Positive Aspects Of Asperger’s
Found some articles about the Positive Aspects of Asperger’s and wanted to keep notes of the ones that I resonated with the most and saw as a good description of me. See the original articles here(01), here(02) and here(03).
We’re genuine, straightforward, and honest. No hidden agenda here. No double-meaning, either. No alter-ego, split-personality, or two-faced attitude. We don’t play head games or manipulate people. What you see is what you get. What we say is what we mean. We’re not going to BS you with little “white lies” just to make you feel better. If you’ve got a string of toilet paper hanging out of your jeans, we’re going to tell you. Basically, you can trust us.
We’re drama-free, in general, preferring calm, serenity, and stability instead. We don’t start crap, stir the pot, or pick fights. We’re not itching for the “excitement” that some people derive from being locked in conflict and rollercoaster relationships. We prefer stability. We’re generally logical. We don’t give in to trolls online. We try our best not to get sucked into family drama or catfights among friends. We’d rather leave the room…or the planet.
We pay exquisite attention to detail. The way our brains work is to recognize patterns and connect dots that ways that other people may not perceive. We can make some lightning-quick analogies between two seemingly vastly different concepts. We also don’t do things halfway; if we’re going to do it, we’ll do it, and if we’re not, then we won’t. If we decide (or realize) that something is worth our time, we’re going to give it our full effort. “Just good enough” is usually not “good enough” for us. Yoda from Star Wars might’ve had some Aspie traits: “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.”
As alluded to above, we perceive things differently. Many of us view the world with both hemispheres of our brain engaged, and we process certain types of information through different parts of the brain altogether (or so the theories and some scientific research say). This means we process information a bit more slowly at times (although that’s up for debate; I think it depends on the type of information). We can also, in turn, offer this alternative perspective, contributing a unique viewpoint to a discussion or problem-solving session. We can think up new ideas, by approaching puzzles from an unusual angle. We tend to be very independent thinkers, not easily swayed by outside forces. Most of us use an interesting blend of unwavering logic and strong intuition to make decisions (and essentially, to live the rest of our lives as well).
We’re usually intelligent; some of us are literally hovering at genius level. Most of us are a hell of a lot more intelligent than we give ourselves credit for. Our IQs can be quite high, which is often one of the major driving forces behind our perceived “social awkwardness”.
We often have few or no children, which means our house will be quiet and our daily schedules and finances will be simpler. We’re odd and quirky, providing variety to an otherwise mundane world. We’re highly individual.
We’re rarely–if ever–intrusive. Our degree of sociability and social preference varies widely, but chances are good that the average Aspergian/autistic person is a lot more introverted than the average non-autistic/allistic person. Chances are pretty slim to none than we’re going to come barging in unannounced and uninvited and bang on your door. That might sometimes mean that you have to do a little more work to keep the relationship/friendship alive, but we try to make it worth it.
Lots of interests
Many of us have a hidden talent up our sleeve. No, we’re not Rain Man, and we’re not all Temple Grandin (although some of us may wish we could be!). Our interests and talents run the gamut: philosophy, writing, psychology, foreign languages, business administration, systematizing, analyzing, technology or computer science, world religion, physics, gardening, etc. Sometimes we’ve got more than one. Sometimes we may not realize it; it might be laying dormant, ready to sprout at any time.
We prefer not to be in the spotlight, in general. This means that we probably won’t embarrass you much, if at all. Interacting with us also won’t turn into a constant competition. And we’re definitely not going to take the spotlight away from you or fight you for it, if you want it. We’ll certainly let you have it.
We don’t feel any pressure to conform or fit in. This takes a load off our shoulders, because we’re not having to “keep up with the Jones’s” (whoever the hell they are), and keep tabs on the latest fashions and trends. Our friends/family can be themselves, too, without added pressure or critique from us. We look beyond superficial physical beauty and weight, gender and sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, ethnicity and religion, socioeconomic status, what zip code you live in or what car you drive, and other such labels and surface characteristics. We want to know what’s inside, beneath the labels. We want to know what’s at the core. We’ll either accept something or someone, or we won’t. When we decide we like or love something or someone, it’s not because they’re attractive or because we both vote the same way; it’s because we like, admire, look up to, or “gel with” the deepest centre of that person.
POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF ASPERGERS
- are able to easily forgive others
- are conscientious, reliable, and honest
- are enthusiastic and have a propensity for obsessive research, thus developing a broad and deep base of knowledge in subjects of interest
- are free of prejudice
- are intelligent and talented
- are less inclined to be fickle or bitchy than their neurotypical counterparts
- are not inclined to lie to others
- are not inclined to steal from others
- are not likely to be bullies, con artists, or social manipulators
- are not motivated by an intense social drive to spend time with whoever happens to be available
- are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise, they can usually be trusted to follow through
- are unlikely to launch unprovoked attacks, verbal or otherwise
- are untainted by the judgments that people often make regarding one another’s social position or social skills
- are very accepting of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of others
- bring a highly original perspective to problem solving
- can be selective, choosing honest, genuine, dependable people who share their interests
- can bring up a variety of interesting facts
- can listen to people’s problems and provide a fresh perspective, offering pure assessments based on the information provided
- can recall fine details that others miss
- don’t attack the reputations of those around them
- don’t discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, age, or any other surface criteria
- don’t force others to live up to demanding social expectations
- don’t have hidden agendas
- don’t play head games
- don’t take advantage of other’s weaknesses
- don’t usually recognize hierarchies, and so are unlikely to give someone superior status simply because that person is wealthy or has attained a high position in an organization
- have a good work ethic
- have a lot of passion when engaging in activities they like
- have a tendency to adhere to routines
- have above-average intelligence
- have an acute sensitivity that supports creative talents
- have high integrity
- have no interest in harming others
- have values that aren’t shaped by financial, social, or political influences
- judge people based on their behavior – not the color of their skin or socioeconomic status
- like to spend time alone and are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves
- loathe small talk and trivialities, preferring instead to talk about significant things that will enhance their knowledge base
- make very good employees if able to control their pace and work within either a solitary or socially supportive environment
- pay attention to detail
- stick to their positions, even in the face of intense social pressure
- tend to become proficient in the technological media required for lucrative employment in the “information age”
- tend to prefer individual sports to team sports, as there are no social demands and they can exercise complete control over the activity
- will not go along with the crowd if they know that something is wrong
Common Strengths for Adults With Asperger’s
- They are usually loyal and dependable. Competing to get ahead is less important than solving problems and meeting challenges. Conscientiousness, faithfulness and devotion to duty matter more than ambition, especially if that ambition would cause others to suffer.
- Adults with Aspergers pursue ideas they believe in without being deterred by what others say. They are not easily swayed by others’ opinions, nor to they give up because someone tries to convince them otherwise.
- They are good at recognizing patterns and in classifying things. They are comfortable with order, precision and categorization, which make them successful in following rules, allocating resources and solving problems.
- They tend to be sincere, positive and genuine, which make them loyal and dependable friends.
- Speaking their minds regardless of the social context is true of many adults with Aspergers. They are much more interested in someone’s skills and expertise than whether that person is viewed favourably by others.
- Adults with Aspergers are especially good at noting and recalling details. They are helpful at work that requires knowledge of facts, details, and memory. They are often exceptional at the recall of details forgotten or disregarded by others. They have a passion for gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest.
- An acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, including touch, vision, and smell is common and having such unusual sensory experiences gives them a different perspective on the world.
- Adults with Aspergers tend to be trusting of others, even charmingly naïve. They are compassionate and caring, and many maintain the belief in the possibility of positive relationships.
- They are often direct, speak their mind and are honest. Many have a strong sense of social justice.
- Because they don’t mind being alone, they are often willing to engage in solitary work that others avoid.
- They are able to comprehend multiple levels of meanings of words and ideas and can form connections that others miss.
- They are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise they can usually be trusted to follow through.
- Relationships with someone who has Asperger’s tends to be free from bias and discrimination based on race, gender, age or other differences. They judge people based on their behaviour not the colour of their skin, socioeconomic status or political influence.
- They are not inclined to be bullies, con artists or social manipulators.
- Adults with Asperger’s, are a varied group of people, on the whole bright, funny, articulate, caring, logical, honest, persistent, and hard-working, who happen to think and behave a bit differently.
- They are an adaptable collection of individuals who have found ways to survive in a world that expects different conduct, values and demeanour.
- They have also found ways to accommodate to the broader society’s expectations.
- Adults with Asperger’s are, in many ways, models for what can be accomplished without having the normal blueprint for success.
Benefits of Asperger’s
I also wrote my own list last week on a Facebook Group Post: (04)
I know everyone is different with varying life experiences, but looking for benefits, for me it’s:
- My clothes are more comfortable and I don’t waste money following fashion fads, and I can go to some places still wearing my pj’s without caring what other people think
- Don’t follow what everyone else is doing, just because ‘everyone else is doing it’
- Speaks the truth, honest, high integrity, trustworthy
- More caring about things that matter, won’t just follow a mainstream opinion when something is unfair/unjust
- Less likely to spend a fortune on hair, nails or things to build up the ego
- Lives a more practical and minimalistic life
- Really good at researching things that I’m interested in – need to look at every possible aspect/perspective/idea/opinion and gather all the information (this could be unique to me.. like some people good at math or music.. my superpower is information-collection)
- Exposed to less chemicals because can’t stand the smell of chemicals, so choosing less toxic alternatives
- Good at making lists/shortcuts/making things more systematized and automated
- Able to dig-deeper rather than having surface-level conversations, on topics of interest
- Have more tools to deal with life’s challenges (out of necessity for survival), well for me, I spent my entire life trying to deal with trauma & being the odd-ball, so I don’t know if this is AS-related or weird-penny-related, but I was always looking for better ways of handling life, so can see higher perspectives and being able to change ways of looking at things so that I don’t get stuck in a trauma-loop
- Explains things in more detail (because afraid of being misunderstood)… maybe this is a benefit – if others were more like this there’d be a lot less conflict in the world
- If we weren’t shut down, we could probably change the world for the better
- Doesn’t need to have lots of people around them and comfortable being in solitude (… but I think that’s a self-protection thing, for me I’d rather be alone than around people that don’t get me/react negatively to my differences)
Benefit to the above is that COVID was a relief instead of a scare – at least for me, I lost my job and got to stay home all the time, and after researching the heck out of it for the first 4 months as it became my new topic to obsess over, for the first time in my life, I felt blessed instead of stressed, and mostly due to being at home away from the world, so definitely had a different experience than what I saw others going through.
- Rejects anything that lacks integrity.
- Often see better ways of doing things, both at home and at work, which makes them seem like system busters (nonconforming to any system).
And I’m in the process of writing a post about Asperger’s at Work which should be up sometime today as well. (So look out for it if I forget to come back and link to it).