Are there people in your life who just won’t agree with you—no matter how sound your argument? Do they focus on the validity of the smaller points rather than the big picture? Do you find yourself bogged down in the details rather than moving forward towards a solution? If so, you’ve got yourself a “Mismatcher.”
As human beings, we tend to be creatures of habit. This doesn’t just apply to our behaviors, it also applies to our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes. “Meta-program” is a term used in nuero-linguistic programing (NLP)—a name that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming.
Meta-programs are often auto-pilot programs within our brains that we use to create, control or make decisions. Examples of NLP meta-programs include the preference for overview or detail, the preference for where to place one’s attention during conversation, habitual linguistic patterns, body language and common questions we ask to solve problems.
Matchers tend, initially, to agree with what you’re saying. Their first-expressed ideas tend to meld fairly cohesively with yours and they stay within the boundaries of the mental play area you’ve established. They will find similarities in their situation, experiences and imagination.
What are the reasons for this? Part of it may have to do with their desire to be liked and respected by you. Maybe that’s part of their personal culture, or something they learned from their youth or family life. Perhaps it’s a bit of the wider culture—“go along to get along.” Or perhaps that’s just how they’ve trained their brain to work.
Depending on their personality and level of people skills, mismatchers may vary from being interesting to being annoying. More self-aware or mature people know when finding fault is helpful, and when it is useless or damaging.
A mismatcher finds (indeed, looks for) ways in which what you’ve presented is flawed. Generally the first responses they give will be the exception to the rule, the slight ambiguity in the definition you are using, the potentially false premise you are basing your point upon. They may say, “Well, actually…” quite a bit.