Are People with AS More Prone to Selfishness?

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StarTrekker
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15 Jul 2012, 12:14 am

I've heard this said sometimes, by NT's and aspies alike, and I'm worried in my case it's true. I don't mean to be, I just don't seem to be able to stop and think about other people before deciding what I want from a situation. Is this part of the inability to read people and judge what they're feeling? Is it even part of AS? Are you this way at all? How do you get a handle on it? I don't want to be known as somebody selfish when I don't mean to be.


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questor
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15 Jul 2012, 1:11 am

It's not selfishness. It's self focused. We tend to focus on our own stuff, to the exclusion of external issues, and needs of other people. This gets misinterpreted by others as us being selfish. I tend to be too focused on my own thoughts to think of offering food and drink to occasional visitors. I either don't think of it at all, or not until they've gone. There are more things like this. I am not able to focus externally--on others and their issues very well.



DummyRun
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15 Jul 2012, 1:13 am

I have just met someone I really like and we have been having difficulties, because initially I thought that she was being selfish. After a few weeks of soul searching, sleepless nights and HOURS of talks, suddenly we discovered that she might have Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Have a look at what this link says about the APPARENT selfishness... It is a communication issue. You are not selfish or you would not be asking if the problem is YOURS! It is for you and others to work ways around how you deal with information being shared with you... Take a look at the Autism ORg (UK information site), I have found this very useful (not just this page, but the general autism info) Hope this helps. Good luck



League_Girl
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15 Jul 2012, 1:40 am

I think we are. I try not to be of course. I try and think of others and try and be flexible. And sometimes I can't help it.


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Fade
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15 Jul 2012, 1:41 am

The way I see it selfishness and selflessness go hand in hand. When one forms a powerful enough bond with another they essentially take their priorities as their own out of a selfish interest of fostering a positive relationship. A relationship can become a personal priority that supersedes other selfish interests such as comfort, convenience, and even one's own life. Through connecting with others in this fashion it's as though they become part of our own identity to the point where an abrupt severance of a bond can leave us feeling empty and lost.

So to answer your question, in my opinion NTs and aspies are equally selfish, but NTs are far more likely to form powerful bonds with others not only due to their social advantage but their wider range of interests that allows them to better relate to a broader network of people. Simple common ground is the foundation of any kind of relationship.



Jasmine90
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15 Jul 2012, 1:45 am

I guess I would say that I'm selfish. I don't share anything of mine with other people, usually if I'm doing something for another person that I would not normally do, it's primarily for self-preservation.
Whenever I communicate with someone, especially someone I am comfortable with, topics of conversation usually revolve around my special interests, unless someone directly asks for my opinion on something, or asks for my help. I'm pretty big on research, and so am often finding things out for people, which again, I'm benefiting from it since I enjoy doing it. If someone asks for my help and I don't particularly feel interested in that area (such as personal issues) then I seem to autonomously disregard them.

The only thing I can say in my defence, is that I exist mostly in my own little world. Sometimes my world and the rest of civilization intercept because of direct correlation, so from my perspective it is simply an extension of my world.
I don't share the same social accuracy that my peers have, therefore I instinctively shut myself off from them since it's strange to me. Maybe it's selfishness, but either way it's not something I can help.

I definitely admit to being selfish in the most basic sense, but emotionally selfish? I think the mental restraints that a lot of people on the spectrum share can come across as selfishness or arrogance/ self importance.



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15 Jul 2012, 2:23 am

I have HFA, and while I don't intend to be selfish, and I think it's a bad thing to be/do, I think I act quite selfishly at times - often I don't realize it until much later - like a couple hours later, or a day later, or even later than that sometimes. I think it has something to do with having difficulty thinking of what others might be thinking.



Atomsk
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15 Jul 2012, 2:24 am

questor wrote:
It's not selfishness. It's self focused. We tend to focus on our own stuff, to the exclusion of external issues, and needs of other people. This gets misinterpreted by others as us being selfish. I tend to be too focused on my own thoughts to think of offering food and drink to occasional visitors. I either don't think of it at all, or not until they've gone. There are more things like this. I am not able to focus externally--on others and their issues very well.


I agree with and identify with this post for sure. I didn't even realize one should offer food and drink to visitors until I read your post just now.



amongtheweeds
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15 Jul 2012, 2:39 am

I think we might be by default, because it is more difficult for us to realize what other people are thinking and experiencing. I don't think we are selfish in a mean way, we are just more self-focused like somebody said earlier.



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15 Jul 2012, 2:58 am

In the funnel, in the bubble, door opens only from the inside, obsessed w/ one's own propellers. Why not, that utopia out there hurts a lot and, ultimately, you're in it alone.


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15 Jul 2012, 3:36 am

StarTrekker wrote:
Is this part of the inability to read people and judge what they're feeling? Is it even part of AS? Are you this way at all? How do you get a handle on it? I don't want to be known as somebody selfish when I don't mean to be.

I read somewhere that people with AS are egosentric., and I also read on this other site ( http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Entitlement.html ) the follwing; Because of the elevated highs and lows in mood that people with personality disorders often experience, it is not uncommon for them to attach elevated sense of importance to their own emotional needs. They may appear at times to care only about their own desires and needs at the expense of other people around them or they may habitually prioritize their own needs above those of others. This trait is often referred to as a "sense of entitlement".


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Atomsk
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15 Jul 2012, 3:47 am

vanhalenkurtz wrote:
In the funnel, in the bubble, door opens only from the inside, obsessed w/ one's own propellers. Why not, that utopia out there hurts a lot and, ultimately, you're in it alone.


Ultimately, every single action that someone takes is selfish - even if they are jumping on a grenade.



Jasmine90
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15 Jul 2012, 4:06 am

vanhalenkurtz wrote:
In the funnel, in the bubble, door opens only from the inside, obsessed w/ one's own propellers. Why not, that utopia out there hurts a lot and, ultimately, you're in it alone.


Wonderfully put.



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15 Jul 2012, 4:17 am

When I can afford it, I try to be generous. I miss being able to buy people gifts and such. The last Christmas gift I got anyone was in 2010.



inastrangeland
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15 Jul 2012, 4:32 am

I would say that being selfish requires that you know what others want or need, but disregard it without good reason. If someone came up to me and asked me for a favor/help/understanding or anything else in Farsi, it wouldn't be selfish of me not to comply--I'd have no idea what they wanted. That's basically what it's like when people either don't communicate their wants/needs/desires or when they do so mostly through nonverbal cues. They expect you to understand because ” normal” people do, but they're really speaking a foreign language.

However, if you're fully aware of other people's wants and needs and choose to ignore them in favor of your own, then you are being selfish.