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And when you do, you're on the path to fulfillment. Verified by Psychology Today. Evolution of the Self. After all, rationally considered, how can you love and hate somebody at the same time? Or at once be attracted to, and repulsed by, one and the same event?

Yet, however paradoxical, such experiences are universal. Or one that, in its multi-dimensionality, simultaneously left us with the ambiguous impulse to approach an object—yet, at the same time, avoid it. Unquestionably, the roots of procrastination are embedded in this vexing emotional bipolarity. You may be eager and excited to start a venture, while at the same time harboring fears about not being able to complete it successfully.

And this nagging anxiety will give you pause. For something deep inside you forces you to put on the brakes. But these positives may be perfectly counterbalanced by a strong, unshakeable need to protect yourself from possible rejection, failure, or loss. And humans, like metallic currency, are also composed of sides though a lot more than two!

Ironically, the tension between these parts creates a stasis or standoff altogether dissimilar from any kind of harmonious equilibrium. The almost indescribable emotion of falling in love, or being in love, has to be seen as one of the most positive, exhilarating emotional states imaginable.

Words that have been employed to depict such vast frustration or disappointment range from sorrow, regret, grief and misery, to heartwrenching agony, anguish, and despair.


On the one hand, you may experience a certain gratification at witnessing this bully get what he so richly deserves. Yet, if you have strong, adverse feelings toward bullying in general, you may be repulsed by two or three adolescents older than he savagely ridiculing and beating up on him. So you find yourself actually feeling compassion for him.

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Your mixed feelings come not from the situation itself but your views of justice and fair play. Earlier you identified emotionally with his younger victims; now, curiously, you find yourself identifying with him.

Conflicted Emotions - ESO Life

So hearing the news of his demise leads you to experience considerable satisfaction and relief, knowing that this cold, manipulative, deceiving sociopath of a father is now out of your life for good. So yes, undoubtedly—though only rarely with the same intensity—you can feel two different things at the same time. But this is a subject that I believe deserves a post to itself. And if you found this post in any way useful—and believe others you know might as well—please consider forwarding them its link.

Didn't Ralph Waldo Emerson say something aboutt the brains of youths differing from adult brains - in that youths can experience a number of different emotions at one time and so have a better understanding of themselves and that for that reason can be misunderstood, when for example laughing at an incident where someone falls - as they are not laughing at the person's pain but rather at amusement at the nature of the fall, while all the time also feeling sympathy for the person's pain - one emotion doesn't override the other.


Emerson I think it was he went on to say that adults, forced to conceal "inappropriate" emotion tend over time to develop sets of composite emotions - resulting in kinds of a generic reactions, blander reactions which diminsh them. I imagine that a youth's set of emotional reactions is like a wholre range of colourful sticks of plasticine laid side by side, while adults set of emotional reactions are mixtures of colours, resulting in less variation and less brilliance of colour. Perhaps I misunderstand, or perhaps I am considering the issue from a different direction, but I often have different, sometimes diametrically opposed, emotions about a singular event that I don't believe cause me confusion or ambivalence.

For example, I can be both grateful to find an 8-ounce glass with 4 ounces of beverage, because I am thirsty, yet be disappointed that it does not contain the full 8 ounces, because I need more to produce satiety. Technically speaking, having these two simultaneous, conflicting reactions constitutes ambivalence, but by definition ambivalence is "experienced as psychologically unpleasant" which can then lead to avoidance or procrastination. In relation to the glass of beverage, I can choose to be more disappointed than grateful, or vice versa, which will determine whether my overall outlook on the object is positive or negative, but whether I choose gratitude or disappointment is not based on the conflicting emotions, but rather my choice to feel more strongly about one or the other.

Conflicted emotions, what should I do?

Nor does choosing one over the other produce avoidance or procrastination. Being a realist, if I am thirsty, I will gratefully drink the 4 ounces of beverage unless it's not consumable for some reason and if I remain in physical distress from thirst, I will scan my environment for more, realizing that further lamentation that the glass was not full will not reduce my thirst.

How is the existence of simultaneous emotions in this example unhealthy, and how does it cause uncertainty and procrastination? I believe we cannot experience the conflicting emotions at the same time.

Yes we can escalate from one into another as somehow they may be on the same continuim or as you say bi polar. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads.

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Coping with the Conflicting Emotions of Grief

Author links open overlay panel Eric Schniter a Roman M. Sheremeta b Timothy W. Abstract We observed reports of conflicted concurrent positive and negative emotions activated after interactions in the Trust game. Recommended articles Citing articles 0.