Extroverted Personality and Autism/Aspergers

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wyldragon
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10 Nov 2011, 10:52 am

On the Briggs-Myer's test I scored a 1% difference on the Extrovert/Introvert. Took it twice and came out the same. I am very comfortable being extroverted although I can get very quiet when there is a lot of noise, people, and bright lights.

I'm a hugger, but I always ask before I do it. I've only had 1 person turn me down before.



seanblack
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18 Jul 2012, 5:20 am

anneurysm wrote:
seems like a bit of a stereotype, since many of them aren't really introverts by choice, but rather because of their situations in life.

This just made me choke up so bad. What a wonderful feed to read after googling "list of extroverted aspies". which btw did not bring any results ha :!:



AegNuddel
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20 Aug 2012, 5:37 pm

This sounds a LOT like me. :D

Mirror21 wrote:
I do not think this is odd. I can be quite extroverted, but it does not come across very well. The biggest reason i SEEM introverted is when I am focused on my goal or activity and I can be ver extroverted. I like sharing my interests and knowledge and random thoughts AND I think out loud. I am edgy around strangers but I can go off a mile a minute about a topic of interest with them because I also like doing happy things.

Problem is that when I am extroverted and friendly I am

Loud
Hyper
Rock if I am standing
Giggle a lot
Repeat myself
hug/pat/squeeze the listener and I am heavy handed

I do not come across very well. =/ I have asked myself if this is normal autistic behavior, my penchant for chattiness . . . but then again define normal!


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Jediyoda
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21 Aug 2012, 1:44 am

When I was younger I was extroverted and I used to talk under wet cement as my Mum says. I too used to giggle and laugh. Now days I tend to be more Introverted and rather be alone in my unit curled up on the couch with a cup of tea reading a book or watching a documentry on aircraft than being like I was when I was younger.



SurroundedByBoys
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10 Jun 2013, 9:28 am

AegNuddel wrote:
This sounds a LOT like me. :D
Mirror21 wrote:
I do not think this is odd. I can be quite extroverted, but it does not come across very well. The biggest reason i SEEM introverted is when I am focused on my goal or activity and I can be ver extroverted. I like sharing my interests and knowledge and random thoughts AND I think out loud. I am edgy around strangers but I can go off a mile a minute about a topic of interest with them because I also like doing happy things.

Problem is that when I am extroverted and friendly I am

Loud
Hyper
Rock if I am standing
Giggle a lot
Repeat myself
hug/pat/squeeze the listener and I am heavy handed

I do not come across very well. =/ I have asked myself if this is normal autistic behavior, my penchant for chattiness . . . but then again define normal!



This totally sounds like me too. I've never been diagnosed with Aspergers, but I now believe that's what I've "struggled" with all my life. I never felt like I fit in...sometimes I still don't. None of my friends would ever suspect it, but I always seem to feel "out of the loop"...especially in large groups of friends. I do pretty well with one-to-one interactions.

I now suspect Aspergers for a variety of reasons:
-I constantly find myself repeating instructions or random comments over and over.
-I oftentimes don't filter before I speak. I say randomly awkward things.
-I cannot sit still...always have to move my foot or fingers while sitting in church, for example.
-I was very socially awkward as a child and remember getting into several fights at a young age b/c of things I'd say impulsively
-I am still uncomfortable in large groups
-I often struggle to make eye contact

I'm 42 and it's taken me a lifetime to get to this point. When I went to my 10 year reunion, most of my classmates were shocked that I was talking to them. Apparently I became extremely introverted throughout my high school years, but the truth was, I never knew what to say to people. I wanted to talk to them, but the social awkwardness overwhelmed me to the point that it was easier NOT to talk and bring negative attention to myself.

Most importantly, my son was diagnosed with Aspergers a few years ago. I've spent the ensuing years trying to figure out how to help him fit into society. I've met many children with autism and Aspergers and I've never met another child that is quite as extroverted as he is. In fact, most people can't believe he has Aspergers b/c of how well he communicates and how friendly he is. He's never met a stranger. He's also got ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) in addition to the autism. But he fits ALL of the Asperger symptoms. From age 2 his vocabulary was virtually adult-like and impressive, no filter, extreme ocd, very socially awkward (although he's now 15 and after 4 years of focusing on his skills, he's doing so much better), takes things very literally (never got jokes), poor hand/eye coordination, information disemminator. When I read the list of symptoms, I cried. And when his psychologist told him the d/x, he was so relieved! It was a weight off his shoulders, as he responded, "You mean I'm not just a bad person? There's a reason I act the way I do?" It was life-changing and the start of our progress!!

I've noticed with age that he's really learned how to manage his impulses and integrate into society, although we still have "issues" here and there. I absolutely think his extroverted personality has been the life-saver for him. Despite being told EVERY SINGLE DAY through his middle school and jr. high years that he was "annoying" by his peers, he has managed NOT to internalize that and absolutely LOVES interacting with others. He's an AMAZING kid and I wouldn't change one thing about him! The biggest challenge right now is overcoming his ODD, which is a huge struggle, but I know with work, he'll do that as well.

Extroversion is definitely NOT the norm amongst the Aspies we know, but I'm so thankful that my child has that advantage with his disease...especially through the tough childhood years.



CarpeDiem
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10 Jun 2013, 6:53 pm

Gamarabi wrote:
I'm an introvert, but I very very good at interacting with other NTs, they don't suspect a thing. So if you met me, (and for some reason you I actually told you I was an aspie) you might suspect I'm extroverted depending on the situtation. But that took years and years of practice, trial and error, and observation. (In other words, putting myself directly into situations that would make me uncomfortable, such as public speaking, customer service, tutoring, and just learning about how NTs think, operate, and react to stuff. You often learn stuff and become stronger when you have no choice but to do so. The "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" concept basically)


Sounds a lot like me. I was always introverted but not through choice but I have now learned enough from observing others and listening to how they talk about subjects and how they interact to be able to 'fit in' and now I would describe myself as a bit of an extrovert.

Though people still do comment on how 'quiet' I am and are usually surprised enough to comment on the difference after I had had a drink (or a few). I believe if you have nothing sensible to say or nothing to contribute to the discussion then just keep quiet. I very rarely am spontaneous and how I converse and what I talk about is always planned and I choose the places I decide to converse carefully.

Unfortunately the only way to learn how to talk and hold a conversation in a group is putting yourself in the situation and probably failing and feeling like an idiot and the 'odd one out' for a very long time. It seems unfair that others are born with a skills that people with Aspergers seem to have to learn but like anything in life you only get out what you put in so take every opportunity to practice your social skills. It took me many years of being the weird quiet guy sitting there just listening and not saying much to learn the skills I needed. Though I now realise it was time well spent.



dinetahrisingsun
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10 Jun 2013, 8:35 pm

I am glad I read this thread today. I am right in the middle between extroverted and introverted. I guess I come across as more "normal" because I've learned from life experience that my most natural way of socializing isn't so "normal." Ppl who don't know me well seem to see me as a little odd or often just a neurotypical introvert. I've only met two other ppl in person who i was told has asperger's and three people diagnosed with HFA. Most of these people are extroverts, including both of the aspies I have known.

Being someone in the area between extroverted and introverted, i can see benefits and difficulties of both situations.


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SurroundedByBoys
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10 Jun 2013, 11:09 pm

I've only met one other adult aspie...the mother of a child in my son's grade. Her son is an extremely introverted aspie while my son is an intensely extroverted aspie and they couldn't be more different in how they navigate through the world. She and I on the other hand are EXACTLY alike! Previous introverts turned extreme extrovert. It's honestly almost scary how much our lives parallel one another.

I spent an afternoon with her and left our time together feeling COMPLETELY exhausted!! Between the two of us trying so hard to act "normal"...and it's all an act, I assure you. I call it the dancing frog routine - you know, the cartoon where the frog dances with a top hat and cane to one guy but refuses to dance for anyone else? I see my son constantly doing the same thing...acting how he thinks he has to in order to be accepted, and trying really, really hard. I do it constantly...but with her doing the same thing that day, I left feeling completely worn out. ha ha

I wonder if that's how my friends feel after they spend time with me. Are they exhausted by my performance? Or have I successfully fit in once again? Some days I just wish I didn't have to try so hard and that connections with other people came naturally to me.



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04 Jul 2016, 10:32 am

Here is a strange thing. I am mainly an introvert: somewhat afraid of strangers, don't like small talk and chitchat, hate big crouds, but there's one condition, where it all changes. It happens when I'm on stage performing, as I am an electronic musician. So when there are those couple of odd hours between the soundcheck and a gig, I go through some switching process, that has it's physical symptomes. I become very tired and sleepy and often experience slight, but recognizable dissociation. After that phase I'm transformed into stage-ready type, which is a very outwards kind of guy. After the performance it's like being tired and hyperactive at once, willing to party and wanting to get away at the same time. So I might end up quite drunk, but still happy.



Ladybeetle
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07 Jul 2016, 8:22 am

I'm an extroverted Aspie, but to most I come across as introverted. I tend to be reserved when meeting other people because I just can't do small talk. I either launch into big discussions or stay silent, and I chose the latter.
On the rare occasion that I make a friend, however, I am social to the point that I'm clingy, and I hug and laugh and talk really loud. That usually drives them away pretty quick :(

I have known one or two other spectrum people in my life, and they were both very extroverted as well.



Laurenact513
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02 Aug 2016, 7:23 pm

I'm so happy to have found this thread. I only recently realized that I'm an aspie. It's odd because my 14 year old son is PDD-NOS. My whole life I've wanted friends and to be social. It seems as if time and time again I'd make friends and then they wouldn't want to hang out. I was the excluded expendable one. It's been really painful for me. I am a nice person with a good heart and yet people kept wanting to not be with me. I always wondered what was wrong with me. I'm glad to know the answer now. I want to be myself, but myself doesn't fit in socially.

Does anyone know how you learn these skills at an older age. I'm 48.

Lauren



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04 Aug 2016, 9:59 am

@dRxid: Perhaps it is superfluous for me to say so here, but just to make sure that there are no misunderstandings I would like to point out what the real and commonly supposed meanings of ‘introvert’ and ‘extravert’ are.

The Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung coined the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extravert’ (nowadays so many people wrongly write ‘extrovert’ that it has been accepted too. If you are surprised or do not believe me, then please pick up any of Jung’s original writings and see for yourself, or take a few lessons in Latin). By these terms he meant that there are persons who in their value judgments are primarily led by what they themselves find important (these are the introverts) and others who are mainly led by what ‘folks in general’, ‘society’, ‘they’ find important (the extraverts). In other words: some people turn (vert) inside (intro, into themselves) for their judgments, and others turn outside (extra, to others) for theirs. It is very important to understand that ‘introvert’ and ‘extravert’ do not at all mean the same as ‘social’ and ‘asocial’. There is no connection at all. There is a relationship to the terms ‘individualistic’ and ‘conformistic’, but these are not entirely the same. Introverts tend to be more creative, precisely because they are less conformistic. It is also important to realize that introversion and extraversion are tendencies on a wide spectrum. 100% introverted or extraverted people in practice do not exist (because they would be in lunatic asylums or be dead).

Coming to your remarks now, dRxid: there is nothing strange about you at all. It has been said about David Bowie that he was a very introverted person, but he was a popular performer. If he had not been so introverted, he would have been less creative. I know other introverts who actually blossom when they are on a stage as musicians, actors or public speakers. The world’s greatest artists were introverts, and nobody can say that they were asocial, or totally silent, or uncommunicative.



Aspergirl16
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07 Aug 2016, 2:53 am

Mirror21 wrote:
I do not think this is odd. I can be quite extroverted, but it does not come across very well. The biggest reason i SEEM introverted is when I am focused on my goal or activity and I can be ver extroverted. I like sharing my interests and knowledge and random thoughts AND I think out loud. I am edgy around strangers but I can go off a mile a minute about a topic of interest with them because I also like doing happy things.

Problem is that when I am extroverted and friendly I am

Loud
Hyper
Rock if I am standing
Giggle a lot
Repeat myself
hug/pat/squeeze the listener and I am heavy handed

I do not come across very well. =/ I have asked myself if this is normal autistic behavior, my penchant for chattiness . . . but then again define normal!


Are you me? haha!



MM99
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07 Aug 2016, 4:37 pm

I think that most of the people that has commented on this topic don't know what introverted and extroverted mean. You are confusing shy and introverted.
I'd say that everybody who is in the spectrum is also introverted, because introversion means that you get exhausted by too much social interaction and need to spend some time alone after a long time with people, and that's something that we all who are on the spectrum experience.
About shyness, it's true that some autistic person aren't shy. For example, I'm just the opposite of shy with my friends, though in an autistic way (talking all the time abou the same, repeting myself constantly, not knowing when is it my turn to stop talking or when people are getting boring of me, speaking too loud, etc). However, with strangers/people who I don't completly know or with my friends when they make fun of me or get upset because of the things I've said before (which happens a lot), I'm extremly extremly shy, almost non-verbal. Also when I get exhausted of social interaction.
That's something that sometimes puzzle my friends and my family, because they don't know yet about my autism (I've only realized recently about it and I haven't told anyone, though they can tell I'm not normal, but they think I'm neurotypical) and as I'm usually very very talktative with them, when they realize how shy I am with strangers, they don't understand it. When I get that shy being with them they think it's just that I'm really tired when actually it's because they make fun of my autistic way of not being shy and I feel very insecure when they do that.



WrongFellow
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23 Aug 2016, 7:02 pm

MM99 wrote:
I think that most of the people that has commented on this topic don't know what introverted and extroverted mean. You are confusing shy and introverted.


...and such a confusion (which happens often), by the way, also leads to a common devaluing of introversion, which is totally misplaced.

Apart from Jung's writings, many of which are quite psychologically technical, there is a recent, more popularly but intelligently written best-selling book by Susan Cain, Quiet. The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. It has been translated into several other languages too. I can recommend it to any introverted person who lacks self-confidence or who has been told by people from the extraverted, gregarious majority that there is something wrong with them.