I'm trying to describe this personality trait/behaviour that someone demonstrates. Consider this situation; while a group of colleagues hangs out at a bar, someone suddenly suggests a lottery group play where everyone puts in a small amount of money. While everyone willingly participates, one person refused and opted out of the play.

What are some ways of describing this particular person's behaviour and/or the personality trait that this person possesses? Obviously he's cheap, but leaving money aside, I'm trying to describe his behaviour/trait with emphasis to the negativity and fact of him not willing to act with the group.

Another example maybe, if the group of colleagues suddenly decides to go bowling and the same individual opted out again because he dislikes it greatly. Not all the rest of the people in the group likes bowling but they go anyways. What quality is this individual lacking? And what are some ways of describing this kind of behaviour and personality trait?

4 Answers 4


Besides the great words @coleopterist suggested, that person can also be considered a "nonconformist", "individualist", or slightly derogatory "lone wolf", "loner" or "rebel"


Such a person is not being a team player and is something of a spoilsport.

Definition of spoilsport
a person who behaves in a way that spoils others' pleasure, especially by not joining in an activity:
‘Don’t be a spoilsport, Sidney.’

Similar terms: wet blanket, killjoy, party pooper.

  • 4
    Actually, I don't see anything in the original question that points to the negative behavior spoiling the fun of the others. Except for the one not participating, they all participate in the lottery or they all go bowling. They all have fun. They all notice that one person isn't participating. They don't let that stop them from enjoying themselves. Feb 21, 2013 at 20:06
  • @Jim By not playing ball, the person can dampen proceedings. Feb 21, 2013 at 20:46
  • @Jim ya, I guess you're right. I think I'm looking more for the behaviour/traits that an individualist, as you and Kristina Lopez suggests, possesses in relation to the context. Possibly individualistic, nonconforming, etc..?
    – Theo
    Feb 21, 2013 at 21:39
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    @Theo Yes. If no one seems to be bothered by the action of the non-participant, there is no spoiling, no dampening. Someone may try to evoke his participation with a taunting accusation that he is a spoilsport (or even a troglodyte, which isn't the same as a spoilsport :-) ), but if his failure to participate doesn't bring the party down a notch, then he's not a spoilsport. Feb 21, 2013 at 22:23

A troglodyte. No, really, he is a loner:

From freedictionaryonline.com

a person who avoids the company or assistance of others, lone hand, lone wolf, individualist

a person who pursues independent thought or action, recluse, solitudinarian, troglodyte, solitary, hermit

one who lives in solitude

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    You shouldn't use a synonym without checking how appropriate it is for the use in question, as near-synonyms may not have the sense required in their overlap. Literally a troglodyte is someone who lives in a cave. Figuratively, it suggests a brutish degree of anti-social attitude beyond a mere spoilsport.
    – Jon Hanna
    Feb 21, 2013 at 19:07
  • @JonHanna, good point although I suppose a person could be called a "troglodyte" in jest, like we (women) call men "cavemen" sometimes - out of ear-reach! lol! :-) Feb 21, 2013 at 19:12
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    It was a joke, Jon. I merely wanted to highlight the intersection of common terminology (like "loner") with more expressive, but over-the-top, language. And I might refer to a loner associate as a troglodyte, just to get his goat. Feb 21, 2013 at 19:13

I know this is an old post but....

Obstinate - stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.

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