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NeantHumain
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20 Jul 2008, 1:48 pm

Can someone with Asperger's syndrome be charismatic? I am not talking about the religious sense, where it means divinely inspired or some such; I am referring to charisma in the sense that one might call Barack Obama or Bill Clinton charismatic and Bill Gates probably a lot less so. I have been researching this as a means of attracting women, and some aspects seem to be within our grasp; but many of them would take considerable effort for an aspie to acquire (as essentially it means being socially skilled ad infinitum). I suppose an aspie could be relatively charismatic among aspies (and thus elevated to some spokesperson position for the community), but without the distinguishing characteristic of AS, that person would probably not have any especially charismatic qualities compared to the mass of NTs.

Here are some characteristics I've read make a person charismatic:

  • Ability to mirror emotions and body language of others (obviously going to be difficult for most aspies)
  • Upbeat, emotionally positive (this may be possible for aspies, especially those who are less given to depression and other negative emotions)
  • Lack of shyness and social inhibition (again, rare among aspies but can be overcome like any other form of anxiety)
  • Self-confidence (again not so common among aspies)
  • Ability to create an intense focus/bond with person being conversed with (some parts of this may be relatively easy for aspies, who are given to conversing one-on-one or in small groups to begin with)

Much of it doesn't have to do with social skills per se but with emotional regulation, which anyone can improve upon.

One area where we aspies definitely have an advantage is our knowledge. Knowing a lot makes it easier to have an interesting conversation with someone (albeit if they're willing to talk about something more interesting than what's on TV).



-JR
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20 Jul 2008, 2:07 pm

I think "charisma" is defined more by it's "seen" qualities, which are mainly NT, than it's "unseen" qualities-many of which can be found readily in AS types.

-ability to see both sides of issue
-logic, reason, predictability, loyalty
-justice
-compromise
-attention to detail (as a way to solve big problems)
-at times able to suppress emotion to focus on problems
-ability to act, regardless of feelings (very bad in some situations tho)

I think, in leadership, these qualities are found in many aspies blood. To have these, capabilities isn't necessarily AS, but I believe they are found in "elevated" levels for us. I was a default leader in my HS wrestling team, as were 2 others, neither of us had "brash" ways, or obviously charismatic ways, but had more of the hidden qualities. A characteristic of charismatic types is often thought to be "boldness," which might be a bit difficult to find in an aspie, but boldness can be cultivated in our ability to think outside the box, to be tenacious, and our attention to detail. "Thinking outside the box" isn't often associated with aspies, but I know I have this capability, the way I apply situations endlessly to a problem I might have is one way I display this. Creativity is over-rated, and can be compensated by the detail oriented mind that can see a problem quickly, and note many possible solutions.

Just my two cents. Hope I haven't thrown a monkey wrentch in your thread here! :oops: :P


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DWill
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20 Jul 2008, 2:36 pm

-JR wrote:
I think "charisma" is defined more by it's "seen" qualities, which are mainly NT, than it's "unseen" qualities-many of which can be found readily in AS types.

-ability to see both sides of issue
-logic, reason, predictability, loyalty
-justice
-compromise
-attention to detail (as a way to solve big problems)
-at times able to suppress emotion to focus on problems
-ability to act, regardless of feelings (very bad in some situations tho)

I think, in leadership, these qualities are found in many aspies blood. To have these, capabilities isn't necessarily AS, but I believe they are found in "elevated" levels for us. I was a default leader in my HS wrestling team, as were 2 others, neither of us had "brash" ways, or obviously charismatic ways, but had more of the hidden qualities. A characteristic of charismatic types is often thought to be "boldness," which might be a bit difficult to find in an aspie, but boldness can be cultivated in our ability to think outside the box, to be tenacious, and our attention to detail. "Thinking outside the box" isn't often associated with aspies, but I know I have this capability, the way I apply situations endlessly to a problem I might have is one way I display this. Creativity is over-rated, and can be compensated by the detail oriented mind that can see a problem quickly, and note many possible solutions.

Just my two cents. Hope I haven't thrown a monkey wrentch in your thread here! :oops: :P


I agree, although I usually just end up sitting back and enjoying the show rather than actively trying to lead or implement my ideas. Along with all of the above I've noticed that people can tell that I'm not faking any of those things and that when I talk to someone I am showing them my true side with no fabrications. That kind of genuineness can be charismatic as well, as it shows you have the confidence to be who you are and have no problem sharing it with the world.



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20 Jul 2008, 2:37 pm

I've never thought of myself as charismatic but I have learned to act. It flops on me sometimes with people because the normal emotion in certain situations isn't there.



SIXLUCY
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20 Jul 2008, 2:47 pm

What do you mean... I hope I havnt thrown a monkey wrentch??



-JR
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20 Jul 2008, 2:56 pm

DWill wrote:
I agree, although I usually just end up sitting back and enjoying the show rather than actively trying to lead or implement my ideas. Along with all of the above I've noticed that people can tell that I'm not faking any of those things and that when I talk to someone I am showing them my true side with no fabrications. That kind of genuineness can be charismatic as well, as it shows you have the confidence to be who you are and have no problem sharing it with the world.


Sitting back, and watching the show, is something I can relate to. Kinda ties into the "brash" ways that we don't really have. This can be a leadership quality, tho it's difficult to carry it out in times when decisions are needed, and pressure is high. Genuineness-THAT is a definate thing important in leadership. I find it difficult to give compliments, or to criticize, and I bet other aspies feel the same way. To say something of meaning and truth, however few times, is IMO a good trait in leadership. Who wants to follow a liar?

I also didn't mention "principles" as a general category, tho I did indirectly with a few of those bullet points. A person who is principled is IMO a genuine leader, as people who are the "followers" (be they part of the "team" or "group") are more likely to willingly listen and follow a person who's principles are clearly in line. A leader who can get across the thought that the "mission" is the right thing to do is more likely to have followers willing to act.

I'm jacking this thread, and feel terribly for it, tho not so much that I wish to erase this post! :oops:


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20 Jul 2008, 2:56 pm

I'm probably not charismatic, but I can very well charm people.

I've been called charming by job interviewers, professionals, therapists, hairdressers. A dance trainer said I could be very charming at one time and appear like 'an exotic animal' at other time. I charmed my way into 1 school too.

AS definitely can have a huge impact on the ability to willingly charm others. Body language is extremely important. If one doesn't know exactly what another person is thinking, it's impossible to influence them. One needs to have a pattern, non-verbal communication or else, for orientation. Due to my AS I can only be charming to 1 person at a time. If people can interact with each other besides me, it hardly works. They can support each other/interact easily and also I cannot keep up with two people's social interactions that is natural to them (eye-contact, how they say things, cultural imprint).

I can still be as sweet as before and as helpful, but somehow some forms of my AS make it impossible for others to see that.

I need a person's fullest attention, it must all be drawn onto me. Then I have an easy time.

Or I concentrate on a mass. I find it very easy if I can keep an artificial distance that changes social interaction on an even basis by assigning active and passive roles. Active to the speaker that animates and uses persuasive rhetoric to get others into a certain direction. All the time, not requiring them to directly and intelligently interfere.

I know most non-autistic people hate that too, but I love it.

One parent of mine was extremely charismatic,which enabled them to scam people and do things against law. I'm pretty sure it's partly inheritable to be charming. I'm naturally flirting with everything too.
That one is bad sometimes... Either I keep silent or what I say is very alluring. Ohhh, I hate that if people think I really like them and think they're special when I'm just being friendly!

I think real charisma goes both ways though.

A person radiates charm and if the majority of people listen to them, the person gains more and more charm and becomes very charismatic. What I do cannot go 2 ways, as I'm pretty freakishly affected in the social department due to my PDD.


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20 Jul 2008, 2:57 pm

SIXLUCY wrote:
What do you mean... I hope I havnt thrown a monkey wrentch??


I've a feeling my post is slightly off topic here. :|


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20 Jul 2008, 3:16 pm

-JR wrote:
I think "charisma" is defined more by it's "seen" qualities, which are mainly NT, than it's "unseen" qualities-many of which can be found readily in AS types.

-ability to see both sides of issue
-logic, reason, predictability, loyalty
-justice
-compromise
-attention to detail (as a way to solve big problems)
-at times able to suppress emotion to focus on problems
-ability to act, regardless of feelings (very bad in some situations tho)


While I agree that these attributes are more likely to be found in an AS type, the problem as I see it is that none of these are linked to being 'charismatic'. :? Although these are objectively positive traits, they're more likely irritate the hell out of your average human drone. To them 'attention to detail' and 'correctness' stops with matching the correct tie to your shirt :x


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20 Jul 2008, 3:16 pm

Charisma seems to be an NT trait. Part of the problem of being an Aspie is a lack of social skills, charisma being prime among them. This is why I'm not sure Johnny Depp has AS. (I've seen several threads on this site speculating whether he is or isn't Aspie). He's too charismatic...


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20 Jul 2008, 3:19 pm

I can be charming for about a day, then people see the real me which is decidedly NOT charming.



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20 Jul 2008, 3:26 pm

ManErg wrote:

While I agree that these attributes are more likely to be found in an AS type, the problem as I see it is that none of these are linked to being 'charismatic'. :? Although these are objectively positive traits, they're more likely irritate the hell out of your average human drone. To them 'attention to detail' and 'correctness' stops with matching the correct tie to your shirt :x


Irritating, if you don't know where to stop. Perception plays a role in many of these traits. Observation as well.

I do think it would be extremely difficult for a "true" aspie to become a "leader" of sorts, but if one was tenacious enough, and "learned" enough about what it would take to be a leader, I think it's quite possible. A major characteristic in AS (IMHO at least) is the ability to cope and compensate, and to know where that ability is inside of them. Could be that some AS types get bogged down in the "disabilities" such as social situations, but there are some who figure the ropes out, and get by on a level that's "acceptable," albeit superficially.

Pardon atrocious sentence structure, word choices....


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NeantHumain
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20 Jul 2008, 4:13 pm

-JR wrote:
I do think it would be extremely difficult for a "true" aspie to become a "leader" of sorts, but if one was tenacious enough, and "learned" enough about what it would take to be a leader, I think it's quite possible.

You're equating charisma with leadership. I guess the examples I gave were bad because they were both politicians, but I was thinking of charisma in the more practical (at least for my purposes) sense of being magnetically attract to others (specifically women). Apparently it generally equates to being pleasant to be around, so I take it women prefer men who they enjoy being around instead of men who are a pain to be around.



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20 Jul 2008, 4:21 pm

I can be reasonably charismatic.

How I am good:

-Sense of humor
-Seeming extroverted and bold
-Carrying on a conversation one on one
-Reasonably good at public speaking
-Tend to seem happy and energetic
-Understanding logic and being able to set most ideas up as premised ones
-Reasonably skilled at argumentation(to some extent)
-Delayed reactions on some level(Rather than having immediate, strong emotional reactions, they usually arrive hours, or even up to almost a month later depending upon the strength of the stressor)

How I am bad:

-Having a lack of sense for what is appropriate
-Deep down I am cynical, incredibly bitter, and angry, and this can pop up in conversation or in difficult issues
-I can get flustered and have a strong need for control, which can cause me to be less than good in many situations
-I cannot get hidden signs and signals that well
-Timidity in engaging in typical NT violations of codes
-I can often be very annoying, especially if I do not know a person very well and have a difficulty relating to them.

-JR wrote:
-at times able to suppress emotion to focus on problems
-ability to act, regardless of feelings (very bad in some situations tho)

I think that AS people do not necessarily have those abilities. We can plow through things without having the same emotional attachment as some people do, however, anxiety issues, anger, and things like that can be an Achilles heel for some aspies, and some of this can be seen on the boards in some of the PPR discussions.



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20 Jul 2008, 4:32 pm

People have said that Im very attractive. I think attractive means charmastic...?
Though I have really been diagnosed with AS as such