Introverts are almost always mistaken for being antisocial. The immediate assumption is that they don’t want to be around others because they don’t like anyone. Their reclusiveness is seen as hostile. Antisocial and introvert could appear similar at surface level, but they aren’t the same at all.
Antisocial people could be introverted or extroverted. Being antisocial refers to your behavior towards others. Introvert and extrovert are labels attributed to the way you think and feel about being around others.
What Are Antisocial and Introvert?
Being an introvert means your energy levels are depleted quickly from social interaction. While an introvert might also suffer from social anxiety or even be an antisocial person, the “introvert” label doesn’t require it. Introverts can be confident and happy to socialize within their chosen boundaries.
Introvert and antisocial people differ greatly in their willingness to interact with others. Antisocial people are actively unwilling to interact with others. They are often hostile and angry towards other people. Antisocial people, unlike introverts, have no concern for the unwritten rules of social interactions. They are cynical and unempathetic towards others.
Antisocial people will typically prioritize themselves, their work, or their own fun over friends and socializing.
The Differences Between Antisocial and Introvert
1. Energy Drain
Introverts are defined by their loss of energy when they’re interacting with other people. This could be worst in large crowds, or with one on one meetings. It all depends on the person and the intensity of the interaction. In order to replenish their energy, introverts need to be alone or with a small, peaceful group of people they’re close to.
This can be seen as being antisocial because they might leave parties early, or steer clear of big groups socializing altogether. However, these choices have nothing to do with how much they like or even love the people around them, they’re just avoiding mental exhaustion.
Antisocial people have no concept of the energy drain. Their decision to stay way has nothing to do with their energy, and all to do with how little they like being in the company of others. Antisocial people could be extroverts too. Their energy might not be diminished by being around other people, they just don’t enjoy socializing or interacting with them.
2. Care and Concern
By nature, introverts tend to be very empathetic. They care for other people’s feelings deeply. Introverts are often very aware of their own emotions, and this makes them extra perceptive of the emotions of others. They never want to make others feel the kind of discomfort they do at times, so they always make sure to take care of the feelings of the people around them.
Antisocial people differ in that they have little to no care or concern for the feelings of the people around them. They aren’t interested in how their words or actions affect others. Unlike introverts, antisocial people don’t follow the unwritten rules of society or social niceties.
Introverts will usually struggle to admit when they want to leave a gathering or that they don’t have the energy to attend an event. They feel upset and worried that they might hurt someone. Antisocial people will openly admit that they aren’t having fun, or don’t want to go, with no concern for how it might make anyone else feel.
3. Relationships and Connections
Despite plenty of misconceptions, introverts can have plenty of friends and loved ones they’re close to. Many people assume that introverts are shy and reclusive, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Introverts might be loners, or they might be friendly social people. Introversion is about energy, not the number of friends you have. Introverts are also presumed to be shy and struggle to make new friends. This is, of course, not true. Introverts could happily make new friends, and easily maintain a fun group of old friends.
Antisocial people, on the other hand, don’t choose to make new connections often and likely maintain a very small circle of friends and family. They would rather be alone as often as possible and don’t feel that their lives would be improved with more relationships or connections.
4. Enjoyment Gained
An important difference between people who are antisocial and those who are introverted is how much or how little they enjoy company. Introverts are often shamed for being “boring” and “never want to have any fun”. Admittedly, introverts might choose quieter activities given the choice, but there’s no reason why an introvert can’t enjoy being social.
Introverts can still be party-goers and fun-lovers and enjoy doing things with their friends and the people they love. They might avoid or be apprehensive about talking to large groups of new people, but that’s only down to the impending exhaustion, not an aversion to socializing.
Antisocial people are typically the complete opposite. They genuinely don’t care for socializing or expect to have fun with groups of people. They might have a small circle of friends, but they likely don’t require their presence for excitement or fun.
For too long now, introverts have been mislabelled as antisocial, and it’s just not fair. Introverts can be exciting, adventurous people who like the company of others. They just keep it within their boundaries and protect their energy. If a person is antisocial, then they aren’t protecting themselves, they just don’t care at all. This is the basic difference between antisocial and introvert.
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