not gregarious = antisocial?

Lili L

New Member
Chinese
Hello everyone, is it appropriate or common to use “antisocial” to describe someone who is not gregarious? Actually, this question crossed my mind when I was reading an article about cats. (I know this sounds fairly silly but it indeed happened. :D) The first four sentences of this article are as below:

Cats are not antisocial. They are gregarious. Hi, I love cats. If people knew more about cats, they wouldn't treat them the way they do now.

It’s fine to use “antisocial” in this context. However, if we are not talking about cats, if we just want to describe some person who isn’t gregarious and always prefers to be alone, could we still use “antisocial”? Would it sound too negative, as this word is usually linked to behaviors that may cause damage to the society? Would “unsociable” be better to use in this circumstance?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    In my mind, it would depend on their behaviour in the presence of others. If the person makes everyone they encounter feel bad, rejected, etc., then I'd say antisocial is appropriate. Loners who live a soltary lifestyle are not necessarily unable or unwilling to interact socially, they may just prefer not to.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    As with many things, there is a grey area between two "opposites". Not sweet doesn't have to be sour, not sour doesn't have to be sweet. There's a great area of blandness and other types of flavors that are neither sweet nor sour.
     

    Lili L

    New Member
    Chinese
    Thanks for your reply. :) I have fully understood the use of this word. (BTW, the "loners" part reminds me of Greta Garbo. :p)

    In my mind, it would depend on their behaviour in the presence of others. If the person makes everyone they encounter feel bad, rejected, etc., then I'd say antisocial is appropriate. Loners who live a soltary lifestyle are not necessarily unable or unwilling to interact socially, they may just prefer not to.
     

    Lili L

    New Member
    Chinese
    Point taken. You've put it in a very fine way. Thanks. :)

    As with many things, there is a grey area between two "opposites". Not sweet doesn't have to be sour, not sour doesn't have to be sweet. There's a great area of blandness and other types of flavors that are neither sweet nor sour.
     
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