Or, “A love-hate relationship with ambivalence”
In this blog post, I will attempt to share some of my current thoughts and related ideas on “general, specific, and conflicting feelings”.
What is your guilty pleasure?
While “pleasure” is a feeling of happiness (contentment, enjoyment), and “guilt” is a feeling of sadness (disappointment, remorse), a “guilty pleasure” is something that evokes both feelings of satisfaction and regret, simultaneously.
I have many guilty pleasures. Reality TV. Driving fast. Schadenfreude.
One of my more innocuous guilty pleasures is pizza. I like the taste of pizza. And, I also like the smell of pizza. However, I dislike the calories of pizza. And, I also dislike the high price of pizza.
I have ambivalent feelings about pizza. That is, I have mixed, contradictory feelings about pizza. And, while it might be reasonable to say, “I like pizza”, or “I dislike pizza”, it might be more reasonable (and accurate) to say, “I simultaneously like certain aspects about pizza while I dislike other aspects about pizza”.
By definition, I have ambivalent feelings about all my guilty pleasures. However, upon reflection, I actually have ambivalent feelings about most everything. I’m ambivalent about most people, places, things, and ideas. For most things, “I simultaneously like certain aspects about them while I dislike other aspects about them”. And that’s ok.
This realization and subsequent awareness has helped me better consider which certain aspects of a particular thing I like and dislike, which in turn has helped me better recognize and understand my more nuanced thoughts and feelings about minor things - like reality TV, driving fast, and schadenfreude - and major things - like my work and job, my family, friends, and acquaintances, and even my life.
In My Experience, considering the specific emotions I have towards different aspects of a particular thing helps me better understand how I generally feel about it, how to approach and react to it, and how to express my feelings about the thing to others.