Monday, June 18, 2012
Decisions, Decisions--Breaking The Cycle of The Ambivalent Mind.
So where does ambivalence come from? Many psychologists and social scientists report that certain personality traits tend to be associated with the ambivalent stance, such as obsessive compulsive tendencies, unhealthy psychological defensive styles (such as splitting), and under developed problem solving skills. Ambivalent thinkers systematically over-evaluate all sides of a situation. They carefully consider all potential options and outcomes yet remain unable to make decisions. Ambivalent thinkers also have a great fear of making a "wrong" or "bad" decision. This pattern of thinking contributes to constantly moving from one side of the decision fence to the other.
A certain degree of ambivalence is normal and healthy-in fact moderate ambivalent thinkers are thought to be emotionally and intellectually mature. Moderate ambivalent thinkers are able to recognize and appreciate the world with all its complexities and imperfections. Chronic ambivalence, however, is what interferes with our ability to move forward. Chronic ambivalence results in a rigid cycling pattern where we find ourselves constantly moving from one side of the decision fence to the other and when this happens, ambivalence becomes an emotional and psychological barrier to achieving genuine happiness.
Psycho-dynamic therapy can help with examining and resolving issues underlying the ambivalent stance. Issues surrounding intimacy, separation, trust, and self-confidence are commonly at the root of chronic ambivalence. Treatment that focuses on resolving these internal conflicts should help one to develop the courage to take action, make decisions with less fear, and have a "go for it" attitude.
Here are four tips to help you cope with ambivalence:
1.Write down your ambivalent feelings and the circumstances in which they occur.
2. Remind yourself that no person or situation is perfect and that all people and circumstances have both positive and negative aspects.
3. Recognize and accept your ambivalent feelings. Do not force yourself to make a rash decision.
4. Consider seeking professional help in order to help you examine and sort out your ambivalent feelings.
Do you suffer from ambivalence? How do you make decisions when you are ambivalent? Do you find yourself unable to move forward in life because of your ambivalence? I would like to hear from you.