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Question
Posted by: Laura | 2005/01/13

a-social vs. anti-social

i always thought my sister was a bit strange (very different from me anyway) because she didn't like interaction with others, especially not strangers. she has no friends, her relationships never last longer than a month or two. the only people she is relatively comfortable with, is her close family members. my mom used to say shes anti-social, which sounded like the right term to me.

i finally convinced her to see a therapist and now she refuses to go back because she says he "accused" her of being totally a-social. what does this mean and whats the difference between being anti-social and a-social?

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Our expert says:
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Good question. Someone who is Asocial is unsocial, not social, not able to or interested in being social with others --- which she should be able to see is a fair description of how she has been behaving, and which is not a rude word. Anti-Social is what she may think he meant, and which could be hurtful --- Antisocial would be against society, like a hoodlum / skollie, who knows how society works and doesn't care, and enjoys breaking social rules and is happy to hurt other people. She certainly doesn't sound AntiSocial at all.
So Asocial would be a polite description of how she is described by you and her mom, and maybe even herself --- and not something to feel hurt by. Maybe she should give the therapist a second chance ?

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