Aspergers – Narcissism: NOT The Same I

While all of us do have some narcissism, there is a difference between healthy narcissism and damaging narcissistic behaviors (NPD.) At one point in my life, I wondered if I were a narcissist because I could not understand why I was so different and seemed antisocial. I am far from antisocial, I fall under more introvert – I do not fall under antisocial behaviors. However, I discovered from my recent research frenzy that if you are a narcissist you are most likely well aware that you are one. Part of the fun in the narcissistic game is convincing everyone else that you are not one; the biggest feat would be to convince others that they, indeed, are the actual narcissist themselves.

Aspie’s are nothing like that that. (Well I cannot speak for ALL, but you get my meaning.) 

I am not the only who has thought about this either, I found these two forums with some good conversations Aspies and narcissism and Are Aspies prone to narcissism? I do admit that we as humans all have ways of manipulation, but there is a difference between being malicious draining the life (very hope) out people to get your way, and trying to ensure your well being is taken care of. Before I go any further, I want to share a video that I found. I think it gives some good information and clear distinctions.

I though the video gave a very clear descriptions, however, every person is an individual so some Aspie’s may not agree with his take. 

However, I agree that the take home here is that Aspies want to have relationships and share their emotions while narcissists can, but will use all sorts of things to fill their narcissistic supply (Excellent video!) instead, of having deep meaningful relationships. The narcissist does not care if they receive negative or positive attention.

They will take whatever; they will even soak up flattery and false compliments.

Thinking of myself and from remembering many of the adult Aspie blogs and websites we tend find false compliments and too much attention to feel awkward and wrong. If we receive too much attention, it makes for even more social awkwardness and can manifest social confusion, causing us to shutdown or respond in odd ways. Such as saying, “Why are you saying that?” “Haven’t we seen each other enough lately?” “Why are you giving me a compliment for taking care of my kids? I am a parent that is what a parent does.” Those types of things could come out of an Aspie if there is too much attention or flattery.

I will share the characteristics of a narcissistic.  

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Here is a simplified version:

Recognizing the Narcissist

“They seem well-assembled and self-assured, sometimes with a saccharine wit,” says Behary, cautioning that they can also “quickly pull the rug out from under you, reducing you to boredom, tears, apprehension, or disgust without a flinch.” Typically, narcissists display ten of the following thirteen traits:

1. Self-absorbed 
      Acts like everything is all about him or her
2. Entitled 
   Makes the rules; breaks the rules
3. Demeaning 
    Puts you down, bullyish
4. Demanding
      of whatever he or she wants
5. Distrustful 
   Suspicious of your motives when you’re being
nice to him or her
6. Perfectionistic
   Rigidly high standards – his or her way or no way
7. Snobbish
    Believes he or she is superior to you and others;
gets bored easily
8. Approval seeking 
   Craves constant praise and recognition
9. Unempathic
   Uninterested in understanding your inner experience,
or unable to do so
10. Unremorseful 
  Cannot offer a genuine apology
11. Compulsive
Gets overly consumed with details and minutiae
12. Addictive
Cannot let go of bad habits; uses them to self soothe
13. Emotionally detached 
Steers clear of feeling

These are not traits of an Aspie have a gander here List of Asperger Traits

I read this post Just Listen – Don’t Confuse a Narcissist with Asperger’s Syndrome, in some ways it did not feel very positive, but I believe the intent was to be positive. It could be how I interpreted the words. I found what I made bold to be kind of helpful …

“However if you live with someone with Asperger like features it’s a little more complicated. For instance even though you may feel how they treat you is meant personally, if what they do is not meant personally, it’s not right for you to take it personally. That means it is neither fair nor reasonable to treat someone who is just not sensitive (i.e. they are not doing it intentionally) as if they were someone who is insensitive (i.e. they are intentionally not sensitive). Instead of reacting and talking at them, be calm and talk to or with them and focus on their specific observable behavior(s) and the effect it has on you and what it causes you to do in response, which you don’t want to do. Furthermore, give them a specific alternative observable behavior to do instead, because in these areas that they are weak, they may not be teachable, but they are often trainable if you speak to them in a respectful way.”

Something else that I found interesting is that narcissists cannot nor will they receive criticism.

Aspie’s may not handle criticism well, but many times, we are open to listening if we do not get confused by how things are phrased. Many Aspie’s have been bullied or abused in some way, if anything; social-awkwardness and social confusion can filter the way we perceive things. If we are literal about words the way that we are criticized could feel as if our very souls are being ripped apart. If the criticism is laced with “fake” compliments that will confuse us or make us upset. If it is nothing, but negative and our talents are not acknowledged we could be hypersensitive.

Aspie’s can be extremely self-critical, but not voice it. 

People may think that because we do not voice, or may be unable to express what we are feeling that we have a certain air about us. It can be misinterpreted as being confident, stuck-up, or arrogant. Many times that is not the case at all and if it is brought to our attention, we are the first to apologize and try to explain ourselves.

If people are willing to listen and are willing to let go of their own injured filters. 

Narcissists will be openly self-critical if it will gain them attention, but they have a battle on the inside. Half of them is critical the other half is their fantasy self that cannot believe they have any flaw so they will somehow turn the criticism into someone else’s fault. Most likely the person that is trying to build into them or they will find some other “enemy” to insure the person that is filling their emotional supply sees them as the victim. The Narcissist’s Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . .

Aspie’s are normally victims, Asperger syndrome and bullying.

To Be Continued Aspergers – Narcissism: NOT The Same II …

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4 thoughts on “Aspergers – Narcissism: NOT The Same I

  1. jennie

    I read this with interest. My sons father displays both the npd and aspie traits. I have been over and over them and I just cannot say which he is. I need to know,though because if he is an aspie I need to support him. If he understands what he is doing then he needs to be out,of my life. there is a debate in the family as to how much he knows what,he is,doing. If he,is an aspire then he is good at mimicking a person,who shows affection when others are in pain.

  2. Angel Post author

    Hi Jennie!

    It can be difficult to determine clearly. My husband shows many Aspie traits, (most likely an Aspie) but many of his coping mechanisms that he learned throughout life were negative and he tends to cut people out of his life. In the last several months, I have learned to voice when his words hurt me or trigger me and he has tried to changed and he has apologized. It has been a lot of work for the both of us.

    Would your husband be willing to go and talk to a psychologist? Or both of you go to counseling? It is a challenge to try and determine without professional help. If there is abusive behaviors those need to be addressed, if you feel that you are in danger of any kind or feel fearful then, I would seek help immediately. It is also, a challenge when family is involved I do hope you are able to find a way to seek answers. Is there any professionals who could guide you or some sort of support who could help you through this process?

    If you are seeking any other resources feel free to contact me I can lead you to some others who have more experience dealing with spousal narcissists.

    My heart goes out to you, best of luck!

  3. Angel Post author

    Hi Janet!

    Thank you for letting me know. I just read your post and found it very in-depth and I love all the research, links you put in there. Out of the Fog is a wonderful resource it helped me learn so much. I wish you well on your continued journey with your sons and I appreciate all the efforts you are putting in to understanding them! ~ Angel

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