How do I explain to people that I am not intentionally being rude?
Taken straight from your profile: Black-belt in sarcasm, sardonicism, and dark humor.
As it's part of your personality, why wouldn't you just use that, and be yourself?
Issues of no importance should be dealt with seriously, and serious matters should be light-heartedly dealt with,(1) said French writer Alphonse_Daudet.
Once you realize you miscued, you could go along the line of:
Really?! That's what you meant? I'm glad I'm on the spectrum, otherwise, I would have understood right away, and missed that lovely and funny staring look you just gave me :)
Wow! The best part about being ASD is that it allows me to miss a lot of stuff, like I just did. Although it can seem weird to some people, sometimes, I love it and couldn't live without that anymore, you know. Wait! But that's me, so I can't anyway... :)
From there, and depending on the person's reaction, you can tell them more, apologize, explain... It's entirely up to you. You don't have to excuse it, but you can choose to let people know. With your own words. At the time you decide to bring it up.
You can't do that with everybody, though. But it shows that you:
- Understand and acknowledge you made a mistake / were rude.
- Inform the person why it happened, out of your control.
- Let them know you can't change, because it's part of you.
Why would it work? Maybe because "self-mocking" jokes are usually so awkward that people are stunned. It stops the flow. It's distracting the attention of those present and divert the whole focus of your "mistake" and points to your disorder.
From there, you can take the lead, and tell them what you want/need to.
I do this quite often. And it works quite well, if people are first stunned, then smile. Just replace "ASD" with "selfish and arrogant idiot" in my case, which is a much more deprecating disorder :)
Last but not least: it's not your fault if you suffer from a disorder. You have to live with it, deal with it. But I know by experience that people are more willing to listen and show empathy if you let them know with some wry humour. That's life... shrug...
1. roughly translated, as best as I can, to keep the spirit of the quote.
Off-topic, but you do a great job at TWP.SE and I enjoy reading your answers. Are you different? Yes. Sometimes. Like all of us. Does it make you less valuable? NOT AT ALL. Different people, different POV, different cultures, different level of skills and experience. All valuable. All respectable. Period.