There are many differences between being an introvert and being asocial. There are also a few similarities as well and this is where the confusion begins. Many people believe that introverts just want to be left alone, but that isn’t always the case. Moreover, many people don’t really even understand what an asocial person is. Introvert and asocial are often times used as one and the same, but they aren’t. Psych2Go gives you this list to help distinguish between the two. We hope it brings a better understanding of both personality types. We also hope that you learn something new, perhaps about yourself or someone you know.
1. What do you like?
Someone who is an introvert might like being around people at certain times. However, they need to initiate this contact at their own speed. Introverts enjoy the company of others. They just don’t NEED to have that company to be happy. An introvert can absolutely go out on a date and meet new people. They just require more downtime afterwards. They need to essentially recharge themselves because social situations can take a lot out of them
An asocial person, on the other hand, doesn’t want to have any real contact with those around them. While an introvert enjoys the company of others, an asocial person does not. They may not even text or pick of the phone because they don’t want to initiate that kind of contact. An asocial person is completely happy being away from other people as a whole.
2. Are you shy?
Introverts aren’t inherently shy though people tend to believe that they are. When an introvert needs alone time to recharge it is often times mistaken for them just being shy and uncomfortable. One blog pointed out that Bill Gates is an introvert but isn’t shy at all. He is bookish as they put it which can come off as a way to avoid people because of shyness. This goes along with the fallacy that all introverts want to be left alone. Most introverts actually crave interactions. They just need some downtime afterwards or they feel like too much energy is being lost.
Asocial people don’t tend to be shy either. They may appear to be because of their extreme avoidance of social situations though. In fact, they may even appear to have extreme social anxiety because of this avoidance. It’s not that asocial individuals are too shy or anxious to be around others. They simply just don’t want that contact at that moment or in their lives.
3. Do you like to be around others?
Introverts like to be around other people for the most part. They enjoy social situations and interactions in their own way. Introverts don’t inherently avoid friends or phone calls. Those aren’t what tend to drain them of their energy. It is often times the simple fact of large social gatherings or longer interactions that can get to them. It is important to remember that needing alone time to recharge is not the same as avoiding people and situations.
An asocial person will need both emotional and physical space. They do not like to be around other people as a whole and will often avoid that if they wan. It isn’t that they hate people, hate doesn’t come into play here. It’s more the fact that they just don’t like or want to be around others. They don’t need social interactions to be happy. Those interactions often have to opposite effect. This can lead the asocial individual to appear uninterested or even rude.
4. Is a relationship important to you?
For introverts, the answer is usually yes. They often view dating and love the same way as someone who isn’t an introvert. Since they enjoy the company of others it can be easy for them to find a groove within a relationship. However, it is important for their partner to understand that they will need some alone time to recharge. Needing the alone time has nothing to do with something the partner has done. It has everything to do with the fact that prolonged social interactions are draining to an introvert.
An asocial individual won’t see there being an importance for them to be in a relationship. Since they actually prefer to be alone, a relationship would just be unnecessary interactions for them. If they don’t like having contact with others it wouldn’t seem appropriate to have a long term relationship. Needing to be alone sometimes and wanting to be alone all the time are two very different things.
Are you an introvert or asocial and have a tip for us? Psych2Go invites you to drop it in the comment section.
Other reading from Psych2Go:
Gregoire, Carolyn. “6 Myths About Introverts To Stop Believing.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 1 Sept. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/01/introvert-myths_n_3569058.html. Retrieved November 2, 2017
Wakefield, Kia. “Are You an Introvert or Are You Antisocial?” IntrovertDear.com, Introvert, Dear, 20 Mar. 2017, introvertdear.com/news/are-you-an-introvert-or-are-you-antisocial/. Retrieved November 2, 2017