be great for showing people another side of you, but it also means your usual conscientiousness becomes compromised, which could lead to poor judgment: a game of strip Cards Against Humanity with an intern after the office party, for example.
Drunk Strategy: Ask your friends to step in if your behaviour veers from hilarious to inappropriate. Red flags include answering the question “Red or white?” with “Whatever,” adjusting your Spanx openly on the dance floor and repeatedly shouting that everything is amaaaazing.
You’re a Mr. Hyde if… You’re normally Miss Congeniality but booze brings out Tonya Harding levels of backstabbery real quick. You experience significant decreases in inhibitions, intellect and agreeableness when drunk and are prone to fits of jealousy and anger.
Drunk Strategy: Sorry, the only way to stave off the rage is to imbibe less. Turn your bubbly into spritzers (half soda), order radlers (half juice, half beer) or drink two waters for every one drink. And absolutely no shots.