How to survive the Christmas party as an introvert - CalmPassionate Coaching Blog

Introverts need a little help surviving the Christmas party season


Ahhh…it’s the season for the work Christmas party! Cue the cheap wine, bulk-bought pretzels and endless small talk with colleagues… Ok, so your party might not be that bad, but for many introverts, it can be an exhausting and overwhelming social experience. Because for most of us, the Christmas party usually means large crowds, loud music, terrible acoustics, group party games, awkward small talk and drinking a more than we wanted to. It’s an event run by extroverts, for extroverts. And that’s ok, but it might not quite be your thing.

If that’s the case, these survival tips could help you get through the Christmas party:


Read the invite and put it in the calendar

When you’ve got all the details of the party, put the date, venue, what you need to bring, times and what you need to wear all in your calendar. Then block out time before to make sure you have bought your Secret Santa and have ticked all the other boxes that may be in the invite. Being prepared will help ease the stress and anxiety about attending such a large group gathering because you’ll have ticked all the social cue boxes. It will also give you the heads up for any group games or participation that might otherwise be sprung on you!


Frame expectations

If you don’t want to stay long, why not make plans to meet a friend or your partner for dinner nearby, giving you a polite reason to leave early without the worry of being a party-pooper? Then you have shown your face to the Christmas party and you can rejuvenate in a quieter setting and in a more deep and meaningful way with someone who really “gets” you.


Plan your exit

If the work Christmas “do” isn’t really your thing and you really don’t want to go (but have to), it’s time to plan your exit. This way you’ll know what time you’re going to leave, how you’re getting home and how long it will take so you can enjoy the short social time you have, knowing you’ll be recovering in the comfort of your home soon. And if you’re finding it particularly difficult to leave, get someone to pick you up or call an Uber so you can leave politely and quickly!


Christmas chat cues

If you work in a big office, it can often be quite daunting going into a large room full of people you don’t really know. However, you know this will be the case so you can prep for it with some Christmas chatting cues for those small talk moments where you really don’t want to talk about the weather again and will give you the opportunity to get to know that person on a slightly deeper level. A few interesting questions could be…

  • What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever been given?
  • Have you ever had a White Christmas?
  • How do you feel about <insert Christmas song name>?


Go with who you know

Organize with your team or your closest work friend, the time you plan to leave the office for the Christmas party. That way, you’ll know when you’ll be leaving and you can go with people you know, avoiding any awkwardness of trying to find people to talk to. And if you aim to go when the party starts, its tends to be a bit quieter as things are still warmining up, and with more time under your belt, it’s easier to leave earlier if that’s your intention. That way you’ve been there from the beginning, you’ve had a drink, mingled a little with your team listened to the CEOs speech and you’re not stuck hanging around the office “finishing up” work and stuck going over with the heads of departments (arriving fashionably late) or making small talk with colleagues you only ever see in the kitchen.


Consider staying sober

If you know that expending all your energy at the work Christmas party trying to have a good time, is just too much, then why not consider not drinking at all? That way you don’t get roped into drinking more than you’d like, staying longer than you planned and using all your energy (plus the reserves) in one evening, plus having to spend a couple of days recovering not only from a hangover but also an introvert hangover. Remember, you can still have fun without alcohol!


Book off the next day

An introvert hangover can be just as physically draining as an alcoholic one (triple that if you’ve got both!), so why not go easy on yourself and book the next day off? This way you can recover how you like, with no pressure to do anything or see anyone. Because let’s face it – you’ve just done plenty of that! You could have a long lie in, binge watch festive flicks online, write your Christmas cards or finally finish one of the many books you’ve got piled up! Bliss!

Whatever your Christmas party looks like and however you feel about it, it can all be managed with a little bit of prep. And remember, they can be fun, just make sure it’s within your own boundaries and in a way that is most comfortable for you. If your Christmas parties are just waaayyyy to extroverted and exhausting, why not suggest a small festive team lunch and just go to that one instead? All offices and workplaces are quite different, so take whatever tips work best for you. And if you’re quite a social introvert, then just go with the flow, enjoy and protect yourself for the next couple of days so you can bounce back after the weekend feeling rejuvenated.

I’d love to hear about your Christmas party experiences! Drop me a comment in the box below! 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Heather Currie