Page 1 of 10 [ 152 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next

funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,585
Location: Right over your left shoulder

29 Apr 2023, 10:41 am

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... m-disorder

Quote:
Narcissism and autistic spectrum disorders tend to co-occur in families. I regard narcissism as a listening disorder, that is as a difficulty hearing and responding positively to others' perspectives. Sam Vaknin however, who describes himself as a narcissist, posts prolific and insightful articles about narcissism on the internet. One of these articles recently caught my eye as it shed an interesting light on a couples counseling case I have been treating. The article explores similarities and differences between narcissism and Aspergers, a syndrome which now is being labeled as an autistic spectrum disorder.

Vaknin views narcissists, including himself, as able to interact with high levels of social skills in situations where impressing someone they look up to is important to them. As he says: narcissists appear sociable and socially even highly capable when they are interacting with someone whom they regard as having potential to fulfill their desire for admiration, power and other “narcissistic supplies.” At the same time, he points out, once a narcissistic person has begun to devalue the other, self-absorption and deficits in their ability to experience empathy emerge. These features bear striking resemblance to the features of someone with Asperger's.

Similarly, Dr. Khalid A. Mansour (a British Arab psychiatrist) has proposed in an article in the Pan Arab Journal of Psychiatry that narcissistic personality may merit classification as an autistic spectrum disorder.

Dr. Mansour writes, “There is now significant level of agreement that emotional processing problems like: lack of empathy, poor self-awareness, self-centredness, poor reciprocation of emotion, poor ability to maintain emotional relationships, anxiety, and anger outbursts are more or less central features of autism (10, 50,51)."

Interesting. When I first read the above paragraph, I thought Dr. Mansour was writing about severe narcissism. His description fits both narcissism and autistic spectrum disorders. Hmmm.

Dr. Mansour similarly quotes from the ICM-10 listing these features of autism:

Self-centeredness; inappropriate to developmental level and cultural expectations
Poor self-awareness, poor ability to develop remorse or learn from mistakes
Poor empathy or appreciation of others feelings
Poor ability to reciprocate emotions.
Hostile dependency on safe relations.
Failure to develop emotional relationships appropriate to developmental level and social norms
Treating people as objects or preferring objects over them

Again, this list certainly sounds a lot like narcissism.

Dr. Monsour concludes: “… it is noticeable that people with NPD, do not show a major degree of functioning problems in stress-free environment or when they are supported (except that they are perceived as 'not pleasant characters' to deal with). However, under stress and without support they can become quite dysfunctional in a way not far from what we usually see in Asperger’s syndrome.“

Theory of mind: Another autism spectrum and narcissism similarity?

Another perspective that suggests similarities between narcissism and autistic spectrum disorders involves Theory of Mind. The website Autism-World describes this phenomenon nicely:

"One of the key traits in people with autism is that they lack what is known in psychology as a ‘theory of mind’, which is also known as ‘mindblindness.' Theory of mind (T.O.M) means the ability to understand that other people have a mind and thoughts that differ from our own. This means that people with autism will often only be able to see things from their own point of view, they cannot imagine how something may affect someone else; which may be why you see them as self-centered."

Sounds a lot like narcissism!

People who are narcissistic experience difficulties when differences arise between themselves and others because of this deficit in "theory of mind." It is hard for them to believe that there is another side to the issue that troubles them because they believe that their view is the only view, that they are always "right," and that listening to the other's feelings either makes them at fault or may block their ability to get what they want.

As I explain in my book The Power of Two, to proceed collaboratively both parties in a relationship need to be able to voice their concerns. Both also need to be able to hear and take seriously the other's perspective.

If autism spectrum disorders are genetic…

In my clinical practice, I have been struck by the frequency with which neither parent of an autistic spectrum child presents with an autistic spectrum disorder, and yet one parent does appear to be significantly narcissistic with difficulties empathizing with others and digesting others’ perspectives.

Narcissism as the next-to-the-last stop on the train to the autistic spectrum disorders.

Many spouses in my couples therapy practice express relief when they hear my speculation that narcissism may be a milder version of what with increased severity would become Asperger's—and with even more self-absorption and difficulty taking in others’ perspectives would be labeled autism.

If narcissistic personality disorder tendencies stem from neuro-biological deficits and/or brain anomalies that cause difficulties with empathy, then it becomes easier to empathize with rather than become angry at an emotionally-deaf loved one.

Two complex diagnostic cases of autistic spectrum or Aspergers versus narcissism

I'd love your feedback on these cases, both of which were written in as comments to this article.

Note that I treat many cases where narcissism is involved. I have far less experience clinically with autistic spectrum/Asperger's cases, so I very much value what I have been learning from your comments.

Meanwhile, I am hoping that readers will keep in mind the distinction between narcissism and malignant narcissism. Narcissists in general just don't pick up on what others are saying and feeling. They are not necessarily mean. Intentional desires to hurt occurs just in a sub-category of narcissism, what therapists refer to as malignant narcissism.

Future research

I look forward to reading what neuroscience research finds in the way of biological clues as to why narcissism and Asperger's seem linked.

Meanwhile, if you know of research suggesting why the line that departs out from normal social and emotional intelligence toward autistic self-isolation, please share links to these studies by writing in the Comments section below.

------------

January 27, 2021 ADDENDUM

Many of you have been writing very helpful reactions to this article in the Comments section. The following list includes so many important observations that I am adding it now (lightly edited) to the main article. Meanwhile, thank you to all of you who have been sharing your views.

From a reader:

1) These similarities are based on how autism might look like from the outside. Here's my view of what autism actually is.

A) self centeredness: autistic people might be perceived as self centered from the outside. The thing is the autistic brain processes information in such a different way, that they actually perceive the world very differently from non-autistic people. This leads to very few commonalities with other people and the fact that autistic people always need to watch out for their own needs, since no one else seems to understand them.

B) poor self awareness. It might seem like this from the outside, but autistic people are extremely aware of themselves. What they struggle with is understanding social situations. Autistic people are not born with and don’t have the possibility to develop a “social autopilot” when they are babies due to their brain being in constant overstimulation. That means that they very often don’t know what they do wrong and therefore also can’t correct it. They are however very aware that something is wrong.

C) poor empathy. No no no no! There are different types of empathy. Many autistic people struggle with cognitive empathy which is the way of by thought understanding how the other person feels and needs, even if it’s different from themselves. Emotional empathy is often found extremely strong in autistic individuals, to the point that they cannot endure feeling from other people and can’t know if the feeling belong to themselves or the other person.
Cognitive empathy can be learned, which autistic individuals are very capable of doing.
It might also be that autistic individuals express their empathy in ways not understood by neurotypical peers, leading to the belief that empathy wasn’t expressed at all.
I would also go so far as to say that autistic individuals have the same or often better trained cognitive empathy as non-autistics because autistic people are taught their whole life how to read and understand what neurotypicals need in different situations, even if it seems very strange to oneself. Neurotypical people however don’t need to learn how an autistic mind works, what needs autistic people have and therefore very often do not show empathy with them.

This is called the double empathy problem.

D) poor ability to reciprocate emotions: it might seem that autistic people don’t understand or show emotions, the fact is they struggle very hard to read facial expressions and body language, they also often express own emotions in different ways than neurotypicals are used to. This is however not the same as lacking this ability. Autistic individuals are very keen on learning how to read other people and know what other people feel and when they know they also try expressing emotions which would fit in a way that is understood. This takes extreme amounts of energy because they have to analyze body language and social cues manually, again because of the lack of a social autopilot.
Again: double empathy problem.
Also: masking and camouflage in autism.

E) dependency on safe relations. Wow. If anyone would be just one day in an autistic mind they would know why safe relations, safety of all kinds, is so very important to autistic individuals. It might seem hostile from the outside, but it’s more often extreme anxiety and frustration. Not to understand social situations intuitively makes all relations very unsafe and difficult. To have one safe person to depend on can make life go from anxiety hell to livable. I’m not saying more. Just stop judging us and try understand us instead.

F) failure to develop emotional relationships. Yes some autistic people are unable to do this. And very many are not. Many autistic are in healthy, good relationships with other autistics or non-autistic individuals. Some autistics don’t have the same need to form deep emotional relationships in the same way non-autistics have. The autistic brain works differently, autistic individuals have different needs and often have difficulties understanding the needs of other, expressing own thoughts and needs and are very often experiencing to be misunderstood. If the partner would learn to communicate in a direct way to help the autistic person understand the signs sadly often lost on the person with autism, and be open to listen to the specific and often misunderstood needs of the autistic individual, they might not have this problem anymore.
Again: double empathy problem.
And how the autistic brain works differently.

Also a lot of autistic people have disabilities in bodily functions, like information processing and movement. This might seem from the outside that they never learned to “function” as adults, but is in fact a disability and should be treated as such. It is not a failure, but a lack of support from the people around them and from the society as such.

G) treating people as objects or preferring objects. This is really one of the most misunderstood things about autism. The problem autistic individuals are facing is not that they don’t care about people, it’s that they don’t understand them and are themselves usually misunderstood when they try to express themselves. A lot of autistics are so interested in other people, how they function, what they need and how they can help them, that they make it their special interest, some even study psychology and become therapists. Autistic individuals are in constant social under stimulation, having to try to fit rules and norms they don’t understand, so often not understanding when people show affection or not receiving affection at all. They constantly try to please people around them, often with the result giving up their own self. They are very aware of people around them not finding them “good enough”, experiencing constant rejection from people they try to connect with. Complex PTSD is very common in autistic individuals and autistics are more often experiencing abuse than non-autistic people.

At the same time, a brain which is constantly over stimulated from sensory input often find a sense of calm and security in things that don’t move around, make noises or expect you to behave in a certain way. This is why many autistic people often connect strongly with objects and find it very hard to connect to people. This does however not mean they do not see people as people, or that they do not care about how other people are feeling.

2) to compare a neurological developmental difference to a personality disorder is from a professional point of view very strange. A personality disorder isn’t allowed to be diagnosed in children, it is something that one evolves into in youth or early adulthood. Autism is something most often diagnosed in children, although sadly often missed in the “higher functioning” individuals, it’s seen even in babies.

3) just because something cooccurs in several families, does not mean it is genetically connected. To research if something is genetically linked, you need to look to twins, as they have done with autistic people. Identical twins are more often both autistic than only one. Not identical twins often have only one autistic. To see if narcissistic behavior is genetically linked with autism, one would have to find that one identical twin had autism and the other developed narcissistic behavior.

There might be several other reasons for the two to occur in the same family:
A) autistic people often are more prone to experiencing traumas, they struggle with understanding social situations and might therefore also more often find themselves in a codependent relationship/ relationship with trauma bonding. These kinds of relationships are often found with narcissistic people, as people with narcissistic behavior often find ways to make other people dependent on them,

B) having a child with autism can be a very heavy burden. To have your own baby not look at you, not want to spend time with you can be emotionally damaging. There might be reason to believe that some mothers develop narcissistic behavior to protect themselves from this rejection.

C) relatives to autistic people often have several autistic traits even without being autistic. This might lead to a sense of not being understood, similar, but not the same, as autistic people experience. Such a traumatic experience might lead to different coping mechanisms where narcissistic behavior might be one. Because they have the understanding of social situations, which they wouldn’t have if they were autistic, they are able to manipulate others into giving them what they want to fill the need they don’t know how to get otherwise. This does however not mean that narcissistic behavior in itself is genetically linked to autism. Other coping strategies might be other personality disorders or other mental disorders.

4) an autistic person lacks the ability to understand social situations intuitively. They do not harm other people willingly any more than non-autistic people do. To be able to manipulate people you have to be very good at understanding social situations, body language and social cues. Autistic people might seem similar from the outside, but they more often hate themselves than think themselves better, they more often have no idea what just happened and why they are different, than think themselves better than anyone or deserving anything. Often autistic people feel so misunderstood, rejected and not respected that they are only expressing the need for the same respect that other people are willing to give non-autistic individuals. This is not a fault on the individual, it’s a fault on society for not respecting people who are different on the same level just because they don’t understand them. It has nothing at all to do with autism in itself.


If they're correct, that would seem to put people prone to NPD adjacent to ASD or would even make a certain level of predisposition to NPD inherently part of the autistic spectrum.

I don't believe they're wrong about the traits that are shared also being related. Given the stigmas associated with NPD I'm sure this won't be universally well-received, but being offended isn't an argument against the idea.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 24,255
Location: 28th Path of Tzaddi

29 Apr 2023, 11:03 am

Reading the response they got was interesting - sounds very WP'ish.

I can say this - most of my friends growing up had either subclinical or moderate NPD. I think the way this works is that the 'odd ones out' get shoved together by a rather simple heuristic that you're either rather effortlessly like other people or you're not. If you're not, you're having a completely different kind of experience, you're finding the cold of outer space in other people, you're seeing the primate eugenic tendencies pulled on you, and a lot of the kids on the receiving ends of this - rather than being 'jocks', 'cheerleaders', 'preppies' (90's parlance here) they're whatever other darker-flavored, more introspective, 'alternative' subculture there is.

I don't necessarily know what this would have been like in the 60's or 70's, or what it's like now if 25% of students identify as LGBTQ, but the overall idea would seem that the people on the periphery would get bundled together. To that end I'm not all that surprised that I had friends who'd have NPD traits, ADD, etc.. but I wouldn't be shocked if there are a lot of NPD and ASD-traits couples out there just on how life slotted them at the age when they were forming romantic relationships.

As for bad news though - I ran into someone who brought up a correlation between OCD and terrorists, school shooters, etc.. (okay, it was actually Rollo Tomassi now that I remember), that might take the heat off of autistics a bit but people with OCD are going to be dealing with some sharper stigma if that comes out more.


_________________
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” - James Baldwin


funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,585
Location: Right over your left shoulder

29 Apr 2023, 11:12 am

^ Good insights.

I feel like stigma is part of the problem. Most people with stigmatized mental health conditions are mostly decent people, the bulk of whom strive to overcome the tendencies their PD makes them prone to. If we treat people with NPD, or borderline or who meet most of the criteria for AsPD as inherently toxic and irredeemable it only harms them while doing nothing to resolve whatever problem they might potentially represent.

That doesn't mean negative actions can't be punished, only that we need to eradicate the mindset that they inherently should be excluded regardless of their behaviours.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


colliegrace
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Nov 2022
Age: 30
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,263
Location: USA

29 Apr 2023, 11:17 am

Agreed, PDs develop as a result of abuse or trauma in most cases & it's kinda (actually very) sh***y to treat people with PDs as monsters before they ever have done anything bad.

Oh, I was being considered recently for avoidant personality disorder (AVPD), so I have a stake in this. Lately I am seriously questioning the AVPD label for myself, as things have been way calmer the past few months & it may just be rejection sensitivity that's giving me grief.


_________________
ASD, most likely have dyscalculia & BPD as well. Also dx'd ADHD-C, but don't think it's accurate.
RAADs: 104 | ASQ: 30 | Aspie Quiz: 116/200 (84% probability of being atypical)

Also diagnosed with: seasonal depression, anxiety, OCD


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 24,255
Location: 28th Path of Tzaddi

29 Apr 2023, 11:34 am

funeralxempire wrote:
That doesn't mean negative actions can't be punished, only that we need to eradicate the mindset that they inherently should be excluded regardless of their behaviours.

When we make society competitive enough the game gets to be about who can be stabbed in the legs at the starting line of the race. PD's can be used as an excuse to say 'Well, if you aren't a serial killer now you will be by the time we're done treating you the way we're going to so - that still makes you a serial killer'. You can use any other metric as well of a person being odd, different, not rigidly conformist, to throw them under the bus - not for the sake of staying safe from them but under the guise of staying safe from them but more accurately for the sake of stealing their pie slice and divvying it up (what some people call 'transfer frontier').

When the people who are being 'kept safe' are significantly more toxic than the people who they're being kept safe from the charade seems to expose itself.


_________________
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” - James Baldwin


JavaDawg
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2023
Gender: Female
Posts: 4
Location: Ohio, USA

28 May 2023, 11:43 am

I believe my father is an un-dx-ed narcissist with asd. His mother acted like a narcissist. I don't speak to him, too selfish and rude.



Edna3362
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,839
Location: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔

28 May 2023, 12:15 pm

My own 'narcissism' is mostly emotional dysregulation.
And emotional dysregulation gives me stupid extremist ideas.

The rest is hung ups that probably made me more of a pessimist since probably the age of 6 or so.
I'm not a 'positive person' as long as I could remember.

Struggling with any ability to ignore internal sources means putting myself first and above anyone else. :roll: I wish it's just like hearing or any external stimuli where I can take it and not be swayed by it, but I couldn't able to figure this.

Partially internal regulation and filtering in general.
Any sensations, any 'need' -- as a fricking distraction for me from 'favoring anyone else'.

For me to be able to focus to serve others; I either gain real emotional regulatory skills and anything related to self regulation.
Which eludes me somehow, except for some moments or increasing rarer days...

Or, never ever need any of that to begin with. Never get tired, never get my guard down and never be forgetful of anything, never get too sad or too happy or too angry, never get inattentive or slow for being hungry/thirsty/sleepy/sick. Basically, stop being a human.


_________________
Gained Number Post Count (1).
Lose Time (n).

Lose more time here - Updates at least once a week.


League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 27,226
Location: Pacific Northwest

28 May 2023, 12:17 pm

Hard for me to feel sympathy for people who inflict pain and harm on others. I do not care if they have a mental illness or trauma, I would rather keep them away. This does not mean they shouldn't seek treatment. Heck even people have become serial criminals or dangerous criminals, we still lock them away regardless of their bad childhood and their trauma or mental illness.


_________________
Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,585
Location: Right over your left shoulder

28 May 2023, 1:32 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Hard for me to feel sympathy for people who inflict pain and harm on others. I do not care if they have a mental illness or trauma, I would rather keep them away. This does not mean they shouldn't seek treatment. Heck even people have become serial criminals or dangerous criminals, we still lock them away regardless of their bad childhood and their trauma or mental illness.


We lock people away for breaking laws, not for being difficult, rude, self-centred, etc.

I'm not sure what sympathy for people who hurt others has to do with autism and NPD appearing to be adjacent disorders with significant shared traits. You're not being asked to sympathize with anyone, only to acknowledge that narcissism in NPD and narcissism in ASD are very similar because the underlying causes are likely shared.

Narcissism from autistics isn't special and unique compared to narcissism from people with NPD. If we deserve understanding for those behaviours, so do they. If they don't deserve understanding for those behaviours, neither do we.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 27,226
Location: Pacific Northwest

31 May 2023, 2:37 pm

Quote:
I'm not sure what sympathy for people who hurt others has to do with autism and NPD appearing to be adjacent disorders with significant shared traits.


It's literally in the criteria and have you ever been with people who couldn't see things from your perspective and were gaslighting you, this is abusive behavior. This causes harm to others.

Or people who are controlling and this also causes harm to others.

I dated a guy with BPD and he displayed narcissistic behavior and yes it harmed me.

Anyone that calls you a liar is an abuser because they are dismissing your feelings and how it looked to you and dismissing your experience. I have also dealt with it as well and that is harmful behavior they are inflicting on you. This is a black and white way of seeing what is the truth or not and if it doesn't fit your view and your narrative, that person must be lying. Yeah I avoid these people and cut all contact with them. I don't need abusers.

Autistic people can be abusive as well and I also don't give them any sympathy. Never tell victims they should try and understand their abusers and their bullies and so on. I don't care what illness or disorder they have, if they act abusive due to their symptoms, I treat them as such and it's for my own safety.

Yeah this topic is triggering for me so maybe I shouldn't have opened this thread.


_________________
Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


Edna3362
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,839
Location: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔

31 May 2023, 7:31 pm

I don't expect people to sympathize with me whenever I unintentionally hurt them.

I expect them to lynch me.
And I'm serious.

A stupid part of me wants this statement to be validated:
"I am a bad person. I am an ungrateful bastard who deserves no love. I deserve any wickedness from others regardless of my intentions and feelings. My feelings and needs do not matter -- everyone else's does."

I want to kill this stupid part of me.
If it were to exists as a person, I'd give them a slow and painful death.



Moral stories never addressed how the boy who cried wolf to stop crying or never had to at all, no one tells how the fool should stop being foolish, no one tells how a greedy, envious, or the prideful person to stop and cope and get over it, no stories ever presented any emotional regulation techniques, no one tells the lazy ones how to gain insight, motivation or stamina, no one tells the viper from not getting caught by the farmer, no one tells how Pandora who opened the box to do better, etc.


_________________
Gained Number Post Count (1).
Lose Time (n).

Lose more time here - Updates at least once a week.


funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,585
Location: Right over your left shoulder

31 May 2023, 8:15 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure what sympathy for people who hurt others has to do with autism and NPD appearing to be adjacent disorders with significant shared traits.


It's literally in the criteria and have you ever been with people who couldn't see things from your perspective and were gaslighting you, this is abusive behavior. This causes harm to others.

Or people who are controlling and this also causes harm to others.

I dated a guy with BPD and he displayed narcissistic behavior and yes it harmed me.

Anyone that calls you a liar is an abuser because they are dismissing your feelings and how it looked to you and dismissing your experience. I have also dealt with it as well and that is harmful behavior they are inflicting on you. This is a black and white way of seeing what is the truth or not and if it doesn't fit your view and your narrative, that person must be lying. Yeah I avoid these people and cut all contact with them. I don't need abusers.

Autistic people can be abusive as well and I also don't give them any sympathy. Never tell victims they should try and understand their abusers and their bullies and so on. I don't care what illness or disorder they have, if they act abusive due to their symptoms, I treat them as such and it's for my own safety.

Yeah this topic is triggering for me so maybe I shouldn't have opened this thread.


I'm not asking you to understand any individuals who abused you.

That doesn't mean that false narratives about people with NPD as a category shouldn't be pushed back against.

The fact that you've faced abuse from people with NPD is irrelevant to the question of what predisposes some people to NPD, or to narcissistic tendencies.

I'm sorry for whatever abuse you've faced at those individual's hands but those experiences aren't relevant to the topic being discussed and I would appreciate it if we could stay on topic instead of the thread turning into everyone venting about their experiences with everyone they've decided was a narcissist.

You can start your own thread if you need to vent about stuff that's off-topic for this thread. The whole thread can be dedicated to complaining about personal experiences and you can deem discussion of the mechanics behind narcissism off-topic because you find it triggering.

Your level of sympathy for people with narcissistic tendencies (and the back story behind it) is completely irrelevant to this discussion. There's been enough threads and posts on here for venting about various grievances with people various posters have deemed narcissistic that this thread can focus on some other facet of narcissism that tends to get ignored under all the venting.

I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate someone hijacking a thread you've started to focus on a specific and neglected aspect of a topic to rehash a bunch of personal stories that are only tangentially related.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


Minuteman
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

Joined: 23 Jan 2020
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Posts: 240

31 May 2023, 8:47 pm

This is why I'm pretty sure a certain former president is on the spectrum.



notSpock
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 26 Jun 2023
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 86
Location: Northern California

27 Jun 2023, 8:15 pm

I hope that there are benignly narcissistic people out there, and extend my best wishes. Of course no one should be judged on the basis of a diagnosis alone. What matters is how we actually treat others.

I'm a recently self-diagnosed aspie who feels emotional empathy very deeply, but questions whether "cognitive empathy" should be called empathy at all. My somewhat biased lay opinion is that narcissistic people have the so-called cognitive empathy which enables them to be charming and successfully manipulate others, but lack emotional empathy (actually caring about others). With autistics, it seems to be the reverse.

This thread caught my eye, because I've been thinking a lot about what empathy means, and (with apologies to the person who started the thread) also because I had a very painful experience with a former best friend, who I slowly realized very strongly fit the narcissistic profile, as I read more about it.

As a result of that experience, I think of narcissists as deceptive predators, like sociopaths with a winning smile. There's a lot I still don't know about autism, but it's hard for me to see how an autistic person could ever be a predator, or even ever be systematically deceptive.

My friend was a self-described "hedonist", which I initially did not judge. He seemed to share not just one but several of my special interests, so I gave him a lot of slack. But then I was witness to his charming and manipulation of two different women who were unaware of one another's existence. I began to connect that with some of his weirdly self-centered behavior with me. That only emerged after I foolishly invited him to rent a cabin on my property, and we began to need to collaborate on some practical matters, instead of just hanging out listening to music and discussing philosophy.

Initially, he seemed to look up to me. He said lots of very flattering things about how wise I was. I was a lonely aspie, and soaked it all up. But as soon as I made that offer to live on my property, he began pushing the limits of the generous agreement I made with him, always demanding more concessions, or simply moving the boundaries himself.

When I finally needed him to do something for me (move out, because my future wife had a serious medical condition that was being aggravated by walking up and down the steep hill to where I was sleeping), it was an utter disaster. He completely demonized me, demanded free rent, stalled for six months, then wanted to extort more thousands of dollars from me before he would actually move out, while my wife's condition got worse and worse. Years later, my wife is still suffering from the results of that.

I also recall one time when one of his women called, upset about something. He said all the socially right things on the phone, hung up, looked over at me, and said "What a lot of nothing!" As an emotionally empathetic person, I was horrified.

As an autistic, I sometimes have to deal with people who mistake me for that kind of callous person, because of my tones of voice, body language, and weak situational awareness. That too horrifies me.



Last edited by notSpock on 27 Jun 2023, 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,846
Location: New York City (Queens)

27 Jun 2023, 8:55 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201406/do-you-think-narcissism-autistic-spectrum-disorder

Quote:
[...]
Vaknin views narcissists, including himself, as able to interact with high levels of social skills in situations where impressing someone they look up to is important to them. As he says: narcissists appear sociable and socially even highly capable when they are interacting with someone whom they regard as having potential to fulfill their desire for admiration, power and other “narcissistic supplies.” At the same time, he points out, once a narcissistic person has begun to devalue the other, self-absorption and deficits in their ability to experience empathy emerge. These features bear striking resemblance to the features of someone with Asperger's.

I would say that the "resemblance" is only superficial.

As described above, most narcissists are perfectly capable of empathy (or, at least cognitive empathy) for people whom they want to impress. They are just not interested in having empathy for people whom they have "devalued."

On the other hand, autistic people have innate neurological quirks, such as sensory issues and attention issues, that result in an unusual-enough experience of the world to result in a double empathy problem between autistic people and people with more typical nervous systems.

EDIT: It seems to me that most people in general -- not just narcissists -- tend to lack empathy for people whom they dislike or look down upon for whatever reason. What sets people with NPD apart, in this regard, is their propensity for sudden shifts from admiration to extreme devaluation of any given person.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter / "X" (new as of 2021)


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 68,266
Location: UK

30 Jun 2023, 11:08 am

funeralxempire wrote:
^ Good insights.

I feel like stigma is part of the problem. Most people with stigmatized mental health conditions are mostly decent people, the bulk of whom strive to overcome the tendencies their PD makes them prone to. If we treat people with NPD, or borderline or who meet most of the criteria for AsPD as inherently toxic and irredeemable it only harms them while doing nothing to resolve whatever problem they might potentially represent.

That doesn't mean negative actions can't be punished, only that we need to eradicate the mindset that they inherently should be excluded regardless of their behaviours.


I actually agree. I have quite a lot of aspd and npd traits and it is really difficult to be open about because of the negativity around it. I have it because I was brought by a pw npd and there was a lot of aspd in my family so I inherited it really. It's actually my life's work to correct this about myself because I know what a dirty scummy person I can be and how I do feel on the inside (please nobody contradict this because it's true). I can be an absolute c*nt with people as well and I really don't care. I hate this about myself because it reminds me of the person/people who I have spent forever to get away from.

I do get that a lot of people on WP have been through horrific narcissistic abuse and I do appreciate and respect that but I do wish that there would also be some kind of understanding for those who have also been through it but have also inherited traits. Otherwise how are we supposed to improve and be better people in society.

Yeah I'm waffling...


_________________
We have existence