#206: 14 Ways to Talk about Mixed Feelings in English
Adriana and I agree — feelings are messy. Complicated. And sometimes, not easy to talk about.
In February 2021, I shared a lesson on How to Describe Your Feelings in English with 23 Idioms & Collocations. In the comments on YouTube, Adriana said:
“I loved this lesson, I’ve learned many new vocabulary but I would like to know how to express that feeling when you don’t know how you feel… Hope you can understand what I’m trying to say.”
I get it. 100%.
Sometimes we just don’t know.
We can’t name it. Or it’s too many mixed into one.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to best talk about complicated, mixed feelings in English.
Plus, what to say to a friend or loved one who is struggling to identify her feelings so you can help her along the way.
14 Ways to Talk about Mixed Feelings in English
I recommend watching the video to get a full description of the collocations and idioms below and examples of how to use them properly in conversation.
When You Don’t Know How You Feel
1. I can’t quite pin down how I feel about… (A common alternative: I can’t put my finger on how I feel about…)
2. I’m struggling to figure out how I feeling about…
3. I don’t have the foggiest idea how I feel about…
4. It’s beyond me.
5. I can’t make out how I feel about…
When Your Feelings Are Mixed
1. I have mixed feelings about…
2. I’m all over the place.
3. I’m on the fence about…
4. I’m torn between…
Starting Engaging Conversations With Others Who Have Mixed Feelings
1. Let’s walk through it. (Alternatively, let’s walk through what happened.)
2. Tell me more about your thoughts.
3. Let’s talk about/explore the pros and cons.
4. What’s causing you to feel conflicted?
5. What feels right to you about…? What doesn’t feel right to you about…?
You know what’s next. It’s time to practice!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my top recommendations for learning and remembering new vocabulary. They definitely include real practice and that means creating your own example sentences.
For today, I want you to:
- Identify your favorite new idioms or phrase from today’s lesson.
- Think of a real-life situation when it might be appropriate to use it.
- Try using the new vocabulary in a sentence and share it with me in the comments below.
Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!
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Dear Annemarie, wonderful lesson you sent.Here is the example. 🌸I wanted to go to Bombay with my husband in friend’s birthday but I had strong mixed feelings whether I should go with him leaving here my 92 years old mother alone under the care of my maid.Finally after struggling out a lot I figured out to cancelled my program. 🌸My Son has been working in entertainment field. Few days before he got a role in two serials at the same time. He was on the fence what serial he needs to choose because both are equally important for him. I… Read more »
I really loved this lesson. it came when I needed it. Here’s my example: I always wanted to become a flight attendant. After the pandemic hit, I couldn’t live that dream. Now, I really have mixed feelings about what I want to do or where I want to work.
Hi Nada, I’m so glad this lesson was timely for you. And perfect example of how to use ‘have mixed feelings’ although I’m sorry to hear that you’re in a time of uncertainty. It’s hard when you don’t know what you want to do. I hope you find the right path forward!
Hi Annemarie. It was another great lesson of yours. Thank you for that. My favourite expressions are “I don’t have the foggiest idea how I feel about….” and “I’m all over the place.” I liked “I’m on the fence about…” and “I’m torn between…” because I often have to make decisions and I really struggle with that. I don’t have the foggiest idea how I feel about moving to another city. I’m curious, excited, but also scared and nervous. I really don’t know. The new job offer sounds great. It’s my dream job. But it is in other city far… Read more »
I’m so glad you found some fun new expressions to use, Marinela! You used them perfectly well in your examples. Nice job!
I’m curious, are you really think about moving to a new city? What did you decide?
As usual it ‘s awesome!!, I liked the lesson ,as I have the parkinson disease,I’m struggling to figure out about how should I deal with this illness since it ‘s getting worse;and there is another thing the covid 19 vaccination that make me torn between taking it or not ,so my friend asked me to talk about the pros and cons of this vaccination ,but I haven’t decided yet and I’m looking for what ‘ s causing me to feel conflicted !
Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the lesson. You’ve done a really good job using some of the examples from the lesson.
I’m very sorry to hear you’re struggling with Parkinson’s disease. I’m certain that is a daily challenge.
Hi Annemarie thanks for sharing the lesson about mis feelings. It’s wonderful. Q. Identify your favorite new idioms or phrase from today’s lesson. A. I’m on the fence about my daughter’s decision whether to travel from NY to Canada or not yet. Q. Think of a real-life situation when it might be appropriate to use it. A. I told her, let’s explore the pros and cons. Finally she’s come to a decision that she could stay there for a few more weeks till the situation gets better. Q. Try using the new vocabulary in a sentence and share it with… Read more »
Wow! Great work practicing some of the phrases from this lesson such as “on the fence” and “explore the pros and cons.” I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Hi Annemarie! Thank you for another great and useful lesson.
I reckon that we all have had a lot of mixed feelings over the last year. This pandemic has sparked so many different emotions that now I am on the fence about catching up on traveling or no.
I’m all over the place about it.
I and my mate are working through the matter so as to explore prox and cons and figure it out.
You’re so right, Vania. This year has left all of us with a wild mix of feelings. Great job using some of the expressions from the lesson!
I always enjoy watching and learning from your vdeos, whatever topic you wanted to share. This mixed feeing topic is useful for me. Thank you so much!
I’m glad to know it was helpful!
Thanks a lot for mixed feelings tips.Really supportive and useful tips for me.
Hi, I love this lesson because it is much broader than feelings! It is also perfect to help us in an oral exam or even in essays to give our opinions. For instance, the interviewer may ask you about something you don’t know and you can start by saying “I don’t have the foggiest idea about it BUT, blablabla…” This expression is so understandable even if you have never heard it, so from today’s lesson it is my preferred one 🙂 By starting like this, I believe you show confidence even if you don’t have an opinion about a topic,… Read more »
Hi Sílvia, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your thoughts with us. We’re ecstatic to know you enjoyed the lesson!
You are doing a good job ma’am. Everytime I get in touch with any of your teachings I feel better. Well done !
Hi Emmanuela. Thank you so much for your comment. We’re thrilled to know Annemarie’s lessons are helpful to you.