6

I am aware of the concept of "personality clash", when two people can't get along because their natures are too different, but what is it called when two people can't get along because their personalities are too similar?

  • 1
    This is known as "Coulomb's law" (as the ancient Greeks put it: "likes repel and opposites attract"), or, in the world of fashion, "too matchy-matchy". :) – Dan Bron Aug 24 '14 at 13:17
  • 1
    nice one on matchy-matchy – Fattie Aug 24 '14 at 15:04
  • In practice determining whether two people don't get along because they are too much alike, or too different from one another, or for some other reason, to a lay individual is at best only superficial. Ultimately it is something that highly skilled psychiatrists might not even be able to reach agreement about. I think the term 'personality clash' has to be taken to refer to the product of the relationship rather than to the constituent explanation. – WS2 Aug 24 '14 at 15:12
  • I don't think that personality clash implies natures that are too different. It can just as easily apply to those that are too similar. Personalities can clash for any number of reasons (and perhaps even sometimes for no reason). – Drew Jan 2 '15 at 3:12
3

As Dan Bron says in a comment under the poster's question, one option is to use the expression "likes repel." Another option is to say that the their personalities leave the two people struggling with "contempt bred of familiarity."

1

In practice any ability to determine whether two people don't get along because they are too much alike, or too different from one another, or for some other reason, is, to a lay individual, at best only superficial.

Ultimately it is something that highly skilled psychiatrists might not even be able to reach agreement about.

I think the term 'personality clash' has to be taken to refer to the product of the relationship rather than to the constituent explanation. Otherwise we shall all need training in psychiatry simply in order to say whether there has been a clash or not.

The broken china is all the evidence I need for the existence of a 'personality clash'.

  • Interesting, but has nothing to do with the question, as what one wants to write need not have anything to do with what is correct. If one want to write that two people can't get along because they have similar personalities, then that is a thought that the English language can easily express. In fact, the OP did. It's perfectly OK to just say what one means without hunting about for a suitable cliche. – Marc Rochkind Sep 18 '14 at 20:41
  • @MarcRochkind I don't agree, for the reason that the OP's question implies that the expression he/she is seeking is the opposite of 'personality clash'. If two people don't get along, even for the hypothetical reason that they are two much alike, it is still a 'personality clash'. The last describes an out come. But the OP is seeking a way of describing a cause. – WS2 Sep 20 '14 at 6:43
0

When two people can't get along because their personalities are too similar, that's also a personality clash or perhaps a power struggle. It is common to say, they are too much alike, with the implication that the similarity causes the clash.

It is a familiar dynamic within families, when a child's personality is remarkably like a parent's, causing difficulties between them.

Example: Father says, "I am out of patience with my son. My son is insubordinate." Son says, "I cannot get along with Father. He is so domineering." Each is describing the same personality trait.

0

Believe you would call it the same. Personalities clash whether very different or very alike. Two stubborn people, two indecisive, two passives, two angry, two egoists, two disorganized, it goes on and on. Personality conflict perhaps? Sure if you researched some psychological sites, you could come up with a psychological term for it, but it's basically the same either way. Like people sometimes have more conflict than unlikes as they are mirror images of themselves. And there are a lot of people out there who don't like to look in the mirror at themselves, therefore...hmm, mirror image conflict, intergroup conflict, not a mental health professional, but sure you can find the proper terminology.

0

I've heard this called "the narcissism of small differences." It's not exactly how Freud meant it in Civilization and Its Discontents but basically if Sonya & Jim are both metalheads but Sonya thinks Jim is a poser because he's into stoner metal while Sonya only listens to the blackest of Norwegian black metal, you could say it's the narcissism of small differences. Perhaps to Bill, who is into jazz, black metal and stoner metal both just sound like metal but to people invested in the culture and identity of their subgenre, the differences are really important. Maybe you can apply this to personality?

  • welcome to ELU :-) I'm not sure if you can adapt Freud's term (which your Wikipedia link describes as relating to communities) to the specific question being asked here. Also, your example describes a clash between two opposing (rather than matching) tastes in heavy metal. You might like to edit your answer to replace that example with one where Freud's term was applied to a clash between similar personalities. – Chappo May 20 '16 at 4:07

protected by user140086 May 20 '16 at 3:07

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.