Tag Archives: Aspies Social Anxiety

The Christmas Party: An Aspie’s Dread

In Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, I am the only person in my entire class who is not invited to the class party.

Yes, it happens, and somehow, we survive. Obviously, I had no gift for social interaction.

But one thing Aspies are good at is learning, and our ability to learn and acquire social skills is key to our enjoyment of the world around us.

And, it’s Christmas.  If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a Christmas party, or maybe you just end up there by default–it’s an office thing and you can’t avoid it–wouldn’t it be nice to be able to relax and enjoy the moment?

Knowing some of the basic behaviours and unwritten rules that others take for granted have really helped me since that day of the big un-invite.

Let’s start with the office party.

First of all, I’ve been told that it’s rude to not show up. It could count against you. However, it is not impolite to come a bit late and leave early on, but if you arrive closer to the start time (say, 15-20 minutes after) people may not have clustered into cliques and you might find making and joining conversations easier.

  • Here are some conversation starters from the November, 2017 issue of Canadian Living Magazine:

    • Do you have any plans for the holidays?  Are you travelling?

    • What were your favourite holiday traditions when you were growing up?

    • Tell me about a book that has had a huge influence on you.

Be sure to see your bosses: your supervisor, the manager and/or the department head before you leave.  “Thank you.” And “It’s been a pleasure working with you this year.” are some things you might say.

Leaving early?  Even though the office party may be a high anxiety event for you, try to wait until someone else has already left before saying your goodbyes.  If it’s conspicuously early, you may say you have another commitment. If it’s curling up with your cat to watch a good movie, it may be wise to refrain from saying so!

I do hope this helps.  Thankfully, my social life has improved immensely.  And believe me, yours can, too!

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean

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Aspie Christmas: Gift to Self? Being Yourself.

Aspies, want to give yourself a Christmas break?  How about forgetting that you’re not socially astute and just spend the day being yourself?  Relax into who you are, and listen, really listen when others communicate with you.

So what if you aren’t perfect?  Neither is anyone else in the room!

Here are some words of wisdom sent to me by a friend who follows this post:

Author unknown.

Wearing a mask wears you out.

Faking it is fatiguing.

The most arduous activity is pretending to be what, or who you know you aren’t.

Trying to fit some idealistic mould of perfection is a fool’s game.

It is much wiser to simply be yourself – faults and all!

Take off your mask and begin to be unapologetic about who you really are.

Remember, imperfection is beauty; madness is genius.

It is far better to be ridiculous you,

than ridiculously boring

by trying to be the same as everyone else.

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the best of the New Year to those who follow my blog.

Remember, the key to happiness is having compassion for others and for yourself.

Love,

Margaret Jean Adam

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