Asocial vs. Antisocial: Are There Any Differences Between The Two?
If you ask me to use a fictional character to define my traits, I’d say that I relate the most to Phoebe from friends. I’m different from others, quirky, and silly in my own ways. And let’s be frank; we’re all quirky and eccentric in our ways, but some of us (like me!) tend to be more unconventional when it comes to socializing.
I’ve heard the term “asocial” thrown around – and sometimes, interchangeably – with “antisocial” and it made me think about my personality traits. Am I an asocial person or antisocial? I’m sure you must be going through something similar in terms of thinking, so let’s settle the score once and for all.
In this article, I’ll be exploring asocial vs. antisocial and the differences and similarities between the two. So, keep reading to unravel the mystery of what is asocial and antisocial!
Am I Asocial?
Let’s start with the captain of introvert folks aka asocial people! Asocial people are those who prefer to spend time in their own company to the flurry of activity that can be most social gatherings. So, if you consider yourself as asocial, here are some signs to cement your beliefs;
- You are a lone wolf of the social scene and often choose to spend time in solitude rather than engage in social shenanigans.
- You have a tiny social circle where the gathering looks more like a cozy tea party. You like your gatherings small and intimate.
- You are indifferent to social events and tend to politely decline any party invites without giving much thought to your excuses.
- You have a passion for pursuing hobbies and interests that align with your goals and purpose. You’d rather read a 900-page book over going to a party with 90 people any day!
- You don’t like small talk but deep conversations are your jam. You’d rather engage in meaningful conversations and elaborate discussions rather than spend your words on meaningless talk.
Am I Antisocial?
Now, if the above signs of an asocial person don’t seem to fit your personality, then let’s take a look into the signs of an antisocial person. Antisocial people are more likely to be adventurous in their social interactions – and not always in a good way. Can you be antisocial? Let’s read the signs;
- You are emotionally challenged and empathy is something that confuses you. You struggle with understanding and caring about others’ feelings and emotions.
- You like breaking the rules. Antisocial people are more likely to engage in illegal activities than any other group.
- You are a master at manipulating people and tricking others to gain advantage.
- You choose spontaneity over consequences. You hardly pause to consider the consequences of your actions and impulsivity rules your actions.
- You are charming and can use it to your advantage to charm others to get what you want from them.
Asocial vs. Antisocial: What’s The Difference?
Let’s settle this now! While I’ve seen many people use these terms interchangeably, there are some differences between asociality and antisocial behavior. The main difference is in the approach to socializing. Asocial people prefer to avoid social situations whereas antisocial people actively engage in activities that might have an ulterior motive.
If I talk about asocial behavior, then let’s make some points clear;
- Asocial people tend to prefer spending time alone or in close-knit groups of trusted friends or family. They find solitude refreshing and don’t feel the need to engage in large social gatherings.
- Asocial people do not actively seek out social events but may want to occasionally attend social events. However, they may not enjoy them much.
- Another trait of asocial behavior is that people tend to mix asocial and introversion. Just because asocial people prefer to be alone does not mean that they are introverted, shy, or even anxious in social situations.
- Asocial behavior doesn’t involve harming or manipulating others for the sake of gaining something from them. Being asocial is a personal preference or a choice on how someone chooses to spend their “me time” or “recharge themselves”.
If I talk about antisocial behavior, then here are some traits of antisocial people that differ from asocial people;
- Antisocial behavior is characterized by a lack of empathy and a disregard for the well-being of others. People with antisocial tendencies choose to exploit others without feeling remorse.
- People with antisocial traits often engage in illegal activities such as fraud, violence, and theft. They break social norms and laws without fearing the consequences of their actions.
- Antisocial people are often seen as manipulative and ambitious and use their charms to deceive others to get what they want. They are impulsive and do not think about their actions before acting.
- Another trait of antisocial behavior that differs from asocial behavior is that antisocial people use a charismatic facade to fool and manipulate people for personal gain.
Are There Any Similarities Between Asocial and Antisocial Behavior?
Believe it or not, there are similarities between antisocial and asocial behaviors. Both asocial and antisocial behaviors can cause some degree of social isolation, whether by choice or consequence. Asocial folks are often seen as aloof, and antisocial folks often wear the “untrustworthy” badge. Both get misunderstood in society.
Treatment & Coping Tips
Usually, asocial behavior does not need any professional treatment. If your asocial behavior does interfere with your social life and everyday routine, then therapy approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you figure out how to manage your behaviors and thoughts.
Antisocial behavior, on the other hand, may need professional intervention. More often than not, therapy options such as CBT and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) are recommended to help antisocial people develop impulse control, empathy, and acceptable social behaviors.
For both personalities, it’s about finding the balance between being true to yourself and fitting into the mold society has created for you. You can do this by figuring out how to spend time with yourself and how to gradually expose yourself to social situations for your development.
You can try to find this balance by engaging in activities such as;
- Meditation or yoga
- Meeting new people
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep, and
The more self-aware you are of your actions and social behaviors, the more likely you’ll be able to strike a perfect harmony between being yourself and being a social butterfly. If you find it hard to mingle with others, find groups of supportive and understanding people who encourage your gradual change without being judgmental.
In the grand picture of our behavior, asocial and antisocial behavior becomes quite a colorful addition. Understanding how the two social behaviors affect our interactions with others as well as the relationships in our lives can help you embrace the quirkiness and qualities of our respective behaviors.
I hope this article helped you understand the difference between asocial and antisocial behavior. Let me know which personality type you are in the comments below.