Day: July 8, 2008

  • asocial vs. antisocial


    I was recently corrected in a psychologist's office over using the term 'antisocial'.  He said the proper term for me is 'asocial'.  I've looked both these up in online dictionaries, and they seem to be interchangeable.  But I guess the nitty gritty psychewise is that asocial simply means avoiding being social.  Antisocial also carries a connotation of harmful intent.
    So when I say I am antisocial, I am not saying I want to hurt people.  I'm not the road rage type, I'm not into any kind of revenge, don't actually delight in another's misfortune or pain.  I might think it's *funny* if it's highly ironic, but no, I'm not into harmful intent.
    I do tend to hate idiots, though.    It's a fun pastime.  I don't spew and loathe and foam at the mouth, it's more like a fun hobby that I get a kick out of.  For instance, as soon as my mind is off, it doesn't exist for me any more.  I've been around other people that fume about gays or illegal aliens or whatever- THAT is not me.  I'm not into THAT kind of antisocial.
    So I guess from now on I will say I'm *a*social.
    a·so·cial (-sshl)


    1. Not social: "Bears are asocial, secretive animals" David Graber.
    2. Avoiding or averse to the society of others; not sociable: "It's not that you're so asocial, but a man who likes people doesn't wind up in the Antarctic" Saul Bellow.
    3. Unable or unwilling to conform to normal standards of social behavior; antisocial: "crime, riots, drug use and other asocial behavior" Derek Shearer.
    4. Inconsiderate of others; self-centered.

    One that exhibits behavior and characteristics deemed asocial: "the other, and usually neglected, victims . . . the asocials . . . those who violated the Nazi work ethic and social norms" Mary Nolan.
    Adj. 1. asocial - given to avoiding association with others; "bears are asocial secretive animals"; "are you asocial or do you just enjoy living in the Antarctic?"

    unsocial - not seeking or given to association; being or living without companions; "the unsocial disposition to neglect one's neighbors"
    2. asocial - hostile to or disruptive of normal standards of social behavior; "criminal behavior or conduct that violates the rights of other individuals is antisocial"; "crimes...and other asocial behavior"; "an antisocial deed"

    unsocial - not seeking or given to association; being or living without companions; "the unsocial disposition to neglect one's neighbors"
    I think this one's better.

    Someone who doesn’t enjoy socializing at parties might be described as either “asocial” or “antisocial’; but “asocial” is too mild a term to describe someone who commits an antisocial act like planting a bomb. “Asocial” suggests indifference to or separation from society, whereas “anti-social” more often suggests active hostility toward society.


    So.  I am asocial.  I tend to avoid people unless I have to talk to them about something.  I tend to hold my arms in and try not to touch people in public places.  I avoid eye contact unless I'm 'scouting' for what's going on around me.

    On the other hand, I'm also an easy talker, if I feel a subject is worthy.  If I feel a person needs someone to listen, I'll even spend a little time listening, but I can handle only so much.  If asking a few questions shows me that person is determined to wallow in a tiny world with tunnel vision and blinders, I may not listen very long.  If that person just wants to fume about other people in general, I may just walk away.  If that person can tell me something interesting and informative or is working through figuring out their life, I may stand there for ages asking questions and prompting more info.

    I am a conflict.  I can easily say I don't like people, and just as easily say I enjoy watching them.  They amuse me.  I can study them as groups or interactive individuals and have a blast writing up an analysis on them.  I might even grow rather fond of certain people for some reason.  But I don't go out of my way to make friends with them.  For some reason, making friends with anyone spoils it for me.  Getting to know someone too well really turns me off.  I can be empathetic, and I can understand having bad days, but I really hate it when people suddenly start talking to me about their sex lives or their latest shopping trip or what they hate about the president.

    You know how people in general like pets?  Pets don't talk.  I have a feeling we'd really dislike our pets if they could talk.  If your dog talked incessantly about hating cat poop even though it's never around or worried constantly about dog food having too many calories, you'd probably get tired of it real fast.

    And that is what I 'hate' about people.  They get stuck on the dumbest things, like hating someone irrelevant, or calories, or something is so cute ~awwww~.  I'd rather listen to a lecture on socket wrenches.

    If that makes me a freak, I'm fine with it.  I'm an asocial freak.


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