run away night out

We asked a psychologist why drunk people run off from their mates on a night out

We all have that one friend

In every friendship group there are five core drunk personality types: the one in the club for a good time not a long time who gets chips and goes home by 1AM, the person who always pulls in the smoking area, the fighter that gets dragged out of the club by the bouncer, the good vibes dancer who becomes besties with all the girls in the loo, and the loose canon who runs off into the night without so much as a “see you later”.

Yup, everyone has been making videos on TikTok outing themselves as the pain in the arse friend who always sprints off from the group the minute they’re left unattended. It sort of feels mischievous: “It’s an adventure,” wrote one user. “I like causing as many problems as I can,” admitted another.

But, what the actual hell is going on? Why do so many of us have this sudden burst of energy that allows us to turn into a track star at 2AM much to the distress and exhaustion of everyone legging it after us?

“Alcohol is known for reducing our inhibitions and increasing risk taking behaviour,” says psychologist Honey Langcaster-James and Director of Services at On Set Welfare. “So, the usual risk averse thoughts we might have are often reduced when we’ve been drinking.

“If someone is drunk, then they are also less likely to consider the consequences of their actions or to be mindful of the fact that they will still be held responsible for their actions,” she adds. “So, leaving your friend is more likely to seem like a hilarious thing to do, regardless of how your friend might feel about it or what they might say to you later.”


The fact that this is seriously accurate #foryoupage TikTokBrushes #pov

♬ Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

And the urge to hide might even stem back to our childhoods: “Playing ‘peek a boo’ or ‘hide and seek’ are long time favourite games even when we’re young children,” says Honey. “So, this is kind of an extension of those kind of games, it’s just important that you don’t let alcohol influence you to take things too far.”

Basically, for your drunk alter-ego, sprinting across the dance floor and the whole way home is hysterically funny. What’s much more of a headache is waking up to 267 missed calls from the friends who ruined their own night manically trying to find you and keep you safe. One uni student in the US even attached an Apple Airtag on her friend’s dress while they visited Vegas in case she tried to leg it.

“If you’re beginning to notice that alcohol makes you do things you regret, or that your actions under the influence are starting to damage your friendships, then you may need to re-think your relationship with alcohol,” says Honey, who recommends a sober night out or even just slightly fewer VKs.

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