I'm looking for a word for someone with personality traits that oppose each other. Not someone two-faced but more like someone who is two sides of a coin but a the same time; like shy but outgoing, dominant but submissive, selfish but generous, or vain but hates them self. A walking-talking oxymoron but that's not the word I'm looking for either. It was used by a teacher to describe me but I cannot remember it.

Its either adj or n but I cant quite remember the context; something like:

You have a very insert word personality, or
Your conflicting personality makes you a insert word.


8 Answers 8


You might say that the person is complex, or complicated.

This characterization is often used in situations where a person exhibits contradictory tendencies.

Urban Dictionary even has an entry for complicated:

When your emotions are constantly in conflict with each other, and you just want to escape the world.

Urban Dictionary

That said, these words are also used to describe a person who has a deep or nuanced personality, so they may be a bit more general than what you're after.




Your second example 'Your conflicting personality makes you a...' provides the clue; conflicted works as an adjective.

From the Oxford Living Dictionary:

as adjective conflicted:
Having or showing confused and mutually inconsistent feelings.
‘he remains a little conflicted about Marlene’

So as in your first example:

You have a very conflicted personality.


is it enigmatic, by any chance?

  • 3
    This would be improved by including a dictionary reference to your chosen word and an explanation as to why you chose it. Feb 6, 2020 at 6:27

I think multi-faceted or duality might be a better way to describe them without sounding judgemental. I'm looking for a more suitable word too.

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    This would be improved by including a dictionary reference to your chosen words and an explanation as to why you think they fit this scenario. Feb 27, 2023 at 8:58

The word dichotomy means something with seemingly contradictory qualities.
So, the usage could be You have a dichotomous personality

Also, I would suggest not using 'very'. Any word that needs very before it, can be replaced by a more sophisticated word.


What about contradicting or opposing

Per M-W: contradicting

implying, causing, or being a contradiction

contradicting statements

The detectives found contradicting evidence.


1: to place over against something so as to provide resistance, counterbalance, or contrast
one military force opposed to another

concreteness as opposed to abstraction —L. E. Lynch

2: to place opposite or against something

oppose the enemy

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    This would be improved by including a dictionary reference to your chosen words and an explanation as to why you think they fit this scenario. Sep 29, 2023 at 20:01

Maybe self-contradictory?

EDIT - My initial answer was the following, but I realise that this is incorrect:

Dare I say schizophrenic fits the bill - i.e. split personality? I think this not exactly what you are looking for, but it's pretty close.

  • 4
    Just FYI, schizophrenic does not mean "split personality", though the Greek etymology would suggest it does. No, the word simply means "unable to determine what is real". The term for split personality is the disappointingly straightforward "multiple personality disorder".
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 14, 2016 at 13:27
  • Shows I should have checked first. Thanks for enlightening me.
    – asoundmove
    Dec 14, 2016 at 13:29
  • 1
    This answer is more appropriate as a comment at the moment. Mar 6, 2017 at 14:48

Were you looking for diametrically opposing?

  • 2
    This could be a good answer if it had more content - like an explanation, an example, even a citation. Please take the tour.
    – Davo
    Jun 26, 2020 at 18:26

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