I’m an introvert. I’m also somewhat reserved and emotionally careful. By emotionally careful, I don’t mean I have a hard time trusting or loving people. I mean that when I feel something, I think about why I feel that way, and that why shapes my response.
These particular aspects of my personality annoy or frustrate some people. A number of those irritated people have told me that I must have Asperger’s. They usually phrase this in an accusatory way and use it to try to convince me that my response to something is atypical, and therefore wrong.
I don’t think I am an Aspie, but it doesn’t really matter. Being “accused” of having Asperger’s when someone doesn’t understand my reactions is offensive – not because having Asperger’s is a shameful thing (it most certainly is not), but because 1) it derails meaningful discussion and 2) it’s cruel to people who do have Asperger’s. On average, people with Asperger’s might respond differently to a particular situation than neurotypical people, but that doesn’t make an Aspie’s response insincere or wrong – just different.
Whether or not someone has Aperger’s, telling them that they do doesn’t help the situation. Instead, people should just ask about whatever response is upsetting or confusing them.