Saturday, 22 June 2013

Aspergers vs. Neurotypicals: Who are the biggest deceivers, liars, actors and imitators?

Asperger individuals are born without socio-political hardwiring, therefore knowledge what is said and done in which situations is not innate but has to be painstakingly acquired from observation, trial and error. A good example of an Asperger individual is Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘As Good As It Gets’ who says blunt things to people and bellows out his order in an elegant restaurant as if he’s at a fishmongers. Because Aspergers do not have a strong sense of self, a common coping mechanism is imitation or what sociologist Irving Goffman calls passing.

I have exhibited that well-documented chameleon-like nature that is spoken of in relation to women with AS. I do not have a clear or typical sense of self. (Camilla)
~Rudy Simone, ‘Aspergirls’ (2010), p. 63.

     Present-day adults, however, did not have this advantage [a diagnosis] during their formative years. With rare exceptions, most adults with Asperger Syndrome have had to figure things out for themselves. A common way of doing this is by watching movies and television shows to understand how people behave and to discern what they say to each other in various circumstances. And all of this is done privately and with a great amount of stress, since a feeling of being out-of-step is not something most boys or young men have wanted to admit or discuss with others.
     In that sense, adult men with Asperger Syndrome are keen actors and imitators. This takes great skill. It is also exhausting. But behaving as if one understands something and truly understanding it are two different things.

~ For Wives and Partners of Men with Asperger Syndrome, Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tony Attwood - The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome - 2007:

I have identified four compensatory or adjustment strategies developed by young children with Asperger's syndrome as a response to the realization that they are different from other children. The strategy used will depend on the child's personality, experiences and circumstances. Those children who tend to [A] internalize thoughts and feelings may develop signs of [1] self-blame and depression, or alternatively use [2] imagination and a fantasy life to create another world in which they are more successful. Those children who tend to [B] externalize thoughts and feelings can either become [3] arrogant and blame others for their difficulties, or view others not as the cause but the solution to their problems and develop an ability to [4] imitate other children or characters. Thus some psychological reactions can be constructive while others can lead to significant psychological problems

I would say that all four of these coping strategies can be found in the same person at differing times. Attwood explains [4] imitation further:

An intelligent and constructive compensatory mechanism used by some children is to observe and absorb the persona of those who are socially successful. Such children initially remain on the periphery of social play, watching and noting what to do. They may then re-enact the activities that they have observed in their own solitary play, using dolls, figures or imaginary friends at home. They are rehearsing, practising the script and their role, to achieve fluency and confidence before attempting to be included in real social situations. Some children can be remarkably astute in their observation abilities, copying gestures, tone of voice and mannerisms. They are developing the ability to be a natural actor.

Some children with Asperger's syndrome dislike who they are and would like to be someone other than themselves, someone who would be socially able and have friends. A boy with Asperger's syndrome may notice how popular his sister is with her peers. He may also recognize that girls and women, especially his mother, are naturally socially intuitive; so to acquire social abilities, he starts to imitate girls. This can include dressing like a girl. There are several published case reports and, in my clinical experience, I have seen several males and females with Asperger's syndrome who have issues with gender identity (Gallucci, Hackerman and Schmidt 2005; Kraemer et al. 2005). This can also include girls with Asperger's syndrome who have self-loathing and want to become someone else. Sometimes such girls want to be male, especially when they cannot identify with the interests and ambitions of other girls, and the action activities of boys seem more interesting. However, changing gender will not automatically lead to a change in social acceptance and self-acceptance.

When adults with Asperger's syndrome have used imitation and acting to achieve superficial social competence, they can have considerable difficulty convincing people that they have a real problem with social understanding and empathy; they have become too plausible in their role to be believed.

At the same time Aspergers are known to be appalling liars. They are hard-wired to tell the truth, and telling lies takes a great psychological toll on them, both in terms of cognitive resources and guilt.

Conversely, there are certain domains in the neurotypical world where lying and deception – far from being questioned – are acknowledged and embraced.

[1] Celebrity doubles
Why would people want to look like someone else when everyone knows they’re not someone else? This is the same mentality is buying the same clothes of nail-polish colour that a celebrity wears and thinking that their glitz will somehow rub off on you. Just what is the point of trying to pass yourself off as someone else with everyone colluding in the 'suspended belief' that you are that person?

Duchess of Cambridge £1000 look-a-like admits the attention is 'intimidating' as she reveals she is often mobbed by Kate fans
● Gabriella Munro-Douglas, 26, works as a Kate-a-like
● Say she gets mobbed by tourists who think she is Kate in Windsor
● Gets paid up to £1,000 per job
● Refused to pose topless following photo scandal
PUBLISHED: 13:16, 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:18, 18 June 2013
Read more:

[2] Fake Twitter accounts
Why would someone take a real person who is famous, say, Kate Middleton and set up a blog candidly entitled ‘Fake Kate Middleton’ – and get thousands of followers. Why? Example:

Fake Charlie Whiting
I press the button. Yes, that button. Verified 100% Authentic Fake.
Race Control. Or at the Pub. ·…
894 following

Charlie Whiting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charlie Whiting in 2010.
Charlie Whiting (born 1952) is FIA Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter and head of the F1 Technical Department, in which capacities he generally manages the logistics of each F1 Grand Prix, inspects cars in Parc fermé before a race, enforces FIA rules, and controls the lights which start each race.

Is it at least satire? I can see the amusement of satirical fake Twitter sites such as:

Pippa Middleton Tips
Tips for living. An invoice for the best part of half a million is in the post. Clearly a parody

Middle Class Problem
Real problems but not real actual problems, just middle class ones. Created by @benfraserlee

Cat Bin Lady
I have momentary abberations. We all do. Sent to Coventry ·

[3] Magazine advice column letters
I still remember my shock upon being told at university that the letters printed in magazine advice columns were fabricated by the magazine. It was like being told Father Christmas isn’t real. I learnt that they were “social constructed”. I couldn’t understand why magazine wouldn’t want real letters and wouldn’t want to answer real problems.

All the agony aunts deny any suggestion that they might slip in the odd fabricated letter

Bel Mooney’s advice column is however bona fide:

Is it time I dumped my cowardly man to date a new, rich admirer?
PUBLISHED: 00:26, 15 June 2013 | UPDATED: 00:26, 15 June 2013

Each week I turn to your column first, but don’t know if the problems are fact or fiction. Still, I guess writing this down will be cathartic. I’m 48, reasonably attractive and keep myself fit and trim.

I don’t know whether to be entertained or irritated that you think that these letters might be invented. How cynical can you get? You also addressed me as ‘Dear Madam’, as if you don’t quite believe there is a real person behind this page.
I can assure you that, having written fiction for adults and children, I know nothing beats real life for complexity — and hilarity, too. That’s why my colleague Richard Littlejohn is always saying: ‘You couldn’t make it up!’

Read more:

[4] Photoshopping
Why would people try to present models as anything other than as they are?

We have a moral obligation to ban the airbrush': Debenhams vows not to retouch model shots... and calls on others to follow suit
● High-street giant slaps ban on Photoshopped lingerie model shots
● No more arm and leg thinning, teeth whitening or bust boosting
● Now only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair
● Retailer calls on rivals to follow suit and 'encourage positive body image'
● Studies show young girls' self esteem is crushed by altered adverts
PUBLISHED: 10:58, 13 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:01, 13 June 2013

[5] Making up ‘true stories’

Could there be anything more twisted than these Holocaust fantasists? How more and more people are making up memoirs about witnessing Nazi crimes.
PUBLISHED: 23:17, 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 23:43, 21 June 2013
Read more:

This is not the first time that "Misery memoirs" have been proved to be fake. Be it WWII or childhood ones, abused wives, medical or any other genre you care to mention. They make money, lots of it. People will write these stories all the time they think they will get rich. It is a shame.
- Jim, Kent UK, United Kingdom, 22/6/2013 0:48

Some people must have very empty lives to make up such stories. Either that, or they're so callous that they see it as an easy route to making money. Either way, it's despicable.
- Kevin, Ontario, Canada, 22/6/2013 0:47

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, surely the DM can appreciate that.
- dugsub, Pattaya, Thailand, 21/6/2013 23:56


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