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zookeeny's avatar

What does it mean to have a Cassandra personality?

Asked by zookeeny (880points) January 22nd, 2010

I heard the saying today but wasnt sure what it meant exactly. It was in the context of “you have what is called a Cassandra personality”. I have googled it but not really come up with anything much. What does it mean? I know she was a greek mythology character but how does that transcribe into nowdays and someone being said to have or be a Cassandra personality. Is it real or is it a sort of joke? What would be the traits of this kind of character and what references or similar characters are there in literature inspired by the Cassandra personality?

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15 Answers

Ruallreb8ters's avatar

thinking you know everything but not able to convince people you do.

grumpyfish's avatar

What @Ruallreb8ters said—Cassandra was given the gift of prophesy by Apollo, when she didn’t return his love he cursed her by making no one believe her prophesies.

Cruiser's avatar

From Greek mythology: Cassandra predicted the outcome of many disastrous events. In one memorable example, Cassandra announced the dire consequences of the Trojans accepting the infamous Wooden Horse from their Greek opponents. But as Apollo made certain, no one believed Cassandra when she warned her companions about the future. And this, in the end, was to be Cassandra’s tragic fate.

pearls's avatar

This is what I found. Cassandra is emotional, open, and pleasant, smiles a lot, and has a strong creative streak.

filmfann's avatar

You might have more luck with the term Casandra Complex

TheJoker's avatar

Most people use it to mean you’re always expecting the worst to happen.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Never head of this personality type – have heard of the greek character. It’s interesting.

marinelife's avatar

I think whoever said it meant it this way:

“In 1963, psychologist Melanie Klein provided an interpretation of Cassandra as representing the human moral conscience whose main task is to issue warnings. Cassandra as moral conscience, “predicts ill to come and warns that punishment will follow and grief arise.”[2] Cassandra’s need to point out moral infringements and subsequent social consequences is driven by what Klein calls “the destructive influences of the cruel super-ego,” which is represented in the Greek myth by the god Apollo, Cassandra’s overlord and persecutor.[3]”


That is, that you predict gloom and doom outcomes for people with a moralistic tone.

wunday's avatar

Wikipedia can help. Oh. I see @Marina just quoted a relevant section.

Were you accused of having the Cassandra complex? What were you warning of? I guess you may have been offering advice that the other person(s) might not have wanted to hear.

The thing is that nobody really likes a Cassandra. I guess if you can’t tell this, then you may have a handicapped emotional intelligence, such as is often the case with people with Aspergers.

People become quite uncomfortable when told they are doing something immoral or wrong. If they keep on doing that behavior after the warning, it’s a sign they don’t care. If you keep on warning after that, they will eventually get pissed at you, and try to get rid of you somehow.

(BTW—when I say “you” I don’t mean you personally, but the plural “you.”)

MagsRags's avatar

I immediately thought of SNL’s Debbie Downer

breedmitch's avatar

Gloom and doom.

avvooooooo's avatar

There are two ways you can take this. It can be someone who:

1) Is always making predictions and never able to convince others they’re right,


2) Is gloom and doom all the time.

Either or both are probably how this was meant. If someone accused you of having these personality traits (technically there is no such thing as a “Cassandra personality”), maybe you need to look at your behavior and how you’re talking to people. Just an idea.

DrMC's avatar

Fascinating question comrade.

There is a medical analogy – where the “apollo figure” creates problems for the patient, creating a functional disorderhysteria in olde terms.

the hallmark of a presenting functional disorder in my experience is a list of tests and other physicians who have ignored the frantic complaints of the individual.

Don’t worry. Our work camps will re-educate you.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I liken it to a person of intellectual prowess or spiritual insight who due to being maligned or cursed, is deemed insane and discredited as a result. A kind of social parriah in a sence.

*By the way, welcome to my life. That should be my name!

It is exactly why I ask the questions I do. I’m not shy, I admit it.

zander101's avatar

@zookeeny amazing question.

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