Isn’t it rude for them to comment on my quietness?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve always had difficulty with making conversation and verbalizing my ideas. Even though I’ve worked in a management position in a professional office, chatting just doesn’t come easy to me. It has been suggested that I might have Asperger’s.

More times than I can remember, I’ve been told “You’re so quiet!” — either alone or in the presence of a group.

Since I’m not good at conversing, being put in the position of having to defend myself via conversation is extremely frustrating and embarrassing. It seems like any response I give comes out as defensive and unkind, or else it just fuels further discussion. This may entertain those around me, but makes me feel even more awkward.

I’ve often wondered why people feel the need to point out that I’m quiet. It certainly isn’t an icebreaker, and although some people don’t mind joking about their own weaknesses, it seems rude to pester someone who doesn’t find it humorous. Most people don’t struggle with conversation to the degree that I do, so they don’t understand that I’m just not good at it.

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