Is Ambivalence Healthy? Researchers Have Mixed Feelings | Stanford Graduate School of Business

Whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us view ambivalence as a mindset to be avoided. Decades of research have shown that holding both negative and positive attitudes about something makes us uncomfortable and anxious. More often than not, ambivalence is regarded as a weakness that causes unnecessary conflict.

That’s why most people are motivated to resolve their ambivalent feelings and take a stand one way or another. This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged issues like abortion and the death penalty — we have a natural tendency to steer away from counter arguments.

There are times,

9 thoughts on “Is Ambivalence Healthy? Researchers Have Mixed Feelings | Stanford Graduate School of Business

  1. Funny title! Interesting how someone is always willing to tell us how to live and even how to think. I don’t mind a little ambivalence. It feels like an open mind. Like I haven’t finished thinking about something yet. 🙂

      1. Thinking about things thoroughly requires a long period of ambivalence. You might even say it’s essential. It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? Don’t we all like decisive people? But why are they more confident than someone who is taking their time to think things through and may come to a better decision. Just slower. So the more confident someone is, the less ambivalent, the more misguided, perhaps.

      2. This fits in very well to be a post t I have just done about negative negative capability. Speed is mostly not very good at producing ideas or solutions to problems and it maybe we’re trying to evade anxiety mulling over the problem properly

    1. I wouldn’t mind you that most of us have mixed feelings about a lot of things unless we are fanatics. Some people go to church for social reasons after they’ve lost 50% their belief in God. Other people don’t like to go to church even though they believe 60% often we have no idea why we do the things yet we judge other people what they do. Judgemental views are very difficult to deal with.

      1. It’s true. Then attending church becomes more of a cultural requirement than an obligation to worship God, who perhaps never would have intended to be worshipped at all. If we are all made in God’s image, and have a degree of divinity in us, then when we create, a degree of divinity goes into that, too. I like that idea. Perhaps when we create we’re searching for the divine within ourselves. I created a family. I don’t want them to worship me. I want them to live and find things and people to love. Extrapolating back to God, were we created merely to be characters in a play without choice — following fate blindly? That seems unlikely. Were we created merely to use our efforts to build monuments to God? That seems unlikely, too. The world itself would be a monument to God, and nothing we can do could even approach that magnificence. There are many puzzling questions in this world. But the one thing that is clear is that we live better lives as parts of society than we would entirely alone, without food distribution chains, creative inventors, sturdy shelter, entertainment, medical care, etc. Does that mean we have to attend church, bringing our doubts and fears into that hallowed place? Only you can answer that for yourself.

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