I’m an extrovert Aspie. You’re a what now? Yes, you read it correctly, I’m an extrovert Aspie.
Now I can see you all frowning at your screens. Isn’t autism supposed to be all about being shy, and not talking to others and such? Indeed the common belief is that women with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to keep to themselves, only speak when spoken to, and are more observers than participants.
So how does this work when you have a very outgoing personality? I will make a list of things that might help you understand…
1. They are not shy and will smile at people, even at strangers.
This is something I do quite often. Even though I will not always understand how to make contact with someone, or what to say, I will smile at random people. But since I don’t have the social knowledge other people may have, I have been prone to smile at people at social situations where smiling was really not acceptable. The extrovert Aspie will still smile as she does crave the interaction, but doesn’t know when it’s not ok to smile at people.
2. They love talking but often miss social cues and tend to talk too much.
The extrovert Aspie might be regarded as the chatterbox, as someone who never shuts up. It’s very hard to get a word in edgeways, and they might not leave room for others to express their opinion or voice their feelings. The extrovert Aspie female may be experienced as tiresome company, because she can keep rattling endlessly about certain subjects that are of interest to her. It will be very hard to interrupt her, or even try and change the subject, as she will show clearly she’s not interested in it, and might even go look for other company when the subject is changed.
3. They have no social boundaries.
The female extrovert Aspie might not understand when it is ok to talk, or to interrupt, or to smile at people. I will give you an example out of my own life, when I was about 12 years old:
My great-grandmother had passed away, and tradition here in Belgium states you have to go offer condolences to sons and daughters who are standing in a separate room together with the coffin. Rather than offering condolences, I smiled and talked about the temperature in the church.
Not having social boundaries also means this Aspie might talk or act in a certain way, when others feel she should be more reserved. In the case of my example, I lacked social boundaries and social rules.
The female extrovert Aspie might feel it is ok to talk to anyone, invading others in their personal space. They come very close very fast, and this can be experienced as very threatening.
4. They will jump in immediately in any social situation regarding their special interest.
No matter where I am, if I hear anything regarding my special interests, I will jump into the conversation. This can be with total strangers, or with people I know. This can be experienced again as very threatening, or as a very strongly oncoming personality. Some people will refer to the extrovert Aspie as a ‘know it all’ or a meddler because they are always interfering others when talking.