Are You A ‘Mismatcher’?




Knowing whether you are a matcher or a mismatcher or neither can make life much easier. These terms are used in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as a person’s ‘Meta-Program’ to describe a person’s habitual thinking patterns. Let’s find out more.

What is a mismatcher?

In conversations, for example, a mismatcher is a person who will automatically search for something that is different to what you have said. They will look for something that is the opposite or an exception.

Favorite statement of mismatchers include:

  • Yes, but…
  • This won’t work because…
  • No, I prefer it [the other way to what you proposed… ]
  • It depends…

Mismatchers are great to have around when you need someone to proofread your work or check for possible failures before launching a product. On the other hand they are pain the neck at the stage of developing a new idea or brainstorming for a project.

The extreme mismatcher will do the opposite of anything they are asked to do. They are called polarity responders.

Mismatching self

A true mismatcher will also mismatch themselves. If you notice that when you want to make a decision yourself and you hone in on your thoughts and hear statements like: ‘But if I do this, then… I might need to do the opposite, just in case… ‘

Mismatchers often find it challenging to follow their intuition or gut instinct because their mind is so programmed to then propose or steer in the opposite direction. This can become a truly tiring habit and there is often a great deal of mental energy wasted in jumping from one side to the opposite, back and forth until the original intuition is totally diluted.

If you mismatch yourself you are the only one able to catch you at your game and stop it. Your automatic thoughts of mismatching might not stop for a long time but you can decide not to give them too much notice and start following your first inkling. The first step was reading this article…

Dealing with mismatchers

Trying to win a mismatcher over to your ideas can be a challenge in itself, if you don’t know some basic tricks. As mentioned previously they are great fault finders so don’t enroll them in the beginning phase of your idea. Use negative psychology and phrase your ideas in the negative, like ‘I don’t know if this will work but… ‘ or ‘I’m not sure if you would like this idea… ‘.


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