Have you ever met somebody who appears to be normal – if a bit quirky – but occasionally gets uncontrollable fits of anger in which he comes out with a stream of abuse which seems somewhat excessive for the particular situation to which he is reacting. These unlucky people have probable got Asperger’s Syndrome combined with Intermittent Explosive Disorder. In many cases they are very intelligent and capable of learning to overcome some of their disabilities – for example clumsiness in walking being overcome by learning to dance salsa very well. They do this with their special ability to be fascinated with a topic with unusual in intensity and focus which means they are willing to do whatever repetitive practice is necessary to achieve what they regard as success.
It is the occasional outburst which is most easy to recognise because it will be a total surprise to you because you thought up to that moment that he was a charming and polite individual. Be assured therefore that there is nothing personal in the outburst. You have simply given the impression of treating him with perceived disrespect which may well not have been intended. The anger subsides very quickly and is later followed by remorse and embarrassment that he was unable to control himself in what is likely to have been a surprise situation. His high degree of intelligence means that he can control himself in situations which are not a surprise and completely replace any aggressive reactions with charming smiles.
Unfortunately he is too embarrassed to apologise for what happened but always hopes that his unintended target will understand as his good friend for many years that he didn’t really mean it and that he needs to be forgiven and treated as if it never happened.