Being a dissocial extrovert is hard

Last night, Samantha and I went into NYC to see Daniel Bauer’s “Purity” show at The Duplex Theater with my friend Ian. It was a fun show and his magic is simple but effective. The Duplex is a very small venue and the intimate setting really lets you enjoy the experience nicely.

But, that’s not the point … what I really want to write about is some introspecting I did. I’ve known that I’m an extrovert, but oddly I don’t tend to enjoy myself amongst a large number of people. I usually end up spending time with the same few people once I identify who I want to spend time with.

A while ago, I stumbled upon the definition of dissocial personality disorder which fits me to a tee. I’m finding that the Paxil and Wellbutrin combo are helping a lot with this, but it hasn’t totally eliminated the feelings of “gee, I wish there weren’t so many people here.”

I realize that the definition of extrovert doesn’t necessarily speak to the number of people one interacts with but merely the fact that external interaction brings positive effect, and it’s clearly possible to be a dissocial extrovert because I am one, but it also means finding people that I enjoy spending time with is difficult.

I just wanted to get these thoughts down in writing before they escaped my head, so I can reflect on them later, and perhaps some of you have insights to share that I may not have thought of, yet. See, there I go again, that extroverted nature which thinks better by expressing than reflecting, looking for external inputs …


  1. Dossy, your wife has agreed to be sure you all attend the holiday edition of Purity, December 6th ( so that the word simple in your blog might be changed to “amazingly pure, yet complex and astonishing!!” – whereby we would each be restrained in a straight jacket (applied by the audience of course) – and see who can escape first!!! This might also be a new cure for the dissocial!!! I do hope you will return and experience the exciting, thrilling holiday edition! Thanks for the plug, and the simple review – big smile here! What’s on your mind?? LOL. I will even comp your ticket if you agree to this little challenge!!

  2. You know dissocial personality disorder is more or less a psychiatric term for criminal, right?

    • You know you’re wrong, right? Please, don’t troll, thanks.

      • Tortelli-ism says

        Anon was a little crass in his wording, but I don’t think Dissocial Personality Disorder is what you think it is. From the link you provided, it is characterized by “callous unconcern for the feelings of others,” “low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence,” and “incapacity to experience guilt.” While not everyone who has Dissocial Personality Disorder is a criminal, it is marked by the lack of remorse and feelings of personal entitlement that make criminality easy. Dissocial Personality Disorder does not mean a person dislikes being around people. The psychological term for that is Avoidant Personality Disorder, but that is due to anxiety. Contrary to popular belief, there is no psychological disorder that says someone who simply does not want to be around many people is unwell based on that fact alone. If the reasons for not wanting to be around very many people are anxiety or depression-related or related to lacking social skills then there is a psychological term for it, but people who are happy being in small groups or being completely alone do not have a psychological diagnosis that would fit them. The word you might be thinking of is unsocial, which means lacking a desire to be around people (it’s not a psychological term). It’s not the same as dissocial or antisocial. People like to use them interchangeably, but neither dissocial nor antisocial have very much to do with lacking a desire to be around people.

        • Tortelli-ism,

          Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. Let me respond briefly, hopefully better explaining my thinking around this matter:

          Note that the DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria for diagnosis uses the language “three or more” or “at least 3 of ” — while I agree that there are a combination of symptoms that satisfy a DPD diagnosis which may align with a criminal likelihood, there are also alternate combinations which do not necessarily entail criminality. For example:

          3. impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
          5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
          6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;

          I didn’t really speak to the issue of what I mean when I say “I wish there weren’t so many people here,” but I’ll say this: it’s not a matter of anxiety or lack of desire to be around people. It refers to a much more robust group of emotions that I didn’t want to go into detail over.

          I actually desire the company of others over being alone. I’m quite comfortable in social settings, and wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as an especially anxious person. This is why I self-identify as an extrovert. While I can appear to get along with just about anyone, I’m actually quite selective about who I actually prefer to be around. This lightly touches on what I mean when I say “I wish there weren’t so many people here.”

Speak Your Mind