ABCs – Match or Mismatch


Match or Mismatch communication stylesHave you ever had a conversation with someone and all they seemed to do was to point out the differences between your point of view and theirs? That if you said you were alike in some way, they would disagree and tell you that in fact no, you are completely opposite?

Or maybe you’ve had that experience when talking to someone that they keep pointing out how alike you are, your thoughts are, or similarities of circumstances. They will agree with you easily and consistently point out commonalities.

These are examples of the Mismatch and Match metaprograms – the way our brain sorts information. They relate to the Sameness and Difference programs which are often related (where we like the Same things or ways of being vs we prefer what is Different to others.

If you are speaking to a person who prefers to Match – they you want to find the similarities, it will make them feel comfortable. These people are more likely to want to wear the latest fashions so they are the same as others. They will care greatly about fitting in, ask about the dress-code to an event and ensure that they are like their colleagues and peers. They are most likely going to shop with a friend and ask opinions before purchasing anything and are happy to tell you exactly where they purchased an item.

Now a Mismatcher likes to be different. They look for differences, not wanting to be the same. They may be seen as contrary or difficult by Matchers (who just don’t understand them, particularly when a Matcher tries to point out similarities and has it thrown back in their face by the Mismatcher). They may be more creative in their dressing style and will avoid telling you where they bought an item, for fear you will go out and buy the same and match them!

Are you a natural Matcher or Mismatcher?


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  • is there something in-between?

    I want to stand out a little for people to notice me but not be outrageously different. I would never follow a fashion trend just for the sake of it and I do dress according to what I like/ what I think suits me, no matter what other people think/their opinions are. but if there is a dress code (even if unspoken) I want to adhere, would feel really uncomfortable being dressed very differently from everyone else.

    case in point, went to a party a couple of years ago, every girl was wearing a dress, but I was wearing jeans and a pretty top. overall my outfit was not that different from everyone else’s, yet I felt so uncomfortable and out of place. at the same time: having to wear a uniform and looking identical to everyone else is my idea of hell.

    as i said: something in-between?

    • I think you’re missing the point Susie – you want to be appropriate – that is different from Match/Mismatch. So you want to fit in – but do you want to wear the SAME/SIMILAR as others or still be DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT from everyone else – whilst still being appropriate. Sounds like you are more of a MATCH person.

  • Similar to the comment above. Im neither of these.
    I like to get opinions and knowing formalities of the occasion but I dont like to “fit in” exactly as everyone else nor do I care about trends or certain “rules”. Knowing others opinions and how to get dressed to an occasion gives me new perspectives from others. Im some situation it makes me comfortable because I’ll tweak them afterwards. I’ve no problem standing out and be different but like to hear others opinions before making my own decisions. So I don’t really fit into either groups.

    My mother on the other hand is definitely a mis-matcher, haha xD

    Interesting topic though! Makes you understand why people act as certain way when discussing clothing. There is one thing that are related to these topic that bothers me sometimes. When asking someone about a few options for example which dress would be more suitable for a wedding – why do people often response in a way that make them think you are buying it for them? “I dont this print. It makes ME fat”. How do you deal with this? :L

    • People who don’t think about clothing in the way you (or I do) can only relate to a garment based on their own experiences and what they do and don’t like and what suits their unique body – as they don’t know how to envisage a garment on someone else and whether or not it would work for them. That’s all.

      • I can understand their reaction if the person ask which option do they *like* better. But whether a clothing is suitable for an occassion doesn’t really have bodyshape and personal style alone to determine that?
        Like a different example was when I asked on another forum if an outfit were appropriate (slim fitted dresspants with a satin blouse) for an occasion. the response: You are not “suppose to” wear such a outfit, you are too skinny! (they didn’t like the way my knees/thighs looks in that picture, did they think I said “does this outfit flatter me?”).

        …Or perhaps Im overthinking or like you said, have different experiences, because Ive always been amused by those arguments. I hear them everywhere (not only about myself). 😛

  • For the most of my life I felt like an alien, an outcast, an outsider and it was probably reflected in my clothing choices, but I think, at least for a while, I tried to blend. However, I have recently noticed I dress differently from other mums at the playground. I don’t think I look spectacularly different, but it’s a comfortable difference for me.

  • Well.. I have to admit that I ask others more as an afterthought concerning a fait accompli rather than before-hand. If I ask at all. I think I dress quite mainstream nowadays, I’m not as radically “individual” as I was when I really got creative about dressing, so usually I don’t worry about it. When I do have to really THINK about dressing for something “special” I tend to get very confused and nearly incapable of making any decision from being so unfamiliar with the kind of perspective needed to sort these kinds of situations out. Not that I have much of a choice with a very limited wardrobe, but since I’m carefully cultivating it I suppose it will grow to a “choicier” size eventually.. colour analysis combined with a limited budget and much needed style redefining have had a very slimming effect on my clothing selection 🙂 I guess that since I really, really enjoy the clothes I have now, I’m probably not going to be more prone to ask others in the future… I do “ask” my camera. But I have a feeling that this doesn’t count. When I do ask someone else, it’s most likely because I value that person’s perspective and want his or her interpretation of what I’m wearing, in much the same way as I would when e.g. visiting a museum/exhibition with that person.

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