There are so many ways we feel ambivalent these days: work, relationships, exercise, drinking or drugs, what to eat for dinner, major life changes.
A lot of people think ambivalence means you don’t care. Actually, ambivalence means that you really do care, but you are conflicted and uncertain about what is best for you. Being ambivalent is uncomfortable and we humans generally try to avoid discomfort. We may even avoid it by convincing ourselves that we don’t care. I help people who feel blinded or stuck because of their ambivalence to see their situation in a new light.
Ambivalence is often a signal that we want to change, but maybe we don’t feel ready, or we don’t know how, or we’ve tried so many times and the changes just didn’t seem to stick. These challenges are a totally normal part of the change process. They are very common. In fact, I expect to hear ambivalence and I am listening for the different ways it is expressed in our conversation. My training in Motivational Interviewing helps me hear the many ways we talk about either changing or staying the same.