Asperger's or Shy? Aspergers vs. Shyness
By Jessika Endsley
Hi this is Dizzy and I'm going to talk about Aspergers Syndrome in relation to shyness and shy people.
How many of you fellow Aspies out there would consider yourself shy? And if so, how did you come to that conclusion? There's a little bit of an issue with both being shy and having Aspergers. Ok. I am going to explain this to you in a very laggy video, deal with it, I can't help it - yet again, webcam duct-taped to my laptop.
Okay, so, maybe people think I'm shy, who don't know me well. This is understandable; I tend to hide behind whoever I'm with, I'm not talkative, and from what I've been told my body language screams "stay away." But the fact is, I'm not shy at all. The only thing I have in common socially with shy people is that before I go to the bar, I need a drink and shy people tend to be that same type. But they do it because they need help dealing with the people, I do it because I need help dealing with the sounds and the invasion of my gigantic personal space bubble.
First I'll explain to you how I know I'm not shy. Shyness by definition is a feeling of fear of embarrassment. I do not have this. I am not afraid of embarrassment because it is extremely hard to embarrass me. And if I've ever been embarrassed, it's not the same way most people seem to experience it. I have no problem with hearing lots of criticism it seems. I almost welcome it. So if someone makes fun of me, I'm not going to feel embarrassed in a social situation and my self-esteem won't suffer. Since I lack the ability to feel embarrassed much I don't avoid social contact for that reason. I'm not quiet because I think people will make fun of me - I don't guard myself for fear of embarrassment.
So lets look at the traits of the Shys and explore them in comparison to me. Shy's are aware of social cues like most NT's are - Neurotypicals. This is the reason that they are shy. They know that some things won't be taken well and they can empathize somehow with the person who is embarrassing them which hurts their feelings and their self esteem. They want friends but they can be paralyzed by their social anxiety and their fear of embarrassment. Their guarded body language is genuine. That's how they feel because they're afraid of humiliation. They're unaware of their body language and how that reflects that they are very openly and obviously shy.
Shy's can be extroverts - they may want to go out but their fear stops them. And really nothings wrong with being shy as long as you get a grip on it and it doesn't interfere with your life and make you unhappy. I am unaware of the vast majority of social cues which I think might be a good thing because it decreases my social anxiety. I don't speak what's on my mind because what's in my mind has nothing to do with the conversation, ever. And sometimes I'm just figuring out something that I was researching earlier, tuning everyone out and spending time inside Cerebra-ville. I'm selective about who I allow to hear me in person. If I have something to say I will say it and it's not going to be sugar coated. I do not empathize with my conversational partner, so if I insult when I say, which happens, I'm unaffected. I don't have a strong desire for friends or to impress, my bodu language could be due to Aspergers Syndrome - awkwardness. I've always been like this. I don't know what to do with my limbs ever so I keep them close to me making me look shy and guarded and balled up with my legs underneath me and my arms folded etc. I may be guarded but I am not driven by fear of people. If I want to go out, I usually can unless I am having a very stimmy day.
Shy's will avoid going out and when they do they will be an uncomfortable wallflower because they may want to be a part of what's going on. When I go out I happen to gravitate towards the center of attention, and if not, I'll be a wallflower happily ‘cause I like to observe. So anyhow, having Aspergers Syndrome and having an inability to read social cues or perhaps even pick up on when you're being made fun of leads to the question of "how do Aspergers and shyness exist together in the same person." It doesn't exist in the same person with me obviously, it's just Aspergers. But lots of people misinterpret that as shyness especially because I'm a female. A male, it would be easier to spot the Aspergers - for me, I just come across as "bashful" and that word itself makes me want to vomit.
But anyway what are your thoughts, Aspies and Shy people alike on being shy while being unable to know if you're going to be embarrassed or not. Little bit of a conundrum here. So…talk about it in the comments. Are you and Aspie, are you shy? Are you both? Neither? Whatever. Converse…thank you and have a good day… and by the way I have a very active blog and I would appreciate it if some of my followers would check it out because I write a lot. And I post chapters of my books on there so go to (the blog) to interfere with my personal life. So have a good day.