I am the sort of person who always has to have the last word about something. I understand that many people on the spectrum have this trait. This article was triggered because my friend said to me, “Alis, my daughter always has to have the last word. And I think you are like this too? It’s very difficult for the family.” Funny enough, it seems to me that our neurotypical loved ones ‘find’ themselves in arguments… they do not tend to start them!
Let’s define what “to have the last word” means. It means that, in a conversation or – more commonly – in a disagreement or argument, a person says something which is final, i.e. that topic of discussion ends. It usually means that the person who makes the final statement has made the final decision. Two easy examples are a head chef having the last word on what dish is served next week, or a father having the last word on getting his child to have a bath. To have the last word also means not to be able to ‘drop’ something. Sometimes it means to initiate arguments.
Although many people with ASD avoid conflict at all costs, others are very argumentative. In this article, I will look at why people with ASD might be so argumentative and how loved ones can cope with this difficult trait.