Meaning of Ambivalent

By | January 15, 2021

Ambivalent is a concept associated with ambivalence (the particularity of what can be interpreted in contradictory ways with each other). For psychology, ambivalence is a state of mind in which opposite emotions coexist.

According to DigoPaul, the ambivalent exists from the notion of valence, which can be understood as interest or rejection towards a certain thing. What produces joy or pleasure has positive valence, while what generates sadness or pain has negative valence.

Ambivalence implies that feelings with positive valence and negative valence co-exist with respect to the same element. The typical example of ambivalence is love-hate: “I feel somewhat ambivalent about Maria: I am fascinated by her and I think I love her but, at the same time, I hate how she treats me when she is with her friends”, “The situation generates a ambivalence, since it causes me satisfaction and, at the same time, it causes me pain ”.

There are those who recognize different levels of ambivalence: it can be temporary or specific (when someone struggles between eating a bowl of noodles or maintaining a diet, for example), affective (the feelings found about a person) or intellectual (who pronounces simultaneously favor of a proposition and its opposite).

A behavior ambivalent may be linked to a mental disorder such as schizophrenia, the psychosis or obsessive neurosis, but is also associated with certain states accepted as normal, as is the case of jealousy.

In some contexts, a person is considered to be ambivalent when communicating through ambiguous signals, which hinders the social bond: “I do not understand Ariel: on the one hand he tells me that he misses me and on the other he does not call me in a week. He’s an ambivalent boy. ”

Ambivalent-ambivalent insecure attachment

The relationship that children establish with their parents or those closest adult referents are of vital importance for the development of their affective universe.

If this relationship is based on secure attachment, where the child feels contained and understood, it is likely that in the future he will develop enviable emotional stability; if instead the relationship is one of insecure attachment, the child will feel completely adrift and in the future it will be extremely difficult for him to establish a coherent life line, because of that frustrated relationship.

Insecure attachment occurs when the responses parents present to their children’s physical or emotional needs have a certain ambivalence or contradiction; that is, sometimes they respond positively, others negatively, and sometimes they do not respond directly. This creates a great deal of confusion for the child because she does not know when and how her parents will respond to her needs.

The consequence of all this is a deep feeling of abandonment and loneliness, which in turn places him powerless in front of his own existence, losing control; All this leads to great anxiety and manifests itself in strong self-distrust.

These children grow up with a feeling of never being good enough for others to love them and are always aware of the affective signs of their environment; In addition, this experience causes them low self-esteem, which makes them place themselves many steps below their environment.

The first difficulties of this disorder appear when the child enters an environment outside the family, generally the school. In this environment, children manifest clear cognitive and emotional problems; In this last aspect, they will feel the constant need to receive approval for everything they do, they will show possessive attitudes, jealousy and rivalry.

The clearest way to define the fundamental characteristic of this type of attachment is as an intense anxiety to feel loved and the feeling, at the same time, of not being loved that leads them to develop a disturbing concern about the attention or interest they present. the others in front of his person or acts.