How Men Over 40 Can Develop Social Skills without the Drink

How Men Over 40 Can Develop Social Skills without the Drink

After being a drunk for 16 years, I was shocked to find out that I struggled miserably in social situations in sobriety.

What had happened?

I felt like the Ice Man whenever I got around people – I felt like an alien that had just landed and needed to take a crash course in human behaviors or I was going to die.


Then, it slowly dawned on me that I had been running from any kind of stress for over 20 years, big or small.

If someone or something pissed me off between the ages of 20 to 36, I was heading to the bar or to the store to get some beer.

Of course, I don’t think we truly run from our problems – they just re-materialize later in different situations.

So, How Do You Develop Social Skills without the Drink?

The eight years of sobriety have been interesting to say the least.

I had a major panic attack around year 3 or 4 with my parents.

The panic attack really flipped me out because I was being a “good boy” and was completely sober, but that panic attack left some kind of PTSD in me – I was very fearful of having another one. If you’ve ever had a panic attack before you know what I mean.

Panic attacks can destroy a person’s life literally.

I knew a guy that never left his house for over 20 years because he had a panic attack one time while driving his car.

It’s not something you want to experience, and even though I was completely sober, I created “social anxiety” because of my fear of it happening again.

That led me on a real spiritual, self-development quest.

Along the way, I had to rebuild my entire coping mechanisms and gave my ego a horrible ride.

I didn’t want sobriety to absolutely suck, so I started researching a ton of material from teachers.

Looking back, I think everything helped – I just didn’t notice during the daily grind.

But, one day I really noticed that my social skills were better than ever, and after 8 years of sobriety with a couple two day relapses, I was a new man and sober. . .

So, What Worked to Gain Back Social Skills?

Simple answer: love yourself.

Yes, it’s as easy as that – many alcoholics have a lot of shame and guilt which perpetuates the drinking – a negative, self-defeating loop so to speak.

Even though I had been sober for a few years, I hadn’t done any work on learning how to accept myself completely and unconditionally.

I was what people in Alcoholics Anonymous call a “dry drunk.”

I still had all the rage and irrational behavior like a drunk, but without drinking.

I had to learn how to love myself before I could even talk to someone else in a nice way.

That was the key – and the more I did things I was proud of – like creating the Actualized Man Program and an awesome YouTube channel, and the more I spoke affirmations to myself, the more I came around.

I practiced looking at myself in the mirror and doing “shadow work” where you learn to love and accept those dark, and suppressed pieces of you – that typically made us run to alcohol in the past.

Some crazy stuff from your past will re-emerge the more self-development you do.

Don’t let the voices and bad dreams turn you off to loving yourself – love all the aspects of you and forget about the past.

Every second is a new moment you can start fresh.

Quick Story How I knew I Had Changed for the Better

I had always dreaded going to my wife’s parents house for Christmas.

I had skipped the year before, and the year before that I had to take a ton of natural herbs to relax me and run a few miles to burn off the excess adrenaline.

This year, I was going and I wasn’t going to jog or take a ton of supplements.

All I had was a little CBD Oil beforehand, but what really made me feel completely confident is that I had:

  • Been closer to God – every night communicating with him to relieve my anxiety and to fill my heart with love again.
  • Hammered the affirmations – yeah, they don’t seem like they work at first, but say something your subconscious will believe in more, like: “How do I love myself more today” say to yourself in the morning as you wake up, or “How can I be more confident tomorrow” as you go to bed. The more you can say affirmations during the day, the more you will notice subtle changes.
  • Changed my environment – I had on new clothes and cologne, and we were driving our new car.
  • Felt like a Member of Society by Giving – nothing feels better than donating a little money here and there – and volunteering at a local soup kitchen. I had donated a lot of money to an orthodox monastery in West Virginia.
  • Gratitude – is huge – think about where you’ve come from – I was a drunk pissing my bed just 9 years earlier, now I had my health, a beautiful wife, and worked from home full-time in my slippers.

I also visualized hugging my wife’s family and being confident – visualizing what you want the outcome to be is crucial – professional athletes do it all day long. . .

When I stepped into her parent’s house, my visualizations became a reality and I was calm and confident.

I even surprised myself, but everything I imagined came true and it was the best Christmas ever.

That meeting made it official, I was a new man, and knowing that, spiked my self-esteem even higher.

Thanks for reading How Men Over 40 Can Develop Social Skills without the Drink.



Erik Christian Johnson is a Entrepreneur, writer, full-time Network Marketer and Blogger. He shares tips on various topics including: Network Marketing tips, how to work full time from Home, and God. He is also the #1 recruiter in his primary business. His blog is summed up as being: "edgy personal development with a twist of financial freedom."

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.

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