I Cannot Tell a Lie… or can’t I?

It’s a popular belief that people with autistic disorders are incapable of lying. This Aspie would beg to differ…


Whoever said Aspies can’t lie? The theory would seem to originate from the Aspie tendency towards literalism and pedantic degree of factual accuracy – for example insisting that Bohemian Rhapsody came out 40 years ago rather than the more strictly accurate 41 at the time of writing.

Of course such a question might be more requiring of a literal answer if one were asked “How long ago did that record come out?” whereas the more general ‘40’ would be more likely to be used in terms of a question like “How much do you think the influence of the song and its video are felt now, 40 years down the line?”

It took a while for me to develop in this regard. One does eventually learn that such exacting terms can make one look like a nerd and don’t work towards assimilation in a world where the motto is that “He who thinks by the inch and talks by the yard deserves to be kicked by the foot.” (Yes we can do humour – see here if you doubt that).

But can we act to deceive should we wish to? Of course we frickin’ well can. Unless we have especially neurotic issues with scruples as I did back when even a cover story to conceal the fact of a surprise party for the person being spoken to, or even to preserve someone’s life was totally contrary to my conscience.

Oh yes Aspies can lie. We can exaggerate our condition. We can use it as an excuse. If you’re anything like me then you can try to deceive yourself, in a conflict situation, that you didn’t understand what somebody said when the truth is it meant exactly what you were afraid it did. We can make a psychological reaction to it sound like a symptom, only for a more desirable set of circumstances to show that yes we blooming well CAN do whatever it is. Note to neurotypicals – do not make assumptions about what we can and can’t do, I’ll deal with that in another entry someday.

The late Marc Segar used to talk about what he called ‘deception strategies’. This meant basically trying to assimilate into society, conceal one’s idiosyncracies and even one’s specialist subjects i.e. obsessions. I don’t believe in that to the same extent that he did but again that’s a topic for another time,

But I believe it proves that yes we CAN lie when we want to. Maybe not when it comes to our incurable obsession with exactitude but certainly when we feel a strong enough desire to protect our own interests.