One way to be more satisfied with life is to lower your standards. People seem pretty hesitant to do this most of the time. And fair enough: who wants to be satisfied at the expense of everything else they care about? Happiness isn’t that great.
If only it were possible to feel like you had lower standards without actually settling for the very easiest career that would pay for your tent, noodles, and blow up companion.
I wonder if this is a significant reason people drink alcohol.
It seems that when people drink they lower their standards for many things. For what to laugh at, for what’s worth saying, and for who it’s worth saying to, for instance. They enthusiastically eat things they would find barely passable sober, and are thrilled by activities they usually find beneath them.
Yet this standard lowering is constrained in time, so as long as you don’t become permanently intoxicated you can spend most of your days having high standards. And since there was a specific identifiable reason for your low standards (even if purely social), it need not contaminate your image as a discerning person. At least not as much.
Is this an actual common point of drinking, or just a side effect? I don’t know – I don’t drink enough, and apparently this isn’t considered a good topic of party conversation. Maybe my observation is wrong, and people raise their standards in some ways when they drink, for instance coming to want more socializing than they do the rest of the time. I’m not sure about that. It’s also not clear why choosing to drink when you are sober wouldn’t count as having low standards at that point. But people are regularly forgiven for things they do while drunk, so it seems we generally don’t hold people so responsible for such indirect decisions.