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In Vino Veritas: there’s a healthier route to truth

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

There’s a stereotype that says that men only talk about their feelings and the important things in life obliquely or when they're drinking. The truth is that some women find personal topics difficult too.

Some people find it hard to talk about feelings and personal issues

People say that men use sport, politics and business as safe topics where they’re allowed to express feelings. This is just a stereotype. Many men are perfectly capable of expressing their feelings and there are women who also find personal topics difficult.

Many people use alcohol to help them relax and speak more freely

Another typical lubricant for opening up emotional conversation is alcohol, which is used by men and women alike to throw off the shackles of repression and restraint and express themselves fully.. sometimes even through dance (not necessarily in time with the music)!

Two black men in suits laugh and talk together while drinking alcohol in a pub
It's good to talk

Escaping the prefrontal cortex

This known effect of alcohol has given rise to the expression ‘In Vino Veritas’ – Through Wine truth. It's also why people often deal with moments of great emotional strain or trauma by drinking. The alcohol allows them to express the emotions they are repressing and to escape the rational brain (as well as emotions they don't want to feel).

Studies of the brain show that alcohol reduces activity in the pre-frontal cortex, responsible for rational thought and decision-making. Many people learn from a young age to listen more closely to their rational thoughts than to their gut intuition and emotions. After even one drink we begin to put less thought into our actions, communications and decision-making, for good and for bad. The bad is that we can become reckless with potentially negative consequences (as well as the significant risk of developing alcohol dependence). The good is that we may become more creative, more intuitive and take the risk to be more open with someone about how we feel and what we think.

Two white men in an office talk over coffee
A coach creates a safe space to talk

Coaching offers an alternative

I find these effects fascinating and find parallels with what I experience during coaching. By building a safe, non-judgemental space and allowing the other person time to explore ideas deeply it seems to me that often they’re able to loosen the grip of the pre-frontal cortex to explore their world in new creative ways, unlimited by the fixed beliefs and rules with which they usually operate. With time they often open the tap to allow more emotion to flow, which is another form of intelligence and can often yield very different answers to those reached by our rational brain.As more and more people decide to limit the amount of alcohol they consume perhaps coaching could replace some of the cognitive benefits sought by drinkers.

If you’re interested in learning more about how coaching can help you to open up new ways of seeing your world and creating the life, work and relationships you want, please send me a message right now. Alternatively go ahead and book the 30-minute 'taster' session to experience my coaching for yourself.

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