The Joy of Being the Only Sober Person in the Room

The Joy of Being the Only Sober Person in the Room

April 13, 2018

I don’t drink.

Actually, I’ve never even had a sip of alcohol.

But as a wise man once said, “You’re not cool if you drink, and you’re not cool if you don’t drink.”

I’m not preaching, I’m just saying.

Because this is true, I’ve been in a lot of rooms where I’ve been the only sober person there. And it’s a weird thing.

At first, it’s funny. Personalities are magnified and you see sides of people that you may never have seen before. Sometimes it can be good entertainment.

But sometimes it’s lonely.

Drunk people, when they reach a certain level, start speaking their own drunk language to each other. At that point, you’re all alone. There’s no way to reach them and there’s no way they can reach you.

Being left out can cause anxiety.

I’m tired of not having anyone to talk to. Maybe I’ll have a few drinks and join them…

And therein lies the challenge.

Once you give in and join them, you lose an advantage. The sober person sees everything. The sober person can capture memories. The sober person makes reasonable decisions. The sober person can help people who might be getting out of hand.

And the sober person is always available to make a connection with that one other person who might be sober, too. Finding that one other person can be a thrill that leads to something valuable.

The thing is: this situation is happening all the time to everyone–and not just at bars or parties.

The other day I was standing in line at a Starbucks. There were eight people in line.

All eight were staring deeply at their phones, speaking their own silent languages with the internet.

No eye contact. No recognition.

They stumbled around. They screwed up their orders or forgot. They were incapacitated zombies.

I was the only “sober” person in the room.

I was all alone.

As I said, the easy way out would have been to join them. If I opened up my phone, I could’ve been a drunk zombie, too. We’d all have been in it together.

But then I might’ve missed meeting that one other person that also might not be looking at their phone. Or I would’ve missed the thankful smile from the barista when I promptly stepped to the counter and made a coherent order.

I would’ve missed the connection.

And that’s something only a sober person can get.

My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.