5 Good Synonyms For Having Mixed Feelings (Meaning Explained)

If you’re someone who frequently gets mixed or conflicting emotions, you might want to know what words are out there to describe you. Mixed emotions lead to confused feelings, so it might help to express yourself in another way with one of the words from this article.

Which Words Can I Use To Describe Having Mixed Feelings?

There are a few great words we can use to describe this phenomenon, and they include:

  • Ambivalent
  • Conflicted
  • Torn
  • Dichotomous
  • Confused
Which Words Can I Use To Describe Having Mixed Feelings?

The preferred version is “ambivalent” because it offers the closest meaning to what we’re looking for. Someone might feel ambivalent when they’re unsure how to process two conflicting emotions or feelings, and you can use the word in such a way to demonstrate this.


We’ll start with “ambivalent,” which is the most suitable word you can use to describe mixed emotions or feelings in yourself or others.

“Ambivalent” works well when we want to talk about mixed feelings. It means that someone is experiencing two completely opposite feelings at the same time, causing them to be incredibly indecisive and unsure about their true emotions.

The definition of “ambivalent,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “having two opposing feelings at the same time, or being uncertain about how you feel.”

If you’re ambivalent, it’s usually contradictory and opposing in feelings. You can be:

  • Happy and sad
  • Angry and calm
  • Shy and confident

As long as your emotions or feelings contradict each other, “ambivalent” is the correct word to talk about them.

You might see “ambivalent” works as follows:

  • This is too ambivalent for me to deal with right now. I’ve never been both happy and sad like this!
  • I’m ambivalent about whether I want to go through this with you or not.
  • She’s ambivalent about giving you an answer because she’s got two conflicting ideas in her head.
  • Your ambivalence shows that you’re not as enthusiastic about this as I am.


“Conflicted” is another great adjective we use when someone is struggling to decide between two options in their mind. This leads to mixed feelings, as they can’t find a way to confidently process what they’re thinking about.

The definition of “conflicted,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “confused or worried because you cannot choose between very different ideas, feelings, or beliefs, and do not know what to do or believe.”

Conflicted ideas often lead to confusion, making it harder for them to come to any reasonable decisions.

You’ll mostly find that conflicted people struggle when multiple people introduce new ideas or situations for them to think about. The more a conflicted mind has to deal with, the harder it is for them to think at all.

“Conflicted” feelings might appear in the following ways:

  • He’s just conflicted, so give him some space to try and figure his things out.
  • She’s too conflicted, and you won’t get an outright answer until she’s figured out what she wants.
  • I’m conflicted about whether I want to go so far away to study or not!
  • We’re conflicted on this matter, and it’s causing a giant wedge to come between us!


“Torn” is an informal verb we use to talk about someone struggling to choose between two possibilities. In this way, it causes them to be indecisive and will lead to them evaluating their own emotions and feelings to see whether something is truly worth doing.

The definition of “torn,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “finding it difficult to choose between two possibilities.”

If you’re torn, you’ll usually see both the good and bad in certain situations. You’ll want to carry on with whatever you’re doing due to the positive effects of it, but you’ll also want to stop because you can see the imminent negative effects on the horizon.

“Torn” is a great word we can use in the following ways:

  • I’m torn between loving you and wanting to end things right here and now!
  • He’s torn, and he has no idea how to tackle this situation without your help!
  • I’m torn, and I don’t know how to get over it! On the one hand, I need your help. On the other, I don’t want anything to do with you.
  • They’re torn about whether they should move abroad or not. After all, it’s a big decision.


It’s not common to see “dichotomous” used, but it’s a great descriptive word for mixed feelings nonetheless. It works synonymously with “ambivalent,” where two completely opposite ideas or emotions are affecting your overall judgment.

The definition of “dichotomous,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “involving two completely opposing ideas or things.”

Again, the key word in the definition of “dichotomous” is “opposing.” We only use this word when talking about two thoughts or emotions that are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

These emotions being the complete opposite of each other makes them much harder for people to process, leading to serious indecisiveness.

We could use “dichotomous” as follows:

  • This is a dichotomous decision, and I don’t think there’s any way I can truly make it without plenty of time to think.
  • He’s always got dichotomous emotions, which never allow him to choose exactly what he wants to do and where he wants to go.
  • Stop being so dichotomous with your ultimatums! I need to think this over because my mixed feelings are getting unbearable.
  • My mind likes to be dichotomous with me, making it very difficult for me to pick any finalities.


We included “confused” at the end because it has a much more general meaning, but we can still use it when talking about mixed feelings. If multiple emotions are flooding your mind at once, it will lead to confusion, which makes it harder to think clearly.

The definition of “confused,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “unable to think clearly or to understand something.”

Generally, “confused” people have more than just two contradicting or opposing ideas or feelings in their heads. Instead, they could have tens, hundreds, or more, depending on the situation.

The more information and emotions that confused people have to process, the harder it is for them to get anywhere with it. We use it to talk about people who simply can’t give a straight answer, and that’s partially because they struggle to sort out their mixed feelings.

You might see “confused” work in the following ways:

  • I’m too confused to think straight right now. I know this is good for me, but I can see that it’s going to change a lot about my life.
  • He’s so confused about what he wants. On the one hand, he knows he needs this job. On the other, he doesn’t want to move from his home.
  • She’s confused, and you need to give her time to process her emotions before you pester her again.
  • You’re just confused. With time, you’ll understand that this is the only correct choice for you to make!

What Does It Mean To Have Mixed Feelings?

When you have mixed feelings, it can be challenging to process them or what they mean.

“Mixed feelings” are something that people can get where they feel one way but also feel the opposite way at the same time. This is usually because they’re happy or positive about a situation but realize it comes with negative outcomes or scenarios in the future.

While it sounds like mixed feelings are difficult to come by, you’d be surprised by how common they are. In fact, you’re more than likely to have felt your own set of mixed emotions in the last few days or weeks.

What Are Examples Of Mixed Feelings?

We’ve covered all the best synonyms for mixed feelings, but you might not be sure when mixed feelings can occur. We’ll show you some examples of what mixed feelings look like.

  • A father is happy that his daughter is getting married, but he’s fearful that the marriage will cause her to drift away from him.
  • A student is proud to receive top grades in graduation, but he’s upset that it means he gets into his favorite college, which is miles from home.
  • A policeman is thankful to have finally caught a serial criminal but is angry that it took so many crimes for him to catch up.

Mixed feelings are difficult for anyone to process, and they can occur at any time. If you realize that a good achievement might lead to problems in the future, you might be experiencing your own set of mixed emotions.

Is It OK To Have Mixed Feelings?

It is okay to have mixed feelings, and it’s completely natural. There’s nothing wrong with you if you think that your brain is trying to fight against itself. It’s just a way to cope with things.

Mixed feelings are a sign of a healthy mind, where you’re able to process all the possible outcomes and events that led up to a positive or negative in your life. If you’re both happy and sad, or something similar, then it’s healthy to experience these mixed feelings.