An Oddly Personal Post, or How I Manage to Combine an Aspy Personality Type with Success in Sales

This is in response to David Foster’s query in the comments section. 

First let me clarify, I do NOT suffer from diagnosed Aspergers, I just joke about having it a lot.   As a child the school psychiatrists wanted to diagnose me with something and my parents wouldn’t allow it (even though my father was a practicing psychologist when I was born, before he became a DR).   I think at the time many on the autism scale were diagnosed as “emotionally immature”.   My father has the same personality, and so did my paternal grandmother, who had an EdD from I believe Columbia in the 50s, somehow, as I’ve been told women weren’t allowed to do anything in the 50’s–weird. My cousin Jonathan has full-on Aspergers and worked as a scientist for Bell Labs.   So this personality trait or “ailment” whatever it is runs strong in my family.  Whatever it is the Myers Briggs is testing for, I think when you test as an INTJ you are actually on the highest functioning end of the autism spectrum, intellectually autistic but still with enough social intelligence to grasp social ritual and practice it, albeit with disdain and little desire to have to deal with social situations at all. 

As a child I was very earnest, bookish and a homebody.  My mother is a highly neurotypical female who not only didn’t allow me to exhibit any nascent weirdness but she spent hours molding a thick veneer of her social self onto me, which I am thankful for because she is so opposite–the life of the party, the center of attention wherever she goes and a superior manipulator of other humans.  She was able to do this solely because even though I was weird I really liked boys!  So I was able to see the utility of her molding process.  If you watch the show “Big Bang Theory”, imagine Penny with a homunculous of Sheldon in her brain (charming, I know).   This served me well as a teen and 20s but in my 30s with the advent of a computer I reverted right back to a self-contained autodidact obsessively burning through intellectual pursuits and hobby after hobby and discarding them unceremoniously.  This made my “autisitic” side very very pronounced for a while.  It was during this period that I decided to take bar review 8 years after law school and take the bar, I passed, though with only vague aspirations to practicing, I see now it was really just another hobby in the end.    Real estate is another one of these “hobbies” where I can gain a big store of specialized knowledge and share it with other people, which is basically what I appear to have been put on this earth to do. 

Thing is, I don’t care about money, have no ambition and don’t care WHAT store of knowledge I share.  When I was obsessed with knitting I would go to the yarn stores I did not work at and help people because I knew everything about yarn, when I managed a video store I had our whole catalogue memorized and knew where every video box in the store was–I had a coterie of customers who wouldn’t rent a movie without discussing it with me and this was wholly satisfying to me.  So when I got into real estate for some extra scratch I was able to not only be that sort of knowledge helper I always naturally want to be, but I had a vast store of knowledge from my study of personality types to bring to bear, an autistic lack of self-consciousness, an ability to treat humans like revenue unit pieces in an RPG and so to not care about rejection and my mother’s personality to call upon for when I need to dazzle a prospect.  Pretty lethal combination.

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15 Responses to An Oddly Personal Post, or How I Manage to Combine an Aspy Personality Type with Success in Sales

  1. I’m just going to leave this personalized comment..hehe

    The most valuable asset, in my ‘knowing’ you is your ability to discern the world and it’s events in a clear-cut, fact finding fury. This provides me logical perspective and a few laughs at other’s expense. Thank you for that.

    Secondly, twice now I have heard you give credit and even thank others for their ability to perceive the world and it’s events with emotion and connection to people’s experiences. Not having a pull towards emotions and feelings isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when you are able to acknowledge it’s importance along side a ‘nod’ to your peers and acquaintances.

    I admire the childhood you have described to me. Your books and studies came with a relationship with those that taught you. The fact that your parents are still married gives me great reason to listen to your ideas on marriage and divorce and how to be a wife to your partner.
    I don’t care what you call it, your focus and will is well worth listening in on.

  2. David Foster says:

    Thanks for reply!

    Thinking about it, the combination of very mild aspy-ness combined with sales success is probably not as rare as I had postulated it to be. Bill Gates, for example, is often asserted to be somewhat aspy, and he certainly could not have achieve what he has without serious sales skills. (I haven’t met Gates, but a friend who had dinner with him several years ago remarked that he was courteous and respectful to everyone, including people in positions of low relative power such as waiters and busboys–the only exception being journalists, which I think we can all applaud)

    • dana says:

      part of aspy/intj is lack of concern for social class, so that probably has a lot to do with it, i am no more cowed by millionaires than i am disdainful of blue collar workers, they are all just customer thingies who need my help.

  3. Justin says:

    And you, still single? Inconceivable

  4. measure of devotion says:

    “You should punish in the same manner those who commit crimes with those who accuse falsely.”
    — Thucydides

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/957.Thucydides

  5. Just Thinking says:

    Myers-Briggs TJ women are usually smart & interesting & fun, also can be hard to live with in an LTR. They can be very controlling, also often disconnected from their emotions and not recognizing or rejecting any needs for male dominance they may have.

    Probably the best chance for a successful LTR with a TJ woman is if her sexual atraction for a man is overpowering enough to make her want to be very submissive in the bedroom despite her need for control, and this radiates to some extent into other aspects of the relationship.

    • dana says:

      my husband is simply the only man ive ever met more dominant than me and he has garnered my respect on 100 levels so i am happily surrendered to him. outside my marriage i am extremely dominant without being domineering–a difficult task

  6. Gunslingergregi says:

    I often have wondered why real estate agents get paid so much for such an easy job?

    he he he

    • David Foster says:

      I’ve never sold real estate, but I’d guess one of the hard parts of the job is sorting out the marital politics among couples who are perspective purchasers…ie, wife likes the house, husband not so much (or vice-versa)…what’s the likelihood that this couple is a *serious* prospect, and how much time should you invest in them?

      A little like a common scenario in business-to-business sales, where it’s not always clear who the *real* decision makers are at your target corporation…

  7. Laura says:

    It’s good you recognize what your personality is like and accept it. I have found that I can’t really change my basic nature, but being aware of it helps keep my worst tendencies in check. I can also try to actively improve on my weak areas.

  8. maurice says:

    So how does the punk-rock club-scene youth fit in…?

  9. Om Sweet Om says:

    “Whatever it is the Myers Briggs is testing for, I think when you test as an INTJ you are actually on the highest functioning end of the autism spectrum, intellectually autistic but still with enough social intelligence to grasp social ritual and practice it, albeit with disdain and little desire to have to deal with social situations at all. ”

    I have disdain for my own mainstream American social rituals but there are other (foreign) cultural rituals that I’m totally ok with. I’ve been at odds with my own (American) culture and its so-called “values” from early childhood.

    Even then, I find myself at odds with what many humans “value”, no matter where they are from.

    ” My mother is a highly neurotypical female”

    Is that what sex positive feminists means by “cis-gendered” or a “female identified woman”? What exactly do you mean by “neurotypical female” in this context?

    • dana says:

      i have no fucking idea what feminists mean with any of their stupid gobbledygook. i mean my mom is as hump “of the bell curve” cognitively female as you can get, as opposed to me who has my father’s brain trapped in a female body

      • Om Sweet Om says:

        You’re in the US right? I’ve gotten feedback from men here (and some women) about sounding and appearing unhappy. I speak in my normal tone and have a straight (but relaxed face). I don’t get it. Is this gender specific? Are American women expected to speak in a fake manner and smile all the time or something?

        PS: I was born and raised in this country but travelled and lived abroad for most of my adulthood. I find Americans (even though I am one) and their culture hard to figure out.

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