What things should an alcoholic know

Understanding alcohol consumption: what types of drinkers are there?

Perhaps you have been researching how to drink less alcohol lately. Or you are just curious to find out why and in which situations you like to drink alcohol. In this article you will find everything about drinker types, drinking motives and also tips on how you can change your drinking habits with the help of this knowledge.

Types of drinkers: The four drinking motifs

What type of drinker you belong to depends on what motive you drink for. You probably know the word motive from crime novels: What is the motivation for a certain act? But even in everyday life we ​​have reasons for doing certain things. It can be very helpful to become aware of why you are drinking alcohol. If you want to reduce your alcohol consumption, you can use this knowledge to arm yourself against critical situations, for example.

Good to know: types of drinkers can change over time! When trying to classify yourself in the following descriptions, consider roughly the period of the last 12 months.

The first drinking motive: social motives

Alcohol and fun go together for many people. If social motives play a role in your alcohol consumption, one of the main things you want to do with alcohol is to become more open and talkative. This will make you feel like the community you have with the people you drink with is strengthened. You are more likely to dare to approach others and experience a more intense closeness. Typical situations in which social motives play a role are parties, company celebrations, birthdays and anniversaries.

The second drinking motif: conformity motifs

Conformity means agreement. If compliance motives play a role in your alcohol consumption, you want to feel a part of everything else. If you didn't drink with them, you'd feel like you no longer agree with them.

Alcohol creates a common ground and you want to win or keep other people's sympathy. Typical situations are meetings with friends, colleagues or superiors, family get-togethers as well as get-togethers.

The difference between social motives and conformity motives is that with social motives you drink "for yourself" and with conformity motives "for others".

The third drinking motif: reinforcement motifs

It is not for nothing that the majority of people drink alcohol from time to time, because the effects of alcohol can feel good. This is exactly what is in the foreground with reinforcement motifs. Alcohol is considered a luxury food in moderation, it can create exuberance and relaxation. However, it is precisely these experiences that encourage addiction to alcohol in the brain's reward center.

The fourth drinking motive: coping motives

It is also possible that you may feel the need to drink alcohol when you are not feeling well. These uncomfortable feelings can be stress, sadness, irritability or excessive demands.

If you drink alcohol for coping purposes, you want to get rid of those unpleasant thoughts and feelings through the alcohol. Coping motives are often relevant in the case of a high workload, family disputes or even loneliness.

Types of drinkers and other influences

An important factor in dealing with alcohol is awareness or, in return, the Carelessness. Many people do not even know what amounts of alcohol are harmless to health. You can find more information about this in our article on abstaining from alcohol.

You probably know the term too Habit drinkers. The habitual drinker does not mean a certain type of drink, but a regularity. The good news is: habits can be changed. This sometimes takes a little patience and perseverance, but developing new habits is possible.

Another thing that affects the frequency of drinking is its availability. Having tasty alcoholic beverages within sight and reach makes it harder to drink less. If you want to drink less alcohol, you can check whether availability also plays a role for you: Do you always have your favorite alcoholic drink in stock? Do you drink less when you are not around the house?

Drinker types use to drink less

You can use the knowledge of the different types of drinkers and influences to change your alcohol consumption. If Reinforcement motives or social motives play a role for you, i.e. if you drink alcohol to feel good and create a sense of community, you can try to find other activities for it. What do you enjoy? What group activities are there that also increase your sense of belonging?

At Conformity Motives It is worth practicing how to refuse alcohol. This includes making yourself aware that it is not impolite to refuse alcohol. Many people may even secretly admire you for being able to do this. Following your own goals makes you authentic, not less personable.

Do you find that you are dating Coping Motives drink, you can learn to face your unpleasant feelings differently. A good way to do this is by feeling surfing.

Feelings are like waves in the ocean. Waves build up slowly, get big, and eventually ebb. They come and go. This is how our feelings behave. Triggered by thoughts, situations and memories, feelings build up, become intense and lively, until they weaken again and subside. Some feelings are particularly powerful, are particularly large and powerful waves, so that fear of being inundated by these waves can arise. But these big waves also pass.

If you have uncomfortable feelings, try to surf this wave of feelings. The wave is there and building up, regardless of whether this is desired or not. A surfer knows: if he leans against the wave with the surfboard, he needs significantly more effort to avoid being run over. Therefore he goes with the force of the wave, observes exactly how it behaves and lets himself be carried by the wave.


You can find more information and effective strategies for dealing with unpleasant feelings in our blog article on the subject of "Bad Feeling, Good Companion".

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If you would like to systematically monitor your alcohol consumption or if you have a specific wish to change your alcohol consumption, our online training Drink Less Alcohol could be the right thing for you. Within five training units you will learn everything about low-risk consumption and proven strategies from cognitive behavioral therapy to drink less. You can find more information and the possibility to register under the link above.

Categories alcoholTags alcohol consumption, reduce alcohol consumption, drinker types, drinking motives