Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Holidays at Work

The holiday season can be tough for those workers who prefer a businesslike atmosphere. People have a tendency to chat more, there are lunch and party invitations, and generally more socializing throughout the day.

Although individuals on the autism spectrum may prefer to focus on the job, I think it’s important to participate in some degree of the socializing. Coworkers will think you’re friendlier, and therefore more of a team player, and even more trustworthy, if they know you on a more social level. It may not make sense, but that’s the neurotypical mindset - NTs trust those they like and like those they know.

So, why not look for low key ways to socialize? A coffee pot discussion can be as connecting as a long lunch. If you can’t avoid the holiday party, it is OK to come slightly late and leave slightly early. Casual drop-ins at a colleagues desk can be a way to connect and not be too intense. Set a goal for some type of interpersonal interaction every day.