Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On being Asocial-

Asocial creatures are essentially the non-herd or non-pack animals. Bears, for example. Bears don't live in large social groups. They socialize, but they don't live in a pride or pack or herd or flock.

I am an asocial human. I don't hate humanity. That is anti-social. I like interacting with other humans, but in very limited doses. Now, as an asocial I have had to make some adaptations. To succeed in any viable form of human life there has to be some association with other humans. However, I am not a pack-member.

Interestingly enough, other humans can sense the asocial human. Some who are in authority can recognize and respect that the asocial is making a compromise by joining a team. They are not a full member, not being emotionally attached to the pack/herd/pride/flock. Still, if they have acquired the necessary skills they can function in a team reasonably well.

Some pack leaders, however, sense the asocial and find them threatening. The asocial is the lone wolf with the wrong scent. They are dangerous and need to be driven out or destroyed. Strange as it may sound, I have way too often had to deal with these creatures. It is not fun, and requires a considerable amount of energy.

As humans we generally function in some modified form of the tribe. Whether Iroquois or Mombasa, Democrat or Republican, American League or National League, we function in tribes. The asocial human is a misfit and a threat.

In a world with sufficient frontiers and open perimeters it is easy to push these asocials (and anti-socials) out to the edges. However, the world is running out of frontiers and the perimeters are pushing up against one another. Living as an asocial human will probably just get more and more challenging.

We are hard to understand. For example, when I say "I don't like people" I am not saying "I dislike people." Yet the more socialized socials find this "don't like" and "dislike" to be equivalent, and somehow threatening. As an asocial I in turn cannot understand such responses.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, asocial humans cannot/should not act like bears. As apex predators bears can be as asocial or anti-social as they want, as long as there is enough room. Let them try to go all asocial in most cities, however, and they get a dart in the ass and a free ride out of town.

Asocials are not particularly good at social games. As an asocial I despised the games as I grew up, and only adopted as many as necessary to maintain a more-or-less adequate life. Due to not playing the games asocials are not granted ready access to a lot of the "good stuff" that more amiable tribe members get to share.

I, as an asocial, could complain about how unfair this all is. I suspect I have occasionally done so. However, I recognize that fair is a nebulous term. Really, if you don't play the game you shouldn't have any claim on the prizes. I have learned to compromise. For example, it is fair that I must buy a lottery ticket to have any shot at the prize. However, I also recognize that buying more than one ticket does not much mitigate the astronomical odds against my winning.

Even in playing the lottery I live on the perimeter.

What is my hope in writing this? I certainly don't expect the socials to understand. I am sure that the socials that feel threatened by asocials won't feel I am less of a threat. Indeed, I am more dangerous because I am calling attention to the games that are supposed to be played in secret.

My hope is that this will at some point reach another asocial who will recognize themselves for what they are. Not to use an asocial nature for an excuse, but to gain understanding of self and why the world doesn't seem like a good fit. It isn't. Use the awareness to recognize the games, learn to duck at the right times, and find a niche on the frontier.

A bears gotta do what a bears gotta do.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Thank you for this - I am asocial myself, I live alone, most people in my life just don't get me and are convinced that I MUST be lonely LOL but the truth is, I can't wait for the weekend so I can just hang with my dogs, go to movies alone, dine out alone, watch my DVR'd stuff from the week, I just really enjoy my solitude. Like you said, I don't dislike people or have social anxiety, I just prefer not to do it. Cheers!