The simple act of holding a drink displays a lot more about us than we realize – or might divulge, a study claims. The study places drinkers into one of eight different personality types which are given away by their drinking techniques. Dr. Glenn Wilson, a consultant psychologist at King’s College in London, observed over 500 drinkers in bars over a month. He analyzed drinkers’ body language and then advised them on their openness to being approached. The eight types were classified as ‘Flirt’, ‘Gossip’, ‘Fun-Lover’, ‘Wallflower’, ‘Ice Queen’, ‘Playboy’, ‘Jack the Lad’, ‘and ‘Browbeater’.
He stated that the most open to being chatted with in this setting were the flirt, playboy, and fun-lover. The most resistant were jack the lad, ice queen, wallflower, and gossip. The browbeater was to be avoided. When Hillary Clinton was on the campaign trail in the U.S., people picked up on the fact that she used her left hand to raise a pint, even though she’s right-handed. She may have been just posing for the photo-shoot, but some people feel that it was an insincere gesture.
The next time you are in a bar, it might be worth thinking about what you’re saying to people around you just by the way you’re holding your glass.
The eight types identified are:
Flirt: Usually a woman who holds their glass with dainty, splayed fingers and uses it in a provocative way. She may position it over her cleavage to draw attention to her attributes or peer over the rim to make eye contact while taking a sip. She may tease the rim of the glass with her finger or stirring it with her finger. Assuming she’s trying to attract attention, the best way to approach her is with reciprocal flirtatious gestures. Paris Hilton fits here.
Gossip: This mainly female drinker tends to cluster in all-female groups talking about other people and can be critical. She holds a wine glass by the bowl, not the stem, and uses it to make strong points in conversation. She is inclined to lean over her drink toward others as if speaking confidentially. This person already has a close-knit social group with little intention to expand their social circle, therefore advances from others are not usually welcome. Kate Moss fits here.
Fun-Lover: This type of drinker may be a man or woman who drinks to be sociable and values togetherness. He/she enjoys being with friends and likes to laugh. They take short swigs from bottled drinks so they don’t miss out on anything. The bottle is held loosely at its shoulder for ease. This person is always happy to extend their social circle. The best way to approach them is to jump into directly into light, good-humored conversation and make them laugh. Sarah Harding and yours truly, Michael Nagy, fit here.
The Wallflower: This is a shy, submissive individual who holds the glass protectively, not letting go, as though somebody will take it away. Palms are hidden and the glass is used as a social crutch – the drink is never quite finished, with a mouthful left in case of an emergency. The drink is small. It may be drunk through a straw, which is fidgeted with, and used to stir the drink between sips. The style and pace of drinking is an echo of those around them (very little is initiated). This individual needs to be approached in a gentle, sensitive way, with a few understated compliments to build self-confidence, but may eventually warm to overtures. Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman fit here.
Ice Queen: This is a mainly female type whose natural style is cold and defensive. She drinks from a wine glass, or a short glass, which is held firmly in a barrier position across the body so as to deter intimate approaches and encounters. It is usually a waste of time approaching this woman; she may be ready with a castrating put-down. Victoria Beckham fits here.
The Playboy: This man is the active, self-confident, Don Juan-type seducer. He uses his tall glass as a phallic prop, playing with it suggestively. He is inclined to be possessive, and can be tactile with his female companions. Russell Brand fits here.
Jack the Lad: This “peacock” is conscious of his image and will drink a bottled beer. Inclined to be confident and arrogant, he can be territorial in his gestures, spreading himself over as much space as possible, for example, pushing the glass well away from himself and leaning back in his chair. If he’s drinking with his friends, he would be unlikely to welcome approaches from outside the group, unless it is ego-enhancing. Jason Statham fits here.
Browbeater: This rather belligerent type is again mostly male. He prefers large glasses, which he uses as symbolic weapons, firmly grasped, and motioning in a threatening, “in your face” kind of way. Something of a know-it-all, he comes across as slightly hostile, even if only through verbal argument, or jokes targeted at others. He should be approached with great care, or not all. Russell Crowe and Naomi Campbell (female equivalent) fit here.