When Drunk Texting is More than Just a Mistake

Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes
6 min readNov 25, 2019

Signs that More Mindfulness is Needed in Your Life

Photo by Brooke Cagle

I will never forget a male client I had well over a decade ago. He worked in the hospitality business and was seeking psychotherapy to deal with his habit of drinking after his shift was over. While the drinking was common place in his work environment, the alcohol would inevitably lead him to make unwanted advances on his female colleagues. He had been fired a number of times and he wanted to better understand why he couldn’t control himself.

This was really prior to the widespread use of drunk texting. Now, according to one study, up to 89% of college students admit to drunk texting and about half of these students feel guilty about it later. There was also a positive correlation between how much the students drank and how egregious their social behavior was — increasing the guilt and shame levels. Now, however, in our post #MeToo culture, feeling of guilt or shame may not be enough to hold on to your job. Alcohol significantly increases the likelihood that innocent flirting will cross a professional boundary. When alcohol is involved we definitely feel braver in discussing our emotions or trying to set up that sexual encounter.

As we begin to head into the holiday season, many people will be celebrating at office parties or spending more time socializing. I am anticipating there will be more drinking that leads to socially regrettable behavior in general — but why?

Poor Emotion Regulation Skills — A By Product of our Anxious Culture

One of the top reasons for the increase in drunk texting actually has to do with the fact that many people do not have the skills to regulate their emotions without alcohol. That ex who has really upset you or the really attractive person in your office becomes the recipient of your new found bravery because you don’t know how to talk about your emotions while sober. This, in combination, with your impulse control also being decreased while under the influence of alcohol means that you may also end up trolling someone on Tinder simply because you don’t know what to do with your anger and sadness. Frequent drunk texting, therefore, should also be seen as a red flag that new skills need to be learned so you can manage…

Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes

Sex & Relationship Alchemist | Author & Speaker | Intuitive | Psychologist @jenniferbrhodes