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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Vocab disambiguation: the meanings of "social" etc - INTJ vs sociopath vs Asperger's

Anyone who's been on this forum for longer than a minute will have noticed that the same questions keep coming up:
- Are INTJs more likely to have Asperger's?
- Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?

In my opinion, a lot of those questions (and misconceptions) are based on a the vague way in which words such as "social", "antisocial", "society" etc. are used by the general public. In some cases, I think different words are available, but people are not precise. In other cases, there might not be alternatives, but people don't think about the ambiguity of those words. If I wanted to be prescriptive, I would recommend using/ inventing different words.

Below I will give some examples and definitions that will hopefully make it easier to see the differences between INTJs vs. sociopaths/ psychopaths vs. Asperger's

Please comment and add your own observations. Also, let me know if you disagree with my analysis.



1. Social, societal, antisocial, asocial, (inter)personal, sociable, pro-social, socially acceptable, legal vs. illegal
a) Social: This adjective is used in so many context that it can describe almost anything from a gathering of acquaintances, to a person's place in a hierarchy defined by education and income to issues that affect (a large portion of) the population of a country. In some contexts I would argue that it would make more sense to use "societal", "(inter)personal" or other words.
For example, an issue that is caused by the way that life is organized in a country could be called "societal" instead of "social". "Socially underprivileged" people could be more precisely described as "economically underprivileged" etc.
Some types of "social relationships" and "social skills" should be described as "(inter)personal". In this case, "social" refers to interacting with colleagues, acquaintances, the general public or groups of people whereas "interpersonal" refers to one-to-one communication.

INTJs: may not see any value in "social relationships" of a superficial nature. Most of the time, they probably understand the rules of 'small talk' etc. very well, but can't be bothered.
But INTJs may be very strong in "interpersonal" relationships (Ni = psychological profiling, Te = choosing an appropriate course of action, Fi = considering a friend's personal well-being, maintaining a long-term relationship).
They are likely to prefer a small, close circle of friends and to be selective about who they let into their life.

sociopaths/ psychopaths: may be very good at navigating "social" interactions (see "Superficial Charm") below, but this will be based on instrumentality, they probably won't just enjoy people's company for the sake of it but will have some aim in mind. It's very unlikely that sociopaths/ psychopaths will have close, reciprocal "interpersonal relationships". It is well known that sociopaths move from one 'victim' to the next and that many psychopaths abuse their spouses and children long before they commit a murder.

People with Asperger's: (It's difficult to make generalizations, I don't mean to offend anyone with Asperger's):
I would say that they struggle with both "social relationships" and "interpersonal" relationships. Although they may have a lot to offer in "interpersonal relationships", they might find it hard to get to this stage in the first place as a lot of people will misunderstand their behaviour. Their ability to interact with others may be affected by sensory over-stimulation and/ or rigidly logical/literal thinking and/or "lack of theory of mind" (not everyone with Asperger's has all of those symptoms and the prevalence of 'logical/ literal thinking' is over-reported in my opinion).
It is often said that people with Asperger's are very eager/ desperate to make friends but they don't know how to. This sounds less selective than INTJs.
[A lot of people on the autism spectrum are also extroverted and feelings types. I've worked with people on the spectrum who would type as ENTP, ENFP, ISFJ and seen at least one young man on the TV who was very ESFP].

b) antisocial
"Antisocial" does not mean "quiet/ reserved/ introverted". In fact, it means the opposite. Antisocial behaviour is behaviour that is disruptive and harms a group or those around the antisocial individual. Antisocial behaviour can be behaviour that prevents a group from reaching their aim. In some countries, some offenses are labelled "antisocial". Therefore, "antisocial" behaviour can border on illegal behaviour. See Anti-Social-Behaviour-Orders in the UK.
Examples: always shouting out in class and preventing your classmates from learning; playing loud music at night; intimidating passerby in the street; damaging public property ....

INTJs: most healthy INTJs are very unlikely to deliberately engage in such behaviour. In fact, it is the exact opposite of how INTJs normally behave; of course, INTJs are capable of any kind of human behaviour

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very likely to engage in this type of behaviour or even illegal activities from a young age

people with Aspergers: are no more likely than the average person to deliberately engage in this kind of behaviour; if they are disruptive, it might be a consequence of having sensory overload or unaware of other people's needs; of course they are capable of any kind of human behaviour, just like anyone

c) asocial: This is the word you're looking for when you use "antisocial". Asocial means not very interested in 'social' interactions. An asocial attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above.
A person might asocial and antisocial or they could be asocial and pro-social (see below).

d) sociable: The opposite of asocial. A person who enjoys interactions with others. This attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above. E.g. in a group of youths who are engaged in antisocial behaviour, each member could be described as sociable if they like interacting with others in their group.

e) pro-social behaviour: is constructive behaviour that benefits other people apart from yourself; it is similar to altruistic behaviour. It's the opposite of antisocial E.g. if you help other people or are a good team worker, you are displaying pro-social behaviour.
You can be asocial (not sociable) but pro-social at the same time.

INTJs: can definitely be prosocial

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very unlikely to be genuinely pro-social unless there's something tangible in it for them

people with Asperger's: can definitely be pro-social, but some might need to be told what is required


f) socially acceptable:
"Socially acceptable" behaviour is anything that is in line with the traditions, customs, etiquette and fashion of a country or community, such as greeting people in the 'correct' way, addressing people correctly, expressing opinions that do not deviate too far from the majority etc. Behaviour that is "not socially acceptable" is not illegal behaviour. The rules of what is considered "socially acceptable" are far stricter than what is considered legal/ illegal.
E.g. using a practical bag that is not very fashionable can be called "socially unacceptable" if a majority of people would not use this kind of bag.

"Behaviour that violates the norms of society" etc. (see description of socipaths/ psychopaths in the literature) actually refers to behaviour that is illegal or at least very immoral, such as torturing animals and other criminal behaviour. This is were a lot of the confusions comes from. Phrasings like this lead people to ask "Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?". This kind of behaviour should just be called "illegal".

INTJs: may reject the customs, etiquette etc. of a society to varying degrees; of course, INTJs can be criminals

sociopaths/ psychopaths: many of them will be very careful not to do anything that is "socially unacceptable" so as not to draw attention to themselves; e.g. whenever a psychopaths rapes/ abducts/ murders a person in Germany, the neighbours say: "He/ she was a normal and nice person like everybody else. They always greeted people in the street." Greeting people is a socially acceptable behaviour and provides a good cover for planning criminal activities. INTJs and people with Asperger's might stand out by neglecting this kind of socially acceptable behaviour, but might never have done anything illegal.

people with Asperger's: may not understand the rules of socially acceptable behaviour to varying degrees; if they are the type that is obsessed with logic, they might disparage this kind of behaviour like some INTJs, but often they express regret at not understanding how to interact; of course, people with Asperger's can be criminal

g) legal/ illegal behaviour
This should be obvious.


2. "Superficial charm"
Superficial charm is behaviour that flatters others but is not accompanied by a feeling of liking people. It is often used to manipulate others for one's own benefit.

INTJs: Te can be used to produce a fake-Fe effect, e.g. saying socially acceptable things because you know that this is expected, although you don't care. In INTJs this is often a passive strategy used to avoid reprisal from people who do not understand them or who they do not have a close relationship with. INTJs seldom use this actively.

All the INTJ's cognitive functions can also be used to build 'personal relationships' to achieve a goal, but this will seldom be used to manipulate people for the INTJs personal gratifications. E.g. I work hard to build superficial personal relationships with my students. Personally, I'd prefer to tell them to shut up and do the work. But I know that they will enjoy learning more if their teacher seems interested in them. So I get to know them in order to motivate them. It is my students who benefit from this. I only benefit indirectly in achieving better results, but it costs me a lot of energy, so that on the whole, my students benefit more. (Influencing vs. manipulating).

Of course, INTJs are also capable of feeling genuine consideration for others and having 'deep' and 'meaningful' relationships.


sociopaths/ psychopaths:
Use their superficial charm far more actively and their aim is to exploit others, e.g. to further their career, recruit people who are dependent on them, etc. Sociopaths/ psychopaths will find it far easier than INTJs to make superficial compliments etc. They are even said to turn themselves into a 'perfect friend' or 'Mr(s) Right' for others, e.g. by (pretending to) share all their interests and opinions. Sociopaths/ psychopaths can do this far more smoothly than INTJs and do not report any difficulty in this area. Their aim will be to manipulate others for their own gain, not to influence others in order to help them.

people with Asperger's: are not often suspected of having 'superficial charm' or any kind of charm



3. Empathy/ sympathy, affective/ cognitive empathy


a) Empathy/ sympathy:
are often used interchangeably.

Empathy: "the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position." (wikipedia) .

Sympathy: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, misfortune, etc."; "afeeling of support for something"; or "a state in which differentpeople share the same interests, opinions, goals, etc.", but not necessarily the feeling that you share another person's emotions (wikipedia)

Cognitive empathy: The ability to use your intellect to understand what somebody else must be feeling.

Affective empathy: The ability to feel what another person is feeling.


INTJs: Can have superior cognitive empathy if they use Ni-Te and consider enough data; but may choose not use this skill if they don’t feel sympathy for a person (e.g. because they are not close to them, do not care about the same things, have not made similar experiences)
Can have varying degrees of affective empathy, but are definitely capable of high levels of affective empathy.

Sociopaths/ Psychopaths: Can have average/ high cognitive empathy (this is what allows them to figure out how people will react to their manipulations!). Are commonly said not to have any affective empathy, but it can be induced in a laboratory setting.

People on the autistic spectrum: Can have varying degrees of cognitive and affective empathy. Some even report experiencing extreme emotional anguish at seeing another person or an animal suffer, but they do not have the cognitive empathy to understand where those feelings come from (i.e. they only learn later that they had those feelings out of sympathy/ empathy with the victim!).Are more likely to misunderstand/ lack cognitive information than to willfully ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've corrected some spellos. Sorry, my laptop ran all the words together. It also needs to say that INTJs can have superior cognitive empathy.

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Outstanding.

I've noticed how psychopathy and the intj are very much the same in terms competence to influence the outcome. But indeed the statement is correct regarding to nuances bteween manipulation/influence. In personal opinion they are the diffrent sides of the same coin if we look at power to outcome ratio. The only tangible major dif is one is the slave of his own mind but the other is free to either play or actually be anything anytime at all.

Also intjs love, psychopaths unfortunately cannot touch that level of counsciousness, ever. The height of perception may look similar but when you put one in face of the other, if you have a healthy, mature intj (male or female doesnt matter) the psychopath will suck the stick, all the way to the tummy

criastiano ronaldo vs Marilyn von Savant? Who knows

ps. This is the 1st time I've triple red any single message. Just great info :)
 

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@anomalia I'm not sure you got to message of this thread, but I'm glad you like it anyway.

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Even better if I do not grasp your pov/message, that means you might just have smt I wanna learn. Could you open up a little what exactly you would the info I was ignarant and stupid about is? :))
 

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Superb post, Flavia. It is (useful) to expand into deeper analysis of functional-defects / conflicts - to better understand, thus "reduce," the conflicts productively (to prevent repetition of the same stupidities) - in general. Thus, moving on to other things. (Types with less developed logical-function(s) (Te/Ti) - will be heavily reliant on correlative/surface data - before more indepth evaluation (!)

Which seems to occur all too often via (typology) itself.
 

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Even better if I do not grasp your pov/message, that means you might just have smt I wanna learn. Could you open up a little what exactly you would the info I was ignarant and stupid about is? :))
INTJs envying psychopaths. You do get a lot of people on this forum obsessing over supervillains, but I haven't seen this in real life.

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FlaviaGemina. Wrote you a very, very long, low quality answer, but Im not feeling well enough for a proper analysis at all today so will just hit the sack. If I pass away over night remind me in the afterlife to respect you for your perfect observation and especially call out on the other thread

As to all the rest of the fellows. FG's thread is the uterus of all sufference, more precisely megalomania
 

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FlaviaGemina. Wrote you a very, very long, low quality answer, but Im not feeling well enough for a proper analysis at all today so will just hit the sack. If I pass away over night remind me in the afterlife to respect you for your perfect observation and especially call out on the other thread

As to all the rest of the fellows. FG's thread is the uterus of all sufference, more precisely megalomania
LOL.

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Thanks, Flavia! The vocabulary makes a big difference in clarifying this topic.

I have been thinking about aspects of this, in regards to empathy. When I told an ISFJ acquaintance that I had a new grandson, she was genuinely really happy and excited about it. She had no stake in it at all, but seemed sincerely delighted. It made her day.

This sort of puzzled me. If the situation was reversed, I wouldn't react the same way. I know the words to say, and would be sure to say them, but I don't care if someone not in my family has a grandchild. It doesn't matter to me at all. But I know the socially acceptable things to say, and I say them.

That makes me sound pretty cold, as if I don't have empathy. But dig a little deeper. Why do I say these socially acceptable things? Is my use of superficial charm just a disguise, to benefit myself somehow? Not usually. With the ISFJ above, I use it in order to not hurt her. I know she would be unhappy if she thought I didn't care about her family, and I don't want her to be unhappy. That would make me unhappy also. So I look at her baby pictures and listen to stories about her father, to make her happy. I am using cognitive empathy on one level, ( "I know from experience that this will make her happy") but that is motivated by affective empathy ("I care about her and it matters to me if she is unhappy."). I think this is similar to Flavia's example about connecting with her students.

I am not naturally good at social interaction. It is a lot of work for me, and there are too many emotional undercurrents and subtexts to track, and I naturally am very blunt and say things people don't want to hear. I put in a lot of conscious effort to improve. It was an calculated exercise in cognitive empathy. Psychopaths also use cognitive empathy to figure out social interactions. Perhaps that is why so many people compare us.

I learned the rules, the "socially acceptable behavior." I watched how others interact, what works and doesn't work, I evaluated how people reacted to what I did, I thought about why, and I practiced. This was, of course, partly out of self-interest, which again is true of a psychopath. But it was also because I care about connecting with others, I care about how they feel. I feel it when others are in pain and I want them to not have to feel that way. People matter to me.

From what I have read about psychopaths, they also need connections with people. Perhaps that is a universal part of being human. But they are so lacking in affective empathy they cannot form connections the way the rest of us do. They need attention from others, but only on their terms, and only so that they can get what they want. The other person does not matter to them.

In MBTI terms, I am very weak on Fe, although strong on Fi. I use Ni, Se, and Te to mimic Fe, but it isn't the same and I know it isn't the same. I have learned to hide this aspect of myself, especially from Fe users. On the few occasions I have talked about this, they are shocked and uneasy, and deal with it by not believing me. I think, for them, social connections are so natural and automatic, that it is incomprehensible that it is not true for everyone.
 

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I learned the rules, the "socially acceptable behavior." I watched how others interact, what works and doesn't work, I evaluated how people reacted to what I did, I thought about why, and I practiced. This was, of course, partly out of self-interest, which again is true of a psychopath. But it was also because I care about connecting with others, I care about how they feel. I feel it when others are in pain and I want them to not have to feel that way. People matter to me..
This is true of everyone! There's no need to compare oneself with psychopaths here, unless you want to compare everyone with them. Have you ever read one of those very Fe-affirming articles on why it's important to socialize, make friends etc. Have you ever seen an Fe-dom worry about someone who doesn't have friends? They all state *selfish* reasons why one should have friends.

It really rubs me the wrong way entirely because there is so much pressure and glorification of social interaction and then you find out that they see it as something one should do for selfish reasons. I mean, why would they try to force people to basically be more selfish. Why are they morally outraged that people are not more selfish?
I actually like my friends and do a lot for them. I don't go "It's healthy to have friends. So I will go out and find a new friend now so they can make me healthy."
 

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Such detailed anal-ysis points to IxTP since INTJ are more practical, yeah?
Such jumping to conclusions points to typism :)

Don't you think an INTJ would be capable of such a detailed Ti-like analysis after reading the same questions over and over for years?
Plus, this has a lot of practical applications. In case they have escaped you:

- N00bs could read this thread and refrain from asking their weird questions
- Fellow INTJs who have misconceptions and beat themselves up could feel better
- INTJs could start using the correct words in the real world to defend themselves against people who criticize them unduly
...
 

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aspergers/INTJ --and being a teacher

Dear Flavia

I just joined this group and found your observations (now quite old, I guess) really helpful. I'm a female INTJ married to someone with Aspergers and so I've have thought a lot about the similarities/differences. In some ways the differences are very noticeable but being INTJ does make it easier--sometimes--to put up with a lack of emotional connection

Also your comments about making an effort with students really resonated with me. I'm a professor and my mantra used to be--teach the subject matter, not the students. But I realized eventually how dumb that was-- for most of my students having a personal connection with the professor makes all the difference to their intellectual development (when I was a student I never cared). So now, like you, I bend over backward to seem aimable/friendly/approachable, and force myself to smile more-even though it's role playing for the most part, and quite exhausting.

Looking forward to reading more posts and learning a ton of stuff.
Rita


QUOTE=FlaviaGemina;38361338]Anyone who's been on this forum for longer than a minute will have noticed that the same questions keep coming up:
- Are INTJs more likely to have Asperger's?
- Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?

In my opinion, a lot of those questions (and misconceptions) are based on a the vague way in which words such as "social", "antisocial", "society" etc. are used by the general public. In some cases, I think different words are available, but people are not precise. In other cases, there might not be alternatives, but people don't think about the ambiguity of those words. If I wanted to be prescriptive, I would recommend using/ inventing different words.

Below I will give some examples and definitions that will hopefully make it easier to see the differences between INTJs vs. sociopaths/ psychopaths vs. Asperger's

Please comment and add your own observations. Also, let me know if you disagree with my analysis.



1. Social, societal, antisocial, asocial, (inter)personal, sociable, pro-social, socially acceptable, legal vs. illegal
a) Social: This adjective is used in so many context that it can describe almost anything from a gathering of acquaintances, to a person's place in a hierarchy defined by education and income to issues that affect (a large portion of) the population of a country. In some contexts I would argue that it would make more sense to use "societal", "(inter)personal" or other words.
For example, an issue that is caused by the way that life is organized in a country could be called "societal" instead of "social". "Socially underprivileged" people could be more precisely described as "economically underprivileged" etc.
Some types of "social relationships" and "social skills" should be described as "(inter)personal". In this case, "social" refers to interacting with colleagues, acquaintances, the general public or groups of people whereas "interpersonal" refers to one-to-one communication.

INTJs: may not see any value in "social relationships" of a superficial nature. Most of the time, they probably understand the rules of 'small talk' etc. very well, but can't be bothered.
But INTJs may be very strong in "interpersonal" relationships (Ni = psychological profiling, Te = choosing an appropriate course of action, Fi = considering a friend's personal well-being, maintaining a long-term relationship).
They are likely to prefer a small, close circle of friends and to be selective about who they let into their life.

sociopaths/ psychopaths: may be very good at navigating "social" interactions (see "Superficial Charm") below, but this will be based on instrumentality, they probably won't just enjoy people's company for the sake of it but will have some aim in mind. It's very unlikely that sociopaths/ psychopaths will have close, reciprocal "interpersonal relationships". It is well known that sociopaths move from one 'victim' to the next and that many psychopaths abuse their spouses and children long before they commit a murder.

People with Asperger's: (It's difficult to make generalizations, I don't mean to offend anyone with Asperger's):
I would say that they struggle with both "social relationships" and "interpersonal" relationships. Although they may have a lot to offer in "interpersonal relationships", they might find it hard to get to this stage in the first place as a lot of people will misunderstand their behaviour. Their ability to interact with others may be affected by sensory over-stimulation and/ or rigidly logical/literal thinking and/or "lack of theory of mind" (not everyone with Asperger's has all of those symptoms and the prevalence of 'logical/ literal thinking' is over-reported in my opinion).
It is often said that people with Asperger's are very eager/ desperate to make friends but they don't know how to. This sounds less selective than INTJs.
[A lot of people on the autism spectrum are also extroverted and feelings types. I've worked with people on the spectrum who would type as ENTP, ENFP, ISFJ and seen at least one young man on the TV who was very ESFP].

b) antisocial
"Antisocial" does not mean "quiet/ reserved/ introverted". In fact, it means the opposite. Antisocial behaviour is behaviour that is disruptive and harms a group or those around the antisocial individual. Antisocial behaviour can be behaviour that prevents a group from reaching their aim. In some countries, some offenses are labelled "antisocial". Therefore, "antisocial" behaviour can border on illegal behaviour. See Anti-Social-Behaviour-Orders in the UK.
Examples: always shouting out in class and preventing your classmates from learning; playing loud music at night; intimidating passerby in the street; damaging public property ....

INTJs: most healthy INTJs are very unlikely to deliberately engage in such behaviour. In fact, it is the exact opposite of how INTJs normally behave; of course, INTJs are capable of any kind of human behaviour

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very likely to engage in this type of behaviour or even illegal activities from a young age

people with Aspergers: are no more likely than the average person to deliberately engage in this kind of behaviour; if they are disruptive, it might be a consequence of having sensory overload or unaware of other people's needs; of course they are capable of any kind of human behaviour, just like anyone

c) asocial: This is the word you're looking for when you use "antisocial". Asocial means not very interested in 'social' interactions. An asocial attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above.
A person might asocial and antisocial or they could be asocial and pro-social (see below).

d) sociable: The opposite of asocial. A person who enjoys interactions with others. This attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above. E.g. in a group of youths who are engaged in antisocial behaviour, each member could be described as sociable if they like interacting with others in their group.

e) pro-social behaviour: is constructive behaviour that benefits other people apart from yourself; it is similar to altruistic behaviour. It's the opposite of antisocial E.g. if you help other people or are a good team worker, you are displaying pro-social behaviour.
You can be asocial (not sociable) but pro-social at the same time.

INTJs: can definitely be prosocial

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very unlikely to be genuinely pro-social unless there's something tangible in it for them

people with Asperger's: can definitely be pro-social, but some might need to be told what is required


f) socially acceptable:
"Socially acceptable" behaviour is anything that is in line with the traditions, customs, etiquette and fashion of a country or community, such as greeting people in the 'correct' way, addressing people correctly, expressing opinions that do not deviate too far from the majority etc. Behaviour that is "not socially acceptable" is not illegal behaviour. The rules of what is considered "socially acceptable" are far stricter than what is considered legal/ illegal.
E.g. using a practical bag that is not very fashionable can be called "socially unacceptable" if a majority of people would not use this kind of bag.

"Behaviour that violates the norms of society" etc. (see description of socipaths/ psychopaths in the literature) actually refers to behaviour that is illegal or at least very immoral, such as torturing animals and other criminal behaviour. This is were a lot of the confusions comes from. Phrasings like this lead people to ask "Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?". This kind of behaviour should just be called "illegal".

INTJs: may reject the customs, etiquette etc. of a society to varying degrees; of course, INTJs can be criminals

sociopaths/ psychopaths: many of them will be very careful not to do anything that is "socially unacceptable" so as not to draw attention to themselves; e.g. whenever a psychopaths rapes/ abducts/ murders a person in Germany, the neighbours say: "He/ she was a normal and nice person like everybody else. They always greeted people in the street." Greeting people is a socially acceptable behaviour and provides a good cover for planning criminal activities. INTJs and people with Asperger's might stand out by neglecting this kind of socially acceptable behaviour, but might never have done anything illegal.

people with Asperger's: may not understand the rules of socially acceptable behaviour to varying degrees; if they are the type that is obsessed with logic, they might disparage this kind of behaviour like some INTJs, but often they express regret at not understanding how to interact; of course, people with Asperger's can be criminal

g) legal/ illegal behaviour
This should be obvious.


2. "Superficial charm"
Superficial charm is behaviour that flatters others but is not accompanied by a feeling of liking people. It is often used to manipulate others for one's own benefit.

INTJs: Te can be used to produce a fake-Fe effect, e.g. saying socially acceptable things because you know that this is expected, although you don't care. In INTJs this is often a passive strategy used to avoid reprisal from people who do not understand them or who they do not have a close relationship with. INTJs seldom use this actively.

All the INTJ's cognitive functions can also be used to build 'personal relationships' to achieve a goal, but this will seldom be used to manipulate people for the INTJs personal gratifications. E.g. I work hard to build superficial personal relationships with my students. Personally, I'd prefer to tell them to shut up and do the work. But I know that they will enjoy learning more if their teacher seems interested in them. So I get to know them in order to motivate them. It is my students who benefit from this. I only benefit indirectly in achieving better results, but it costs me a lot of energy, so that on the whole, my students benefit more. (Influencing vs. manipulating).

Of course, INTJs are also capable of feeling genuine consideration for others and having 'deep' and 'meaningful' relationships.


sociopaths/ psychopaths:
Use their superficial charm far more actively and their aim is to exploit others, e.g. to further their career, recruit people who are dependent on them, etc. Sociopaths/ psychopaths will find it far easier than INTJs to make superficial compliments etc. They are even said to turn themselves into a 'perfect friend' or 'Mr(s) Right' for others, e.g. by (pretending to) share all their interests and opinions. Sociopaths/ psychopaths can do this far more smoothly than INTJs and do not report any difficulty in this area. Their aim will be to manipulate others for their own gain, not to influence others in order to help them.

people with Asperger's: are not often suspected of having 'superficial charm' or any kind of charm



3. Empathy/ sympathy, affective/ cognitive empathy


a) Empathy/ sympathy:
are often used interchangeably.

Empathy: "the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position." (wikipedia) .

Sympathy: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, misfortune, etc."; "afeeling of support for something"; or "a state in which differentpeople share the same interests, opinions, goals, etc.", but not necessarily the feeling that you share another person's emotions (wikipedia)

Cognitive empathy: The ability to use your intellect to understand what somebody else must be feeling.

Affective empathy: The ability to feel what another person is feeling.


INTJs: Can have superior cognitive empathy if they use Ni-Te and consider enough data; but may choose not use this skill if they don’t feel sympathy for a person (e.g. because they are not close to them, do not care about the same things, have not made similar experiences)
Can have varying degrees of affective empathy, but are definitely capable of high levels of affective empathy.

Sociopaths/ Psychopaths: Can have average/ high cognitive empathy (this is what allows them to figure out how people will react to their manipulations!). Are commonly said not to have any affective empathy, but it can be induced in a laboratory setting.

People on the autistic spectrum: Can have varying degrees of cognitive and affective empathy. Some even report experiencing extreme emotional anguish at seeing another person or an animal suffer, but they do not have the cognitive empathy to understand where those feelings come from (i.e. they only learn later that they had those feelings out of sympathy/ empathy with the victim!).Are more likely to misunderstand/ lack cognitive information than to willfully ignore it.[/QUOTE]
 

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Anyone who's been on this forum for longer than a minute will have noticed that the same questions keep coming up:
- Are INTJs more likely to have Asperger's?
- Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?

In my opinion, a lot of those questions (and misconceptions) are based on a the vague way in which words such as "social", "antisocial", "society" etc. are used by the general public. In some cases, I think different words are available, but people are not precise. In other cases, there might not be alternatives, but people don't think about the ambiguity of those words. If I wanted to be prescriptive, I would recommend using/ inventing different words.

Below I will give some examples and definitions that will hopefully make it easier to see the differences between INTJs vs. sociopaths/ psychopaths vs. Asperger's

Please comment and add your own observations. Also, let me know if you disagree with my analysis.



1. Social, societal, antisocial, asocial, (inter)personal, sociable, pro-social, socially acceptable, legal vs. illegal
a) Social: This adjective is used in so many context that it can describe almost anything from a gathering of acquaintances, to a person's place in a hierarchy defined by education and income to issues that affect (a large portion of) the population of a country. In some contexts I would argue that it would make more sense to use "societal", "(inter)personal" or other words.
For example, an issue that is caused by the way that life is organized in a country could be called "societal" instead of "social". "Socially underprivileged" people could be more precisely described as "economically underprivileged" etc.
Some types of "social relationships" and "social skills" should be described as "(inter)personal". In this case, "social" refers to interacting with colleagues, acquaintances, the general public or groups of people whereas "interpersonal" refers to one-to-one communication.

INTJs: may not see any value in "social relationships" of a superficial nature. Most of the time, they probably understand the rules of 'small talk' etc. very well, but can't be bothered.
But INTJs may be very strong in "interpersonal" relationships (Ni = psychological profiling, Te = choosing an appropriate course of action, Fi = considering a friend's personal well-being, maintaining a long-term relationship).
They are likely to prefer a small, close circle of friends and to be selective about who they let into their life.

sociopaths/ psychopaths: may be very good at navigating "social" interactions (see "Superficial Charm") below, but this will be based on instrumentality, they probably won't just enjoy people's company for the sake of it but will have some aim in mind. It's very unlikely that sociopaths/ psychopaths will have close, reciprocal "interpersonal relationships". It is well known that sociopaths move from one 'victim' to the next and that many psychopaths abuse their spouses and children long before they commit a murder.

People with Asperger's: (It's difficult to make generalizations, I don't mean to offend anyone with Asperger's):
I would say that they struggle with both "social relationships" and "interpersonal" relationships. Although they may have a lot to offer in "interpersonal relationships", they might find it hard to get to this stage in the first place as a lot of people will misunderstand their behaviour. Their ability to interact with others may be affected by sensory over-stimulation and/ or rigidly logical/literal thinking and/or "lack of theory of mind" (not everyone with Asperger's has all of those symptoms and the prevalence of 'logical/ literal thinking' is over-reported in my opinion).
It is often said that people with Asperger's are very eager/ desperate to make friends but they don't know how to. This sounds less selective than INTJs.
[A lot of people on the autism spectrum are also extroverted and feelings types. I've worked with people on the spectrum who would type as ENTP, ENFP, ISFJ and seen at least one young man on the TV who was very ESFP].

b) antisocial
"Antisocial" does not mean "quiet/ reserved/ introverted". In fact, it means the opposite. Antisocial behaviour is behaviour that is disruptive and harms a group or those around the antisocial individual. Antisocial behaviour can be behaviour that prevents a group from reaching their aim. In some countries, some offenses are labelled "antisocial". Therefore, "antisocial" behaviour can border on illegal behaviour. See Anti-Social-Behaviour-Orders in the UK.
Examples: always shouting out in class and preventing your classmates from learning; playing loud music at night; intimidating passerby in the street; damaging public property ....

INTJs: most healthy INTJs are very unlikely to deliberately engage in such behaviour. In fact, it is the exact opposite of how INTJs normally behave; of course, INTJs are capable of any kind of human behaviour

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very likely to engage in this type of behaviour or even illegal activities from a young age

people with Aspergers: are no more likely than the average person to deliberately engage in this kind of behaviour; if they are disruptive, it might be a consequence of having sensory overload or unaware of other people's needs; of course they are capable of any kind of human behaviour, just like anyone

c) asocial: This is the word you're looking for when you use "antisocial". Asocial means not very interested in 'social' interactions. An asocial attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above.
A person might asocial and antisocial or they could be asocial and pro-social (see below).

d) sociable: The opposite of asocial. A person who enjoys interactions with others. This attitude could be combined with any of the behaviours described above. E.g. in a group of youths who are engaged in antisocial behaviour, each member could be described as sociable if they like interacting with others in their group.

e) pro-social behaviour: is constructive behaviour that benefits other people apart from yourself; it is similar to altruistic behaviour. It's the opposite of antisocial E.g. if you help other people or are a good team worker, you are displaying pro-social behaviour.
You can be asocial (not sociable) but pro-social at the same time.

INTJs: can definitely be prosocial

sociopaths/ psychopaths: are very unlikely to be genuinely pro-social unless there's something tangible in it for them

people with Asperger's: can definitely be pro-social, but some might need to be told what is required


f) socially acceptable:
"Socially acceptable" behaviour is anything that is in line with the traditions, customs, etiquette and fashion of a country or community, such as greeting people in the 'correct' way, addressing people correctly, expressing opinions that do not deviate too far from the majority etc. Behaviour that is "not socially acceptable" is not illegal behaviour. The rules of what is considered "socially acceptable" are far stricter than what is considered legal/ illegal.
E.g. using a practical bag that is not very fashionable can be called "socially unacceptable" if a majority of people would not use this kind of bag.

"Behaviour that violates the norms of society" etc. (see description of socipaths/ psychopaths in the literature) actually refers to behaviour that is illegal or at least very immoral, such as torturing animals and other criminal behaviour. This is were a lot of the confusions comes from. Phrasings like this lead people to ask "Are INTJs sociopaths/ psychopaths?". This kind of behaviour should just be called "illegal".

INTJs: may reject the customs, etiquette etc. of a society to varying degrees; of course, INTJs can be criminals

sociopaths/ psychopaths: many of them will be very careful not to do anything that is "socially unacceptable" so as not to draw attention to themselves; e.g. whenever a psychopaths rapes/ abducts/ murders a person in Germany, the neighbours say: "He/ she was a normal and nice person like everybody else. They always greeted people in the street." Greeting people is a socially acceptable behaviour and provides a good cover for planning criminal activities. INTJs and people with Asperger's might stand out by neglecting this kind of socially acceptable behaviour, but might never have done anything illegal.

people with Asperger's: may not understand the rules of socially acceptable behaviour to varying degrees; if they are the type that is obsessed with logic, they might disparage this kind of behaviour like some INTJs, but often they express regret at not understanding how to interact; of course, people with Asperger's can be criminal

g) legal/ illegal behaviour
This should be obvious.


2. "Superficial charm"
Superficial charm is behaviour that flatters others but is not accompanied by a feeling of liking people. It is often used to manipulate others for one's own benefit.

INTJs: Te can be used to produce a fake-Fe effect, e.g. saying socially acceptable things because you know that this is expected, although you don't care. In INTJs this is often a passive strategy used to avoid reprisal from people who do not understand them or who they do not have a close relationship with. INTJs seldom use this actively.

All the INTJ's cognitive functions can also be used to build 'personal relationships' to achieve a goal, but this will seldom be used to manipulate people for the INTJs personal gratifications. E.g. I work hard to build superficial personal relationships with my students. Personally, I'd prefer to tell them to shut up and do the work. But I know that they will enjoy learning more if their teacher seems interested in them. So I get to know them in order to motivate them. It is my students who benefit from this. I only benefit indirectly in achieving better results, but it costs me a lot of energy, so that on the whole, my students benefit more. (Influencing vs. manipulating).

Of course, INTJs are also capable of feeling genuine consideration for others and having 'deep' and 'meaningful' relationships.


sociopaths/ psychopaths:
Use their superficial charm far more actively and their aim is to exploit others, e.g. to further their career, recruit people who are dependent on them, etc. Sociopaths/ psychopaths will find it far easier than INTJs to make superficial compliments etc. They are even said to turn themselves into a 'perfect friend' or 'Mr(s) Right' for others, e.g. by (pretending to) share all their interests and opinions. Sociopaths/ psychopaths can do this far more smoothly than INTJs and do not report any difficulty in this area. Their aim will be to manipulate others for their own gain, not to influence others in order to help them.

people with Asperger's: are not often suspected of having 'superficial charm' or any kind of charm



3. Empathy/ sympathy, affective/ cognitive empathy


a) Empathy/ sympathy:
are often used interchangeably.

Empathy: "the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position." (wikipedia) .

Sympathy: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, misfortune, etc."; "afeeling of support for something"; or "a state in which differentpeople share the same interests, opinions, goals, etc.", but not necessarily the feeling that you share another person's emotions (wikipedia)

Cognitive empathy: The ability to use your intellect to understand what somebody else must be feeling.

Affective empathy: The ability to feel what another person is feeling.


INTJs: Can have superior cognitive empathy if they use Ni-Te and consider enough data; but may choose not use this skill if they don’t feel sympathy for a person (e.g. because they are not close to them, do not care about the same things, have not made similar experiences)
Can have varying degrees of affective empathy, but are definitely capable of high levels of affective empathy.

Sociopaths/ Psychopaths: Can have average/ high cognitive empathy (this is what allows them to figure out how people will react to their manipulations!). Are commonly said not to have any affective empathy, but it can be induced in a laboratory setting.

People on the autistic spectrum: Can have varying degrees of cognitive and affective empathy. Some even report experiencing extreme emotional anguish at seeing another person or an animal suffer, but they do not have the cognitive empathy to understand where those feelings come from (i.e. they only learn later that they had those feelings out of sympathy/ empathy with the victim!).Are more likely to misunderstand/ lack cognitive information than to willfully ignore it.
A very good summary of clarifications.

On some uses of the word "social," I don't think it's quite necessary to add additional distinctions (in most cases) beyond providing context. It's a very nuanced word (like many other words are) and it's really a matter of understanding definitions and context; as long as those are present, I don't think use of that particular word presents too much of an issue. In some situations, because it has a broad meaning, it may actually make it preferable to use. For example, I think "socially underprivileged" is preferable to "economically underprivileged" because there is more to it than the mere financial aspect of it; it can have negative ramifications on "superficial relationships," "social status," and other "social" things beyond the "economy" aspect of it, and "socially underprivileged" covers that in ways "economically underprivileged" does not. If you were to use "economically underprivileged" to try and cover all of the same things "socially underprivileged" does, you would be trying to add the same nuances to the word as if you had decided to use "socially underprivileged" to begin with. (That is, "socially" seems to gloss over the economic aspects, and "economic" appears to gloss over the social aspects.)

I think a good addition to the list would be another phrase that gets thrown around a lot: "Social intelligence." (I would consider it "the ability to read, collect, interpret, and respond to the social data and behavior of other people," and would have bearing on pretty much all of the descriptions you provided above.)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A very good summary of clarifications.

On some uses of the word "social," I don't think it's quite necessary to add additional distinctions (in most cases) beyond providing context. It's a very nuanced word (like many other words are) and it's really a matter of understanding definitions and context; as long as those are present, I don't think use of that particular word presents too much of an issue. In some situations, because it has a broad meaning, it may actually make it preferable to use. For example, I think "socially underprivileged" is preferable to "economically underprivileged" because there is more to it than the mere financial aspect of it; it can have negative ramifications on "superficial relationships," "social status," and other "social" things beyond the "economy" aspect of it, and "socially underprivileged" covers that in ways "economically underprivileged" does not. If you were to use "economically underprivileged" to try and cover all of the same things "socially underprivileged" does, you would be trying to add the same nuances to the word as if you had decided to use "socially underprivileged" to begin with. (That is, "socially" seems to gloss over the economic aspects, and "economic" appears to gloss over the social aspects.)

I think a good addition to the list would be another phrase that gets thrown around a lot: "Social intelligence." (I would consider it "the ability to read, collect, interpret, and respond to the social data and behavior of other people," and would have bearing on pretty much all of the descriptions you provided above.)
I kind of agree with what you said about "socially underprivileged". But it gets annoying e.g. when you're reading a book on Social Studies or a long academic article and "social" gets used in all of those different meanings. Those types of publications should analyse causal relationships etc in depth and if they use "social" in 20 different ways within a few pages, any explanatory value that the word might have gets lost.
 

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I kind of agree with what you said about "socially underprivileged". But it gets annoying e.g. when you're reading a book on Social Studies or a long academic article and "social" gets used in all of those different meanings. Those types of publications should analyse causal relationships etc in depth and if they use "social" in 20 different ways within a few pages, any explanatory value that the word might have gets lost.
That makes sense. It's hard to maintain context without additional explanation when reading/writing about those topics.
 

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I ended up spending quite a bit of time with a malignant narcissist (ENTJ). His friend was a psychopath (INTJ) that took great pleasure in basically turning my ENTJ friend kinda insane. also into a sociopath. Sociopaths are created while psychopaths are born. This ENTJ tries really hard to have zero empathy so that if anyone gets in his way he can 'remove' them without feeling guilt. This INTJ really does have zero empathy and feels pleasure when he messes with people. He transfers dead bodies for a living, lots of books on famous murderers, decorates his house with blood splatter paintings, by far one of the most intelligent beings I've ever met unfortunately. I actually went into some pretty deep depression after meeting them. Both of them threatened my life if I ever came back to their city after they figured out I didn't exactly fit in with them.

With all that being said I can assure you that all INTJs/ENTJs aren't all psycopaths/sociopaths. Some of the most empathetic, loving people I've ever met were INTJ.

Here's a great video on defining the words that I think will help you. What this person says matches my experience.
 

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It is well known that sociopaths move from one 'victim' to the next and that many psychopaths abuse their spouses and children long before they commit a murder.
wellllll ... just to pick nits, i think the implied conflation of sociopaths==commits a murder lowers the credibility level a bit. i know two people off the top of my head who i think really are sociopathic. neither one of them has ever killed anyone afaik, and they've both been alive long enough to have had plenty of time to do it.

it seems counterproductive to me to think of sociopathy only in terms of murder. sensationalism like that only increases the likelihood of us failing to see one when he or she is right under our nose and operating on a far more everyday kind of scale. i also (fwiw) have the impression that 'my' two specimens are probably less likely to commit even gbh than many more straightforwardly countersocial people i've met. they're far too obsessed with the preciousness of their own personal skin.


it can be induced in a laboratory setting.
HAH. now there's an experiment i'd like to know a bit more about. not just for flippancy but also genuine clarification. induced what? induced how? how do they even measure or qualify whether or what the subjects were feeling?
 
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