Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between anti-social and asocial

Anti-social vs Asocial

Psychiatric problems are rising in number in today’s world due to increasing stress levels and decreasing threshold for tolerance. Two similar sounding terms have emerged as people behave differently when faced with social challenges.

Anti-social means against morally appropriate behaviour while asocial means avoidance of social life. Antisocial behaviour is caused by repression of emotions, bad experiences and negative thinking. Asocial behaviour simply develops as one’s attitude towards life. It could be due to introverted nature (keeping one’s feelings to one’s self), autism, and schizophrenia (delusional psychiatric disorder).

Antisocial behaviour is such that it could hurt the people in the society or have a bad impact on the society. It is harmful and negative behaviour. People who commit murder, rape, steal, hurt animals, exhibit violent behavior, all fall under this category. Basically, they do not feel guilty despite their actions that offending people. They do not have sympathy nor do they respect others. They lack the sense of right or wrong. Their behaviour is committed most often with intent of causing harm to others and in very rare cases it is due to neglect. Since childhood they lack morals that a good human being should possess.

Asocial behaviour is seen in people lacking confidence while meeting new people or being anxious of rejection. They avoid social meetings to such a great extent because they do not want to give people a chance to accept or reject them. They will generally prefer doing things all alone rather than making new friends or relations. It becomes a burden for them to handle any sort of relationships. They will have very few friends or no close friends at all. Due to such behaviour they are criticized and looked upon as subnormal individuals. Also, they tend to do constructive things than be anxious in social gatherings. In autism, this type of behaviour is noticed because they cannot express their feelings and also lack necessary skills for communication. They like routinistic things and do not make eye contact which makes them asocial. In schizophrenia, many people become asocial and keep imagining themselves as strong and confident people as a way to reduce peer pressure. They have delusions and hallucinations which take them away from other individuals. Asocial people have fear of being humiliated and hence they develop anxiety and restlessness in social engagements. Asocialism can be observed in individuals who are depressed. They lack interest in day to day activities or hobbies which once gave them immense happiness.

Treatment for antisocial people will be psychotherapy, counseling and drugs if required. Antisocial people have a low threshold for stress and so get frustrated very easily and are impulsive in nature. These people are explained about society norms and how they are expected to behave. They are taught better ways to keep themselves occupied as a way to reduce thefts. They are positively taught ways of being independent and handling stress better. Drugs do not help directly but treat co-morbid conditions like depression etc. Asocial people are taught communication skills which boost their confidence levels during social gatherings. Also, once they efficiently start expressing their emotions, people reciprocate appropriately setting forth a chain of positive future social interactions. This will reduce anxiety levels and encourage them to meet more people.


Anti-social behavior and asocial behavior are both caused due to decreased stress management levels. Both are treatable and the person can be normal after treatment. Antisocial behavior will need more of counseling whereas asocial behavior will need more of communicative and socializing skills.

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