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How People With Asperger’s Can Be Charismatic

When someone is different and not liked, they call them weird. Awkward. Creepy. They wrinkle their noses and they say in that disgusting faux-puzzled tone: “There’s something *strange* about her.”

But when someone is different and loved, they call it charisma.

If you have Asperger’s, you’re naturally on the strange side of that divide. Cheer up though. You’ve got some things working in your favor.

First off, you’re desperate to be liked. That can be bad. I don’t think I have to go into the myriad of ways in which that can be bad. But it can also be good, because it makes you an extremely tolerant person.

I’ll bet money that you’re a good listener. That’s how you make friends. By listening. You’re so eager to be liked that you’ll listen to anyone’s problems. Someone’s not golddigging as well as they’d hoped to? You’re all ears. Your friend got herpes from a coke dealer? Tragic.

No problem is too distasteful or too ridiculous. You’ve spent many nights sitting on someone’s bed, gazing at them with your impassive stare as they spilled their guts to you. Nothing beats the proud swell of being someone’s confidante. It doesn’t matter how often they repeat themselves either, as distraught people are wont to do. You find repetition calming.

You’re also not prone to groupthink. Yes, part of this is because you’re too retarded to know what the group is thinking to begin with. But it’s also because you have an unusual knack for appealing to different types of people. Other than your special interests, you’re formless enough to enable people to project what they want to see onto you. You might have even developed the borderline’s gift of becoming exactly who other people want you to be.

Most people don’t spend time with people who are different from them. They get stuck in fixed groups of the same fucking people over and over for the rest of their lives. What’s that teaching them about human nature, huh? Nothing.

Better yet, because of your attention issues, you don’t even have to do groups.

You can learn far more about people in way less time if you’re hanging out with them one-on-one. Nobody speaks their minds in a group. If you spend a lot of time in groups, being one-on-one with somebody feels like their brain is speaking directly into your own.

And let’s not forget that you’re smart. Real smart. You’re the kid who was reading at two and smashing through the 99th percentile on all those fucking tests everyone took in grade school to figure out which districts the money was going to go to.

How can being smart make people like you? I’ll tell you. It makes you not sanctimonious.

Smart people see every side of an argument. We don’t know which side is right. Most of the time we don’t even care. Because there’s a tiny little nugget of truth in everything you hear. It’s somebody’s truth. And you’ll listen.

Everyone is interesting to a smart person. Everyone can teach us something we want to know. If you are interested in people, that makes you interesting. You can be the walking embodiment of Dale Carnegie’s How To Make Friends And Influence People while having no social skills whatsoever.

More advantages: you have a good memory. You remember what people have said to you long after they forgot it themselves. Remind someone of a time they made you laugh five years ago. This will make them feel hella important.

You also can’t generalize information. Not about people at least. This means everyone you meet is going to surprise the hell out of you. Don’t you love when you surprise people? It gives you a thrill, right? It thrills everyone. Everyone wants to make an impact.

The only difference between you and the most charming ingenues on the planet is that you’re not that way on purpose.

You don’t even have to try.

These tactics haven’t worked for you? That’s because you haven’t let them. You’re fighting yourself. You talk more than you listen because you want everyone to think you’re better than you are. Every sperg I know thinks we’re slick. We’re not.

You have got to get rid of that pride. That and your defense mechanisms. People are not swill for not accepting you. YOU are swill for not letting them.


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How People With Asperger’s Can Be Charismatic

Gwendolyn Kansen

Gwen Kansen is a mental health writer in New York. She likes food, karaoke, and smart-but-campy books & TV. She's hoping to capture a little sliver of life on here that might not be the first thing you'd see.

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APA Reference
Kansen, G. (2016). How People With Asperger’s Can Be Charismatic. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Aug 2016
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