Can an extrovert be antisocial? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will answer the question ‘Can an extrovert be antisocial?’. We will do that by defining extroverts, antisocial people, and ambiverts. We will also describe the signs to identify an extrovert, ambivert, and an antisocial person. We will move on to discussing the main difference between them. Finally, we will answer frequently asked questions about these three types of people. 

Can an extrovert be antisocial?

The answer to this question is twofold. This is because antisocial is generally understood in two different senses.  The first and more popular meaning refers to a person who is a sociopath i.e. disregards norms, rules & laws, lacks empathy, and frequently engages in criminal behavior. The second meaning refers to an ambivert i.e. a person who is usually social but also occasionally shy and shows introverted behavior.  So, in answer to the question considering the first meaning, a sociopath can have extroverted tendencies. Similarly, if we take the second meaning, an extrovert can be antisocial i.e have introverted tendencies and be an ambivert.

Extroverts

Extroverts are people who are externally oriented. This means that they gain energy by socializing and spending time with a lot of people and engaging in different activities.  They process things by talking about them.  Also, they prefer to spend their time seeking new experiences.  Whereas,  spending time alone at home with no new activities, depletes their energy. They are opposite to introverts.

How to identify an Extrovert

An extrovert can be identified based on the following traits:

  • They enjoy social gatherings where they get socially stimulated by interacting with different people. They are also not afraid of messing up nor do they hesitate in an unfamiliar setting. They are open to having new experiences.
  • They do not need a lot of alone time like introverts. Rather, alone time decreases their energy. In other words, being cooped up at home with no people to hang out with would be distressing for an extrovert.
  • They feel comfortable in large groups of people. This means that large and loud parties are really enjoyable for them. Whereas, hanging out with a small group of friends in a quiet and familiar place is not their cup of tea.
  • They have many friends and continuously expand their social circle. 
  • They prefer to talk about their problems and process things better by saying them out loud to another person. In this case, they are opposite to introverts who process things better in their minds.
  • They are outgoing and positive. They like to see the silver lining in difficult situations. They may get upset by setbacks like any other individual but they are quick to bounce back from them.
  • They are not afraid of getting involved in risky situations. In fact, such situations stimulate them. This can include situations with an uncertain outcome or a new experience. It gives them an adrenaline rush.
  • They are flexible and can adapt to new situations and ideas quite fast.

Ambiverts

Often, antisocial people are confused with meaning people are extroverted but need time alone and away from people. These people are actually called ambiverts. Whereas, antisocial refers to completely different individuals as described below. 

As extroversion and introversion exist on a continuum,  ambiverts are people with both extroverted and introverted tendencies exist.  They gather energy from socializing in big crowds.  However,  they also need time alone to recharge their battery. 

How to identify an ambivert

An ambivert can be identified by the following traits:

  • They like to make plans ahead of time as being able to anticipate things helps them being prepared for it. 
  • They dislike spontaneous plans.
  • They feel relieved by canceling plans.
  • They like interacting with people on a predictable schedule and are often there at places on time.
  • They also feel socially exhausted after a lot of social interaction and need time away from people to recharge.
  • They dislike getting ready for social events.
  • They don’t immediately open up to others about every detail of their lives.
  • They have the ability to loosen up and have fun at the beginning of a party but gradually tire out as time progresses.
  • They prioritize their sleep.
  • People get offended when they don’t show up at many social events.
  • They spend a lot of time thinking and overanalyzing situations.

Antisocial

An antisocial person refers to an individual who has characteristics of antisocial personality disorder. These people have difficulty understanding the feelings of other people. Often, they act impulsively and break rules. They don’t feel any remorse or guilt for their actions. Furthermore, they use tricks of manipulation to control their family and friends. Generally, their attitude is charismatic and charming enough to deceive people into thinking they are good individuals but in reality, they hide their internal intentions quite well.

How to identify an antisocial person

According to DSM 5, a sociopath or a person with an antisocial personality disorder has complete disregard for other people’s rights and their feelings. For a diagnosis, such a person should be 18 years or older and should exhibit at least three of the following 7 traits:

●       They frequently break rules and disrespect social norms and laws.

●       They often lie and deceive people with fake identities for personal benefit.

●       They usually act without a plan and without thinking of the consequences of their actions.

●       They are aggressive in nature and usually get into physical fights that end up harming other people.

●       They have complete disregard for their own and other people’s safety.

●       They don’t fulfill their personal or professional responsibilities.

●       They don’t feel guilt or remorse for or having treated others in a bad way.

Additional symptoms of antisocial personality disorder can include:

●       Lack of emotional expression. This includes being completely uninvested in the lives of other people.

●       Using humor, charisma, and intellect to deceive and manipulate others.

●       Feeling a sense of superiority and strong, rigid opinions.

●       Being unable to maintain relationships for long.

●       Not learning from prior experiences and mistakes.

●       Trying to control others using intimidation and threatening behavior.

●       Threatening others with suicide but not making an actual attempt.

●       Addiction to drugs and alcohol.

●       Frequently getting into legal trouble due to criminal behavior.

Such behavior is consistent in all areas of these people’s lives. It should disrupt their daily, social, and occupational functioning in order for it to be an official diagnosis.

Extroverts, ambiverts and antisocial person

Extroverts, ambiverts, and antisocial people mean three different things. 

Extrovert: An extrovert is an externally oriented person who thrives among people and gets drained while spending time alone. 

Ambivert: An ambivert lies in the middle of the extroversion and introversion spectrum. He/She possesses both tendencies which means that they have a good time among crowds of people but occasionally need time away from them as well.

Antisocial: An antisocial person is someone who does not care about following social norms and laws. Such a person frequently shows criminal behavior and does not feel empathy, remorse, or guilt afterward.

FAQs: Can an extrovert be antisocial?

What is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?

Psychopaths are manipulative, charming, live a more normal life, and are less engaged in criminal behavior. In contrast, sociopaths are more erratic, manipulative, don’t live a normal life, and are more engaged in criminal behavior.

What is it called when you are antisocial?

People who have traits of antisocial personality disorder are called sociopaths. These people have disregard for other people’s feelings, their rights, and the difference between right and wrong. 

Does Antisocial mean shy?

Antisocial does not mean shy. It means people who are hostile, aggressive, and unfriendly towards others. They do not follow social order and principles. 

Can you be an introvert and an extrovert?

Yes. A person can have both extroverted and introverted tendencies as these are not black and white categories. Rather, extroversion and introversion exist on a spectrum. So a person can be both an extrovert and an introvert. Such people are usually called ambiverts. 

What are examples of antisocial behavior?

Antisocial behavior usually includes people who do graffiti, drink, use drugs and cause a lot of trouble. It includes large groups of people hanging out in a street who litter a lot and are racist in their attitude.

 

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question ‘Can an extrovert be antisocial?’. We found that the answer to this question is twofold. This is because antisocial is generally understood in two different senses.  The first and more popular meaning refers to a person who is a sociopath i.e. disregards norms, rules & laws, lacks empathy, and frequently engages in criminal behavior. The second meaning refers to an ambivert i.e. a person who is usually social but also occasionally shy and shows introverted behavior.  So, in answer to the question considering the first meaning, a sociopath can have extroverted tendencies. Similarly, if we take the second meaning, an extrovert can be antisocial i.e have introverted tendencies and be an ambivert.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/sociopath#treatment

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-an-extrovert#Extroversion-is-a-spectrum

https://www.bustle.com/articles/69594-17-things-only-anti-social-extroverts-understand-because-we-totally-want-to-hang-out-just-not-now

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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