Being regularly argumentative is a big sign that a person could have high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Aspergers in particular.
I think it comes from a need to be heard and taken seriously, as well as often having to have the last word. The latter being of course to do with ego and insecurity.
Also as pragmatic pedants, we often cannot let slide a remark that someone makes that we disagree on, or think unfair. Sadly, many people with aspergers fail to foresee the probable consequencies of tackling an argument and causing a confrontation. As most people with ASD are unable to handle stress very well, confrontations are usually the last thing they want, and yet they continually forget this fact and end up right in the middle of an argument far too frequently.
We all know someone who is excessively argumentative. Every school classroom has someone – or several. Every workplace has at least one. And as full-blown (low functioning) autism is on the increase, so too is high-functioning autism and ASD. And the only way to prevent it would be for humans to stop reproducing!
If you are an argumentative person, there are certainly ways you can manage these tendencies, and keep them to a minimum. I plan to cover some of these techniques later on in this blog. You cannot totally get rid of the thing in your brain that makes you argumentative (what I believe to be ASD + all the difficulty that ASD brings over many years growing up), but rest assured, it can be managed and even mostly eliminated by recognising your triggers and changing your overall outlook on life for the better. This of course benefits every area of your life and will make you much happier.
Nowadays I practice on the people around me to curb my tendancy to end up in an argument. I have trained myself to smile and nod in aggreement or to make a joke as way of bringing the conversation to a close, if engaging in small-talk, rather than dig myself into a hole.
If I’m with friends, I try to keep the thought “Will they be glad they invited me?” always in the back of my mind, and this is usually enough to make me behave myself! When I look back on my behavior over the years, it is clear that I never used to ask myself this question and thought I could say anything I liked without repercussions. Then I’d get upset and confused when it all backfired. But then again, my inherent depression and resentment towards the world governed most of my behavior. That and lack of sleep. Sometimes it’s ok to get into a healthy debate with friends, as long as you’re not too insecure, paranoid and able to keep a lighthearted tone.
The irony I find is that many arguments I have found myself in, have come about by myself not being able to communicate effectively in the first place, and subsequently being misunderstood. I cannot tell you the number of times I have agreed with the other person, but I have over-complicated the conversation, and they end up thinking I was disagreeing with them.
This happened on New Years Eve 1997 in a discussion about the late Princess Diana. I was so upset by how the argument ruined the evening, I vowed never again to talk about politics, religion or “Diana”!