Recently I was with acquaintances who seem to think I'm off-putting for some reason. I say that because they tolerate me and they're courteous to me, but they're cool and remote. I've been picking up these kinds of vibrations for enough decades to be able to feel them when they're bouncing off of me.
To save my life I couldn't tell you how I've offended these acquaintances. Maybe it isn't offense. Maybe it's just difference they don't understand, and they don't want to make the effort to understand how or why I'm different. All I know is that I sense in them a vague aversion to me. They seem actively turned off by the idea of a chat with me. Admittedly, I'm offbeat. But shunning someone because they're a little offbeat? I guess it's just me, but for me to rise to the level of shunning would require, maybe, a felony conviction or a proven history of thuggish behavior. That, or really bad hygiene. But offbeat? Odd? Quirky? Eccentric? Awkward? Please. Get things in perspective.
That reminds me of something a few neurotypical friends asked me when I told them I'd been diagnosed with Asperger's: What can I do to make your life easier? Bless them. When I thought back on the way I moved among this group of acquaintances while they tactfully sidestepped me, one way my friends can help to make Aspie life easier came to me: If we say something inappropriate or insensitive, gently and privately tell us so, and offer a suggestion for how we might have handled that conversation or situation in a better way. Tell us you know we didn't mean to offend. Usually, we didn't. We just don't pick up on the unspoken social rules and cues that NTs get innately.
And speaking of insensitivity, let me go off topic. Once upon a time in a work place, a supervisor said to me, "You're so intelligent. What's wrong with you?" She was every inch the NT. Looks to me like we Aspies don't own the patent on clueless rudeness.
To my friends who have shown me compassion, acceptance, and concern as I take this journey, you have my thanks and gratitude. I hope your kindness is catching.