Don’t Confuse Ambivalence with Cognitive Dissonance


Recently I was told I was ambivalent when I was actually dealing with cognitive dissonance. At first glance they are somewhat similar apart from one being an adjective and the other a noun. To be clear I am rarely if ever ambivalent. I am black and white on issues and actions, sometimes even stubborn. The definitions are below.

ambivalent :

1. having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs.

cognitive dissonance :

1. anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.
I may appear to be uncertain, but I am almost always clear on my path….it’s just that I may not be happy with having to do it….
Now I hope we are crystal clear on the appearance of hesitation…not that anyone cares!

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