magaretnahmias

Why I object to the term antisocial for those who are not social.

 I think it is problematic to use the term antisocial to describe people who are not social.   Unwillingness to socialize is not the same as a wanton disregard for other people's feelings and no sense of right and wrong.    They are not trying to manipulate people, or attention seek purposely. People who are socially anxious or isolated might also want social contact, but their fears might keep them from doing so. A socially anxious person might go out but still fear negative judgment. Due to their anxiety or shyness, they have built up walls, but they may still be caring people. Shy and insecure people tend to worry too much about offending others. For a long time, I was afraid to express a contrary opinion because of this too.   I was so close off and angry you might have thought I did not care about anyone else. 

Asocial is a better term. A is the prefix for no. Therefore, an asocial person does not desire to be social. 

And yes, people have made these distinctions for other mental conditions. For years social anxiety was also called a phobia.   Psychiatric professionals have rejected that idea. Is it possible to examine whether "antisocial" also describe shy people, introverts, and anxious people in general?


Antisocial personality disorder - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clini

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