Curious: Do autistic women have a specific personality ‘type’?

It was one of the main reasons I never considered I might be autistic!

Curious: Do autistic women have a specific personality ‘type’?

I took a 16 Personalities personality test around five years ago and my result was, unsurprisingly to me, an INTP.

The INTP personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population.

Well that explained why I always felt so different to everyone else, eh?

The INTP type “pride themselves on their inventiveness and creativity, their unique perspective and vigorous intellect. Usually known as the philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor, INTPs have been responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history.”

Yep. How I see myself. I’ve been interested in psychology and various sciences for as long as I can remember. I have, since a very young age always been searching for answers. Answers for everything. I still do this. It consumes my daily life and every few days, my body and mind becomes utterly and completely exhausted.

Although, I have been considering the theory recently that autism is a slightly higher form of human being in evolutionary terms. I’ll finish and publish that post at some point! It would make sense if..ha, off I go again.

Does that sound egotistical? I hope not. Anyway, I digress…

When I think about, I surmise it was one of the reasons I never thought to look for an autism diagnosis.

I also at that point had no idea what autism looked like in females. For example, when I have met other logical females I have associated them with being an INTP (looking for a connection similar to myself, possibly?) and a possibility of them being autistic never crossed my mind. I got on with those rare few that I met incredibly well. I still do. We are friends at a distance and I like it like that. When I say distance, I mean seeing them once a year for about an hour or two.

Hopefully you will understand this, as the majority of other people I have met over my lifetime seem to want friends to spend every minute chatting, messaging on social media, talking about a TV show, getting angry at an unverified news article or meme, turning up at your house, calling on the phone, interrupting you constantly, or trying to meet up.

The fact I can’t be around people for any length of time has always made me think I’m a bit of an unsociable asshat, perhaps with an illogical and unexplainable superiority complex. But I never understood why I could then be around certain types of people.

Now I have analysed it, it was, and still is, because those people share my limited likes and crave, like myself, only meaningful interaction (read as: exchange of information rather than ‘chit-chat’ which I find tiring, pointless, irritating and absolutely loathsome.)

It is not easy to become good friends with INTPs, but if there is a common interest and a common train of thought, the connection is likely to spark instantly

INTP friendships are knowledge-based, defined by the exchange of ideas, theories, and concepts, and those who aren’t able to keep up with this, or who have sharply differing tastes will find stony faces that border on rude. To INTPs, communication is often more of a nuisance than a pleasure, and conversation is reserved for topics that they find meaningful, or for people they already like enough to stick it out.

Very small circle (triangle more like, ha!) of friends? Yep. Another big tick.

Unless there’s a natural affinity for this intellectual style, few have the patience to try to penetrate their shields, and INTPs are left with a naturally small circle of good friends.

I also had very limited knowledge of male autism –read ‘limited’ as in I had met perhaps 10 or so Asperger males I think over my entire liefetime, I had seen films with severely autistic characters portrayed occasionally, Rain Man, and the stop motion comedy-drama film Mary & Max (Have you seen that film? I thought it was hilarious and sad in equal measure) but looking at some of the inherent INTP personality traits it’s surely easy to see why I didn’t specifically start looking at other possibles for the way I am?

  • INTPs love patterns
  • Spotting discrepancies could almost be described as a hobby.
  • Tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.
  • INTPs view the world as a big, complex machine, and recognize that as with any machine, all parts are interrelated.
  • INTPs excel in analyzing connections, seeing how seemingly unrelated factors tie in with each other in ways that bewilder most other personality types.
  • Unrelenting imagination and thought processes.
  • Highly receptive to alternate theories, so long as they’re supported by logic and facts.
  • INTP personality types are a conduit for the truths around them.
  • Don’t talk to INTPs about celebrities!
  • INTPs don’t go intentionally hurting feelings, but they believe that the truth is the most important factor, and they expect that to be appreciated and reciprocated.
  • Many of the usual motivations for making friends – emotional support, social validation, shared routine – simply don’t apply to INTPs. More likely, these concepts are met with disdain.
  • Purely emotional situations are often utterly puzzling to INTPs, and their lack of timely sympathy can easily offend.
  • Will gladly help to tackle any dilemma thrown their way, offering up sound advice and rational, logical solutions.
  • Second-Guessing/Perfectionism/Inability to make decisions – INTPs often never commit to a decision at all. This applies to their own skills as well – INTP personalities know that as they practice, they improve, and any work they do is second-best to what they could do. Unable to settle for this, INTPs sometimes delay their output indefinitely with constant revisions, sometimes even quitting before they ever begin.
INTP weaknesses
  • While INTPs’ intellectualism yields many insights into their surroundings, their surroundings are ironically considered an intrusion on their thoughts. This is especially true with people – INTPs don’t enjoy social settings. More complicated situations such as parties exacerbate this, but even close friends struggle to get into INTPs’ hearts and minds.
  • INTPs don’t show emotion as others do but they have surprisingly strong sentiments. Feeling (F) is one of INTPs’ least developed traits, making their emotional reactions powerful, untrustworthy and naturally in need of being tempered by their well-trained logic and rationalism. Still waters run deep.
  • INTPs get so caught up in their logic that they forget any kind of emotional consideration – they dismiss subjectivity as irrational.
  • Attempts at connecting with others are often worse than INTPs’ withdrawal and requirement for solitude. People with the INTP personality type take pride in their knowledge and rationale, and enjoy sharing their ideas, but in trying to explain how they got from A to B to Z, they can get frustrated, sometimes simplifying things to the point of insult as they struggle to gauge their conversation partners’ perspective.
  • When it comes to emotional support or advice in dealing with matters of the heart, INTPs are at a loss.
  • INTPs’ friends need never worry about power games.
  • NTPs have very high personal standards – “good enough” is never good enough.
  • INTP personalities struggle to understand emotional exchanges, and service-oriented positions will prove baffling and exhausting for them. Though INTPs are talented analysts who are perfectly capable of understanding the theoretical importance of customer service, the day-to-day application of such a scheme is simply better left to more people-oriented personality types.
  • A bad idea to lie to an INTP because they will call you out on it.
  • No one is more enthusiastic and capable of spotting a problem, drilling through the endless factors and details that encompass the issue and developing a unique and viable solution.
  • INTPs’ thought process is unceasing, and their minds buzz with ideas from the moment they wake up.
  • A restless and pervasive fear of failure.

And of course there’s the connection of ‘Special Interests’ excitedness and absolute immersion in my favourite subjects to the exclusion of everything else …

When a new idea piques their interest, INTPs can be very enthusiastic – they are a reserved personality type, but if another person shares an interest, they can be downright excited about discussing it. When INTPs are particularly excited, the conversation can border on incoherence as they try to explain the daisy-chain of logical conclusions that led to the formation of their latest idea.

More likely though, the only outward evidence of this enthusiasm will be INTPs’ silent pacing or their staring into the distance.

When INTPs’ interest is captured, their absence goes beyond social matters to include the rest of the physical world. INTPs become forgetful, missing even the obvious if it’s unrelated to their current infatuation, and they can even forget their own health, skipping meals and sleep as they muse.

All INTPs really want is to immerse themselves in an interesting project, and anything that interrupts that, are simply unwelcome burdens

So which initial career did I pick? Accountant. What was the first degree I chose to complete? Systems Analysis. Which fields of personal study/research do I find the most exciting? Anthropology and Astrophysics. Am I stereotyping myself enough yet?

Natural mathematicians, systems analysts, and career scientists, especially in more abstract fields such as physics. There are many other careers that allow INTPs to explore these interests, but many of them are far too rooted in uninteresting practical applications. As useful as it is to develop a better vacuum cleaner, it is no Large Hadron Collider.

I have always disliked humanity’s need to acquire things that are better than their next-door neighbours and associates. I have never understood their feelings of competition as it makes no sense to me that someone wants to be seen as being better than another because of the objects they have around them. I have also never been swayed by adverts telling me something is great and BUY IT! BUY IT! BUY IT!, or psychological warfare used in the media for news and political aims.

That’ll all be a massive nope. I never understand how people are so easily swayed by adverts and peer opinion. Makes no sense to me at all!

INTPs have few environmental needs. Despite this relative simplicity, they are often hard for more people-centric types to understand. INTPs live primarily in their own heads, and have little interest in social distractions like chitchat and motivational speeches.

I thought my ‘Spock-ness’ was simply my personality type. I thought my ‘Logician’ type was simply in conflict with my ‘Bipolar’ and rather creative but ever so busy thinking about everything brain. An internal struggle if you like, that I could never get a grip on. It has led into a large amount of negative critique over the years about my ‘say-it-like-it-is’ approach to life. I have also constantly lambasted myself for not being about to pinpoint why I did not fit all of the main Bipolar criteria.

Armed with a powerful intellect and vivid imagination, INTPs can overcome or outmaneuver obstacles that seem unbeatable to most. At the same time, their many quirks, such as often unconstrained rationalism, lead to many misunderstandings. INTPs are quite relaxed and friendly when they are with people they know, or who share their interests. However, this can be replaced by overwhelming ‘shyness’ when they are among unfamiliar faces, and friendly banter can quickly become combative if they believe their logical conclusions or theories are being criticized.

Turns out that I’m not Bipolar at all. Turns out the mood stabilisers they have been pumping me full of for 10 years did nothing at all to stabilise a mood because my mood wasn’t unstable.

Turns out, it looks like I’m autistic with a Spock-ified logical INTP personality type. Or is it that simple? Could it be that I have supercharged logic because I am autistic, and the personality type just identifies or exacerbates the autism?

Or are the two things completely separate and I have a dose of double logic? Could that explain my low empathy score (15)?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

INTPs are known for their brilliant theories and unrelenting logic – in fact, they are considered the most logically precise of all the personality types.
Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork, taking in every fact and idea possible, processing them with a heavy dose of creative reasoning and returning the most logically sound results available – this is how the INTP mind works, and this type has little tolerance for an emotional monkey-wrench jamming their machines.
People with the INTP personality type would much rather make a series of logical suggestions for how to resolve the underlying issue, a perspective that is not always welcomed by their Feeling (F) companions.

INTP personality

And, people of the web, that (almost perfectly) sums up my particular personality. My personal wish is that my brain would stop sometimes and just give me a rest. This was just supposed to be a simple poll post and now the entire universe needs to make sense. Ha!

Anyway, if you’ve read War & Peace above, it would be very interesting to see how many fellow autists are double-whammy Vulcans like myself.

Or whether we all are! Or whether we are all different. I’m particularly interested in female-identifying responses.

Take the 16 Personalities Test here if you haven’t already done so to find out your personality type:

Then take the poll below. The results when enough people take the poll might be very enlightening, or they may show that there is no correlation at all. Either way, it’ll be an idea gone from my brain. For now 😉

If it interests you too, you can always check back to keep up-to-date with the ongoing results.

Select type below or fill in via this link to poll:

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