Jealousy is NOT a bad thing. It is nothing but a very common human feeling. It is absolutely normal to feel that pinching sensation in your heart from time to time. However, it becomes a problem when people start acting on their feelings. When jealousy starts to affect every other aspect of your life, you should be aware that it is well on its way to consume you. You may find yourself getting angry at everything and feeling bitter. This will eventually leave you feeling frustrated and lost.
Social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, can also trigger feelings of jealousy. We compare our life to the seemingly perfect lives others live and feel unhappy. Insecurity also often leads to jealousy. When we feel that we are not good enough or feel our position is threatened, we often resent the person or people who are doing better than us. Increased jealousy often correlates with lower self-esteem.
Types Of Jealousy
The two common types of jealousy are romantic jealousy and competitive jealousy.
a. Romantic Jealousy
Relationships can be a lot smoother and stronger when any of the parties don’t get excessively jealous. Jealousy often stems from insecurity – when we feel like we are doomed to be hurt, rejected, or deceived. If we don’t deal with this feeling first, we are likely to fall victim to feelings of distrust, insecurity, or extreme jealousy in any relationship, happy or not.
The negative feelings we often experience about ourselves have their origins in the early experiences of our lives when we were children. We often mimic the feelings our parents or caretakers displayed toward us, each other, or themselves. We subconsciously recreate, replay, or react to familiar dynamics in our present relationships.
The extent of our self-critical attitudes as kids most often shapes how our critical inner voice affects us as adults, especially in relationships. No matter how unique our experiences may be, we all basically have this inner critic in ourselves who rule us to some degree. All too often, these negative thoughts slowly start to grow into much more serious, ingrained attacks on our partner or even ourselves.
b. Competitive Jealousy
In competitive jealousy, we are jealous of others – their strengths, lifestyles, successes, and relationships. We tend to see only the good things in other’s lives and only the disappointments in ours.
It is completely normal to pine for what others have as well as to feel competitive. But how we channel these feelings is very critical in determining our level of happiness and satisfaction from life. If we allow these feelings to rule us and tear down others or ourselves, it will clearly have a destructive outcome with demoralizing results. However, when we don’t let these jealous feelings guide our actions, we can actually be more goal-oriented and more accepting of ourselves.
It is absolutely fine to feel a bit competitive. However, if we ruminate this into an attack on another person or criticizing ourselves, we will end up hurting someone or getting hurt.
Here are general tips for dealing with feelings of jealousy.
How To Deal With Jealousy – 10 Best Techniques
1. Practice Techniques For Stopping Negative Thoughts
When we get intensely emotional, our brain starts to focus on a million theories about who is at fault and how we are the victim. This is very unhealthy. Try techniques for stopping negative thoughts. It can be something as easy as saying to yourself that these are not healthy for you or anyone else and start focusing on something positive, such as listing out positive thoughts about yourself.
Practice mindfulness. It will help you calm your runaway emotions. Tune into your body and soul to identify your feelings. Take deep breaths and detach yourself from the intensity of those negative emotions. Share your feelings with a friend or your partner after you have calmed down.
2. Assess Yourself
If you and your partner are in a secure relationship, and yet you are feeling jealous, you need to look at yourself first and explore your own traumatic experiences. It is well known that a person’s basic attachment style determines their jealous reactions.
People who have secure attachments in their childhood – with their parents, siblings, and caregivers – tend to be less dependent and jealous and have higher self-esteem. They have lesser feelings of inadequacy than people who are insecure. You need to ask yourselves these questions:
“How was your relationship with your parents and early caregivers?”
“Do you lack self-worth?”
“Do you have feelings of emptiness or anxiety?”
“Was the atmosphere in your home critical or repressive?”
“Were your caregivers unreliable or hurtful?”
Even though early influences can shape your character, a skilled therapist can be of great help. They can help you work through your concerns and build self-esteem.
3. Assess Your Relationship
The best method to overcome jealousy is to take a deep, hard look at your relationship. If your relationship is built on respect, love, and trust, and if your partner’s behavior reflects their words, you have no reason to be suspicious and jealous.
If they are not honest with you, naturally, this will trigger your insecurities. When you are in a relationship that is insecure, you will have your jealousy buttons pushed, and often. No one can force you to do anything, and it is your choice. But, if you stay in the relationship, most likely, you will feel jealous sometimes.
4. Recognize Your Jealousy
When we accept our feelings of jealousy, it loses its hold on us – because we no longer let it shame us. Acknowledging to yourself that you are jealous opens the door to growth and learning, and therefore, healing. Learn from your feelings of jealousy. Use it as inspiration to grow. Rather than being jealous of a person’s talent, take it upon yourself to be better at what you do.
5. Let It Go
You don’t need to feel this stabbing pain in of jealousy. Breathe deeply and allow it to leave your body through the air you breathe out. Repeat until you have composed yourself and redirected your energy toward thinking positive thoughts.
6. Talk About It
If jealousy is affecting you and your life, it is important that you find the right person to talk to. You need to have a healthy way to express what you feel. The people who support us and who help us better ourselves are the kind of people we need to talk to about our feelings.
Venting to friends is fine as long as we overcome our irrational thoughts and feelings. We need to acknowledge that these extreme emotions are irrational and exaggerated. It is also very wise to seek help from a therapist. They will help us make sense of our feelings and teach us how to control them while behaving in a healthier, adaptive way.
7. Celebrate Your Positive Traits
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It is important that you respect your talents and accomplishments before getting awed by others. Use them as inspiration to be better, feel better. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams because you are busy chasing other people’s. So what she can play the guitar better than you? You can cook like Gordon Ramsay! Accept yourself first.
8. Don’t Act Out
Our inner voice can sometimes push us to do something that can hurt us or others in the long run. When we fly into a state of jealousy, it may convince us to give up on ourselves or stop going after what we are good at.
It often leads to self-sabotage. It can make us punish someone we love. We may end up lashing out at our partner. We may end up hurting and undermining our partners’ feelings for us and cause them to avoid engaging with us out of fear. We may cause them to become less open about their feelings and be more closed.
Hence, the next time you feel jealous, try changing your view of the situation and approach the issue rationally.
9. Be Competitive
We should have a personal goal of being our best. We need to feel like ourselves and embrace the qualities that make us us. Being competitive allows us to feel inspired and connect with people we want to be like. If we want to be respected, we need to be considerate and mindful in our interactions. If we act with integrity and pursue our goals, we conquer the hardest battle we face – the struggle to become our true selves.
10. Get Rid Of Excessive Physical Energy
To get a clear head, you may need to literally run it off. When we get extremely hyper and charged, we have to get rid of that energy somehow so that we can re-regulate and use that time to compose ourselves. Try boxing, heading to the gym, jumping jacks, or even taking a cold shower. Calm down and give yourself enough time and space to control your emotions and do a reality check.
When in a relationship, it is important to have an open, honest communication channel with our partners. If we hope to gain their trust and them to get ours, we have to pay heed to what they say without jumping to conclusions or becoming defensive.
This will let us be connected and kind, even when we are feeling insecure and jealous. It takes a great level of emotional maturity to deal with jealousy. We should be willing to challenge our inner voice and all the insecurities it creates within us. We should also exercise willpower to take a step back and resist acting out. We can do this – we are a lot stronger than we believe.
If we learn how to deal with jealousy in a mature way, we become more secure in ourselves as well as our relationships. Don’t forget, jealousy is a natural reaction. It only becomes problematic when it starts becoming persistent. Whenever you find yourself feeling jealous, recognize the problem, and look deeper into your soul. Use it as an opportunity to better yourself.