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orangered
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19 Feb 2008, 3:01 pm

My current viewpoint:

Shyness is, when you are afraid in social situations, therefore you choose to socialize only with assuring people.

AS is, when you are bored in social situations, when forced, you behave the same to everyone.
Since not everyone can or will handle your way of socializing, you end up socializing just with certain people, often quite strange ones.

Hence the remote similarity, and of course, you can have both to some degree.

SilverProteus wrote:
I've known plenty of extroverted NTs who desbribed themselves as shy. Explain that. :shrug:


Possible explanation is that they are afraid of rejection by others in social situations.
Being NT does not protect you, you only get hints sooner then you are openly laughed at.



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19 Feb 2008, 3:15 pm

orangered wrote:
SilverProteus wrote:
I've known plenty of extroverted NTs who desbribed themselves as shy. Explain that. :shrug:


Possible explanation is that they are afraid of rejection by others in social situations.
Being NT does not protect you, you only get hints sooner then you are openly laughed at.


Oh definitely...they're not immune to insecurity in social situations, but what's funny is a person who always and openly speaks their mind in public labels themselves as shy.

The way I see it, they either:

a) don't know the definition of "shy" or
b) there's more than one definition of shy.

;)


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19 Feb 2008, 7:11 pm

I get uncomfortable when in situations of people that I don't know. I also get uncomfortable in situations with people I do know. I guess it depends on the conversation or whether I was in the middle of something I was doing.

But I don't mind social situations or approaching someone, but i'm finding more and more, that I subconsciously prepare myself for it, and when i'm actually in conversation or in the situation I moreso re-bound what the other person is, than withdraw myself.

I almost play a character that is similar to the person i am talking to. I used to do it without noticing, and wonder why I felt impatient and very internally restless when talking to people, especially when I wasn't really wanting to talk to anyone, but someone has spoken to me. I can look people in the eyes, but I tend to make that something akin to a stim. I look at their eyes and the colour and the eyelashes, but when i'm really trying to concentrate i have to look down or at something static, otherwise i'm distracted.

When I'm out and about, if i see someone I know and they haven't seen me, I tend to avoid them intentionally, because I don't want to disrupt what i was doing, and i hate those mundane conversations of "hey, how are you doing, good? yeah me too, what have you been up to? work? yeah me too, so yeah i've got to go so see ya later, bye" sort of conversations.

I'm still uncertain about AS, but i don't think I'm shy, just quite confused at the moment. But Good topic.



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19 Feb 2008, 7:43 pm

fernando wrote:
..., not even your brother or sister.


Not necessarily true; interacting with family members is common for those with AS, some are detached and "cold", but as children and adults, one can interact with their siblings and parents. It's "automatic" as they were always there, so to speak. It's one reason why it's so hard to detect autism with adequate speech, we're usually fine around the family [as we speak their language], total aliens to everyone else, or they're aliens to us.

I'm not shy, I just have no idea in hell how to talk to people (even here online), and since I lack the desire to do such, I don't bother.



Denali
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19 Feb 2008, 7:55 pm

I've known people who were shy, those people had friends and had no problem communicating with others when they wanted to -- many times they just didn't want to.
Speaking for myself -- and I'm sure many others with AS feel the same way -- it's a lot more than just being shy. I don't know how to socialize with others. When I try to talk with others, my mind goes blank. I want to talk about my interests but I'm sure most people don't care about astrology or politics. So basically, I just don't know what to say to people. Even online it's hard for me to get my thoughts together. That's a lot more than just being shy.



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19 Feb 2008, 9:11 pm

I'm really surprised that on this website people so often can't distinguish between social disability and AS. Social ineptitude is, I believe, a secondary feature of the cognitive abnormalities of autism, even if it is the most visible expression of them. There are any number of cognitive aspects of AS that aren't related directly to social disabilities, and I think that this really needs to be ignored less or people will continue to think it's nothing other than a clinical label for the inept.

Shyness is a form of inhibition while AS is a cognitive style. The two are intrinsically different notions.


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19 Feb 2008, 9:30 pm

Not all shy people are AS and not all AS people are shy, but certainly AS looks at least something like shyness in certain forms. In distinguishing between the two it's probably best to use the non-social cognitive traits of AS, like stimming or reliance on routines, clumsiness, etc. If shyness is the only AS-like trait someone has then the term probably doesn't fit, but extreme shyness in combination with other AS-like traits may indicate that it's not just "shyness" going on. Another distinguishing feature may be that people on the spectrum are often less socially interested than is typical. A shy NT may still strongly desire friends and social contact, whereas many aspies are quite content being loners.



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19 Feb 2008, 10:17 pm

Danielismyname wrote:
Shyness: sitting away from people for you're "shy", scared, anxious [not social anxiety], you're an introverted and quiet person; hard to initiate conversations due to being "shy", "timid", "passive". You can interact socially how others expect you to, you can read verbal/non-verbal cues and communication just like anyone else. You body language is fine, your eye contact is fine, you can modulate your voice to the situation. You can form relationships like anyone else, you can do what those your age can do.

Asperger's: sitting away from people because you have no idea in hell how to talk to them, and if you're one who figures out that perhaps they'd be interested in hearing your obsessive interest, or you like talking about it, you go over and initiate conversation in a one-sided, verbose, and sometimes insensitive manner. You lack eye contact (sporadic to none at all), you have no idea what the gestures the people use mean, why they throw their arms around, why they make these funny faces; why they sometimes walk away from you when you were clearly talking to them. Why they continue to ask you to speak up, and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to speak in a way that everyone can understand. Perhaps they say you're rude when you point an interesting fact out, this confuses you. You may also become very uncomfortable with the situation, uncomfortable in that you feel like you're going to die any minute now, that's how overwhelming it can be.


Based on those definitions, I clearly have AS and am not shy.

I have never thought of myself as shy even though I have been labeled as such my whole life. My mother used to say, "You're quiet but not shy. No, you're shy but not quiet. No, I don't know what you are. You're just different, and you need to learn to speak up and interact with the other kids."

I have always been intimidated by social situations I did not know how to navigate, not the people themselves. I'm not timid; I just don't understand people, and they confuse me more in groups.

I would imagine that a lot of more "withdrawn" aspies have been frequently called shy. Shyness is more acceptable in girls. I suspect this may be one reason why girls are less likely to be diagnosed.



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20 Feb 2008, 1:51 am

Danielismyname wrote:
Zee, that quote is somewhat erroneous as there are many individuals with AS who're socially withdrawn.

The eMedicine article explains it quite adequately:

Quote:
Some individuals may display selective mutism, speaking not at all to most people and excessively to specific people. Some may choose to talk only to people they like. Thus, speech may reflect idiosyncratic interests and preferences of the individual.


I agree that there are some shy Aspies, but it's not a trait specific to us. I also think that emedicine quote is accurate, but doesn't debunk the wiki quote; choosing who you talk to isn't necessarily shyness, it's being particular. A lot of Aspies are withdrawn because of repeated social failure, not because they're naturally shy.



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20 Feb 2008, 3:37 am

zee, yeah, but there's some of us who take it to the other extreme of verbose and eccentric; withdrawn and "scary" so to speak. Some of us don't wish to interact with anyone, nor do we wish to talk of our interests.

The odd, eccentric and verbose types get more attention for they're out there interacting, there's many in exile who're quite happy with sorting their...comic book collection or something.



zee
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22 Feb 2008, 1:28 am

Maybe so. But I don't think that's a trait that defines Aspies, that's all.

Is it possible you are that way because of conditioning? Meaning that if you had grown up in an environment where you were encourageed to be more vocal, then maybe you would be more like the wiki definition?



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22 Feb 2008, 1:38 am

zee wrote:
Maybe so. But I don't think that's a trait that defines Aspies, that's all.

Is it possible you are that way because of conditioning? Meaning that if you had grown up in an environment where you were encourageed to be more vocal, then maybe you would be more like the wiki definition?


I can't speak for Danielismyname, but I can say for myself that this is unequivocally not the case. Both my parents are quite social and extroverted, and growing up I was given ample opportunity to socialize with relatives, my parents' friends, and the kids of parents' friends. Yet I just was never that social with people my age, though sometimes I might have one friend exclusively. My mom said that I'd never play with other kids when she took me to the playground, and that was one of the first things which alerted her there might be something "different." I found that surprising, because it never would have even occurred to me to play with other kids (who I didn't know!) on the playground. If you look at descriptions of the entire autistic spectrum, not AS, you'll see that there's a substantial subset which is simply not very social and rather aloof. That's a kind of an aspie, just like there's a kind which is very outgoing, but odd.



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22 Feb 2008, 1:49 am

Yes, I can see this is going to be quite impossible to argue.
I am really quite aloof myself, and I don't enjoy socializing, I don't have any real friends, and I will go off into my own little corner if I have a choice. But I'm not shy, because if I have a problem with something then I speak up.
I usually don't go up to people and start talking about my interests either, but that's because logically I know they won't be as interested as I am. But I often feel the urge to do so.