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.
Patricia Robinson MFT
I'm a licensed therapist in Danville, California and a coach for Asperger's and ADHD nationwide. I work with individuals of all ages who have special needs, like Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD, ADHD, and the family members and partners of special needs individuals.