Asocial Vs. Antisocial: What's The Difference?

Some people dub themselves "a people person," while others avoid human contact and society altogether. When it comes to socializing, not everyone truly enjoys to be out and about, constantly having to be "on" and talking, listening, responding. There are tons of people in the world who do find great enjoyment in big social circles, parties, going to bars and parties. Those who don't usually are called "antisocial" (via Mayo Clinic).

"Antisocial" and "asocial" are two terms that are often used to describe people who don't enjoy going out and talking to people frequently. Those who enjoy their own company in the comfort of their own home and don't mind spending time by themselves are oftentimes looked at as a bit strange. But truth be told, we all enjoy a moment of quiet and clarity without noise and chaos. When it comes down to it, antisocial and asocial may seem to be the same, but in reality, they have different meanings.

What's the difference between asocial and antisocial?

Being asocial and antisocial both are associated with disliking and avoiding social situations and being in the general public. However, the two do actually mean very different things, as explained by the prefixes of both of the words.

Antisocial has the prefix "anti," which stands for being against something entirely. Those who are antisocial are usually very hostile towards socializing and do not want socialize at all. They are angrily "against the group dynamic and are openly proud of it, as well" (via The Swaddle). They choose to be on their own rather than in a group, but the aggression that they have toward socializing is what makes them stand apart from being asocial. 

On the other hand, being asocial is something that is inherently in a person's personality. Being asocial is a trait, rather than a choice. People who are asocial are those who are just generally uninterested in socializing with others, but it's more of something that is part of who they are rather than a choice that they are making. These people feel as though they are better off alone, but in less of a "rage against the man" kind of way, explains The Swaddle.

If you are trying to understand why you're not a social person, ask yourself: Is it something you are, or is it something you choose?