How to Handle Jealousy
Edited by: Christine Godwin
Many different people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it’s teaching you. Here are some pointers on working through your emotions and feelings of jealousy.
1 Understand the emotions. Jealousy is a combination of fear and anger: fear of losing something and anger that someone is “moving in on” something that you feel belongs only to you.
2 Allow yourself to actually ‘feel’ emotions in a healthy way. When you start feeling jealous, ask yourself: Is it more fear-based or more anger-based, and why? Recognize which part of your body is being affected. If you feel a dropping or clutching sensation in your stomach, it’s probably fear. If you feel a burning, tight sensation in your shoulders and jaw, then you’re likely feeling anger. You might also feel a combination of those sensations. You should just show non-jealous feelings on your face so you don’t became hated.
3 Communicate your feelings. Sharing your true feelings with someone without blaming them can create a deep sense of connection between the two of you and open up a dialogue about the path of your relationship. Use “I” instead of “you.” Instead of saying, “You shouldn’t have done that,” say, “I felt terrible when that happened.”
4 Identify what your jealousy is teaching you. Jealousy can alert you to what you want and what is important to you. If you’re jealous of someone talking to a friend of yours, personal relationships may be important to you. If you’re jealous about money, you may have an underlying need for security or freedom. Ask yourself, “Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What am I trying to keep? Why do I feel threatened?” When you begin to understand what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive steps to maintain those things, without the cloud of negative emotion that accompanies jealousy.
5 Change any false beliefs that might cause jealousy. There are often false beliefs that underlie jealousy and fuel emotion. If you examine the belief, you can often eliminate the jealousy. Some common underlying beliefs are “Everyone is out to get my money” or “If this person leaves me, I won’t have any friends.” Beliefs are changeable. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel. Choose to tell yourself a belief that is nurturing and supportive, and you’ll feel better. When you begin taking steps to creating a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, you will find the anger, the jealousy, and the fear will disappear. Don’t listen to people who make you jealous.
6 Make a list of all your good points and only compare yourself to yourself rather than to others. Raise your sense of self worth and self confidence by acknowledging your accomplishments, inner qualities and other good things about you. One way to change your belief system and inner dialogue, is to journal on a daily basis supportive messages to yourself. In time, your efforts will begin to sink into your subconscious. And as a result, you’ll develop new inner strengths, diminish any envious feelings, and feel more joy within and in life.
7 Work on your self esteem. If you have more confidence in yourself you will be less likely to allow jealousy to have power over you.
8 Fake it. Portray a non-jealous facade while you work on overcoming jealousy. Eventually, working your way through your feelings, the facade will become real, but in the meantime you will protect yourself from appearing jealous to others.
Jealousy is not the same thing as love. Sometimes, people think that by feeling jealous about someone, they are loving them by envying the things they have. Jealousy is not love; it’s the fear and anger of losing out. Jealousy disappears when you fully understand that to covet someone or something else that does not belong to you is a misjudgement and more than likely a distortion.
Learn to be happy with yourself and what you have, unless what you lack is due to oppression, and if that is the case, if you have the ability to stick up for yourself and cause changes that will benefit everyone in your situation, including yourself.
Everyone is different, and each person has good and bad qualities. Realize that you have the potential to create a better future.
Try to talk about your problems with someone. Perhaps you feel that these jealous tendencies are a private matter; then, you ought to anonymously ask an advice column or similar construct about your problem.
Irrational jealousy usually stems from indoctrinated social values which do not favor people such as yourself. Both you and society may hold such values. Of course, its easier to challenge your own values than that of others, start here first. Often, American psychology purposely confuses the concept that one has low self-esteem when the truth is, external influences, such as the media, cause degraded and distorted social values, not internalized deficiencies. Self-esteem is a concept invented to blame the victim, when the reality is the victim is being punished for not towing the line to the wants which are constantly being spewed from things like popular media and traditional means of social control. Reject these glorified values and be yourself and be proud to be different.
Realize that it is very often your own viewpoint is distorting reality. The grass is always greener and often the mind singles out a distorted piece of the whole which you want, but conveniently ignores negative aspects which come packaged with the positive. When you are jealous, you may think, “I want that; it would be nice to have that thing or experience for myself” However, people are different and the other person may be suffering unknowingly or in ways you cannot foresee or comprehend. Trade your anger for curiosity, try to get the bigger picture before making rash judgments.
If jealousy in your relationship is leading to control or power struggles, it’s a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed to your partner.
Have a Blessed Day
Love & Light
The Spirit Way