Very shy people get highly anxious the day after drinking alcohol, new research reveals.
Dubbed “hangxiety”, it involves a combination of being hungover and very anxious.
Compared to more outgoing people, the shy experience much higher levels of anxiety the day after drinking.
Professor Celia Morgan, who led the study, said:
“We know that many people drink to ease anxiety felt in social situations, but this research suggests that this might have rebound consequences the next day, with more shy individuals more likely to experience this, sometimes debilitating, aspect of hangover.
These findings also suggest that hangxiety in turn might be linked to people’s chance of developing a problem with alcohol.”
The study of 97 social drinkers had them either drink six units of alcohol or remain sober.
The results revealed that shy people felt slightly less shy while intoxicated.
However, they paid for this with much more anxiety the next day.
Ms Beth Marsh, the study’s first author, said:
“And while statistics show that, overall, people are drinking less, those with lower levels of health and wellbeing – perhaps including people experiencing anxiety – are still often doing so.”
Professor Morgan said:
“It’s about accepting being shy or an introvert.
This might help transition people away from heavy alcohol use.
It’s a positive trait.
It’s OK to be quiet.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Marsh et al., 2019).