Holiday parties can be hard if you’re introverted, and they can be worse if you have social anxiety. But skipping them is not a great idea, says lawyer and author Heidi K. Brown, an associate professor of law and director of legal writing at Brooklyn Law School.
Employers expect attendance, she adds, and the events present networking activities.
She advises going to a party when it starts, staying for an hour, and sitting at a table with only a few people because it’s easier to break into a conversation. And in terms of small talk, Brown says, asking people about themselves can go a long way.
She adds that introverts are great at listening, getting details and following up. So even if you feel awkward making small talk with people you don’t know, you can send a follow-up email recognizing what they said, and that can lead to good connections.
In this new episode of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered podcast, Brown talks to Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward about how to navigate the office holiday party and still appear to be having fun and how to come out of your shell when you’d rather be alone.
Listen to the Podcast