No, No, Not Me
During the 2016 presidential campaign, my mother made a shocking observation. She said Donald Trump acts like somebody with Asperger’s. Had it been any other person, I would’ve been offended. She meant that he makes off-the-wall comments that inappropriate for social settings. I knew it wasn’t a dig towards me. Many of thosee uninformed not only compare Aspies with sociopaths but folks with narcissistic personality disorder. It’s true there’s no cure for either three. Sociopathy and narcissism go hand-in-hand. Meanwhile, too many variables disconnect Asperger’s with the other two. The main difference is folks with autism and Asperger’s are egocentric whereas narcissists and sociopaths are egoistic. Just because the root word is “ego” applies to both doesn’t mean they’re in the same realm.
Too Much or Too Little
Someone who’s egocentric wishes to relate to others on the one hand. Aspies and auties want to fit in. We yearn to empathize and exude compassion. One the other hand, egoism is the belief that one is superior to others as in the case of narcissists. The latter knows better unlike the former but doesn’t care. The media gives mixed signals regarding how we should represent ourselves. We’re told women dig a man who’s sure of himself. Confidence they say is the sexiest thing he can have. We fail to realize is there is such a thing as too much. An overabundance leads to arrogance. The sad thing is too many mistake vanity with reassurance. A narcissist knows how to manipulate people and prey on their fears and insecurities. Narcissists like sociopaths flatter everyone with superficial charm. Thus the reason, I say many sociopaths are narcissists.
We Know Better Than That
The narcissist thinks the whole world revolves around him/her. They expect everybody to drop what they’re doing and roll out a red carpet for said individual. Donald Trump is cognizant of his actions. He behaves that way because he was born rich. Nobody ever had the gall to call him out on his misconduct or hold him accountable for his manners or lack thereof. The man is over 70. Trump knows how crass he is. He was aware how unprofessional it was when Trump mocked a handicapped reporter on TV and dismissed his remarks about grabbing women by their privates as locker room banter. A person with Asperger’s would feel ashamed and make sure to never do that again. The last thing we want is to embarrass ourselves and make people have more contempt for us. This is why I now understand why keeping face is crucial in Asian culture. While I don’t agree with the entire concept, there are many facets of it we can adopt into Western society.
Meet the Narcissists
The main way those on the spectrum learn social interaction is through personal experience. Our posterior knowledge makes us wiser and more adept. I’m no expert, but I’m certain many narcissists get stupider as their egos grow bigger. The more validation they receive, the more invincible they feel. I know Donald Trump gets his jollies off provoking others. The same is true about Kanye West. They’ve always been full of themselves, but Trump has gotten worse since Trump became President. The same I feel about Kanye since his involvement with Kim Kardashian. Both suffer from delusions of grandeur as if they’re the greatest of their kind. Everybody I’ve known with autism and Asperger’s on their worst day has more humility than your average narcissist on one’s best. Many narcissists like sociopaths are pathological liars which cancels out any possibility of someone with Asperger’s being one. Alas, narcissists and sociopaths never take accountability for their actions. They always place the onus on someone else.
No More Fears and No More Praise
Whether they try to feign sophistication or hate being outdone is what fuels the narcissists’ egos I can’t say. What I can tell you is Aspies and auties learn from our mistakes and tend to exercise more caution as a result. In fact, sometimes we tend to be too careful. This explains why I’ve developed the habit of saving face myself. I’ve had more than one person tell me I’m brave for all that I’ve done, but I never let it go to my head. I’ve made mistakes along the way and done things I regret. I don’t hide my blunders, brag about my successes, or toot my trumpet over my accomplishments. Truth be told, I have a tendency to look back and wish I’d done things differently or sooner. I’m more self-conscious in a culture where keeping face is important. Not only do I stick out like a sore thumb; I feel I’m being judged non-stop and that the locals place higher standards on me being a foreigner and an English teacher. One last thing before I leave you. Does anyone remember when I divulged the top ten list of professions that attract the most sociopaths? Teachers ranked in the top ten of lowest sociopathy factor. I just thought you should know that. If I was a narcissist, I wouldn’t be very good at my job.