Jealousy is human nature. It isn’t always a sign of weakness or insecurity, because more often than not, people feel jealous because they fear losing someone they love. While it does usually happen within a romantic relationship, it can also occur from time to time among siblings, family members, friends and even in professional relationships. A little dose of jealousy in a relationship is human and it is natural when you love and care for your partner; it hurts to see them turning away to someone else. So experiencing jealous feelings is quite common, rather it is when you act on those jealous feelings that trouble begins. Allowing jealousy to creep into every corner of your life and permitting it to control your actions and behaviour, may turn a-once-happy partnership into a problematic one. It can ruin your relationship in the long run.
When you are jealous, you are more likely to focus only on the negative and interpret your partner’s behaviour as reflecting a loss of interest in you or a growing interest in another person. This in turn may cause you to worry that your partner will eventually reject you because he or she has already found someone whom you think is more likeable or more attractive than you. Even if you are in a really sound relationship, jealousy can confuse you and influence you in believing that your relationship is threatened; forming scenarios in your mind that are unlikely true. So instead of praising your partner for looking good, you accused him or her of getting dressed up to look appealing to someone else.
Dealing with feelings of jealousy isn’t always easy to handle, let alone to overcome. Take note, extreme jealousy is one of the biggest causes of a relationship’s downfall. So whenever you get jealous, try asking yourself what you can gain from it. Learning how to deal with jealousy effectively is important to maintaining a healthy relationship.
Take relationship advice from experts before your jealousy gets out of control. In the meantime, ponder on how you can get over your jealousy in a healthy way with these tips.
Bring awareness into the situation
Overcoming jealousy begins with awareness. When you become fully aware of what the situation is you will then be able to see that the scenarios your mind tries to imagine are not necessarily true. Understanding the real context of the situation can allow you to think clearly even though you are experiencing powerful feelings. When you have a clear mind, it will be easier for you to act rationally and accept the fact that the imaginings in your mind may be far from real; thus allowing you to process and deal with your potentially destructive emotional reactions such as anger and jealousy.
If you allow yourself to be curious about what you are experiencing and wonder where such strong feelings come from it can give you time to allow yourself to completely experience the feeling of jealousy. Instead of telling yourself that you are not jealous, allow yourself to fully feel the emotion. Addressing all feelings of jealousy straightaway, experiencing it wholly inside, and then thinking about how outside reality is different from your initial feelings will help you see how you can regain control over these negative emotions.
If you continue to feel jealous despite being in a secure and solid relationship, it will most likely help if you try to examine yourself and delve deeper into your personal experiences. A study on the aspect of jealousy in a romantic relationship shows that a person’s level of attachment during their early years has a great impact on their jealous reactions. It indicates that people who were able to establish secure attachments between themselves and their caregivers in their early childhood stages are less likely to feel jealous and clingy, have a more solid sense of self, and stronger feelings of adequacy as opposed to those people with an insecure attachment style.
While it is impossible to go back and change your past, your attachment style is actually workable and can still be influenced with later experiences and circumstances. A competent psychotherapist, for example, can help you build your self-esteem and find ways to resolve your problems.
Manage your emotions healthfully
When you notice that you are feeling jealous, take a moment to detach yourself from the intensity of the emotion. This does not necessarily mean avoiding the feeling completely, but rather giving yourself a time-off so you can pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Get a grip on yourself by taking slow, deep breaths several times, and if you think you have fully calmed yourself down, approach your partner and share your feelings with him or her.
Another good way of handling your feelings healthily is by writing down your thoughts. Not only does it provide you with an opportunity to express yourself, it also allows you to lay your options out clearly on paper. Writing all possible reasons on the paper as to why you are feeling jealous gives you a clearer version of the big picture, and helps you get valuable insight from your worries.
Seek an Expert’s Help
Again, it is normal to feel jealous, but if it seems that jealousy is starting to tear your relationship apart, you will have to take more decisive action besides the tips mentioned above. It will be wise to seek a counsellor to help you work through your feelings of jealousy as well as resolve relationship conflicts brought on by jealousy. Consulting a therapist can help you examine the underlying cause of the problem, the reasons why you continue to feel and act that way, and steps on how to effectively manage this destructive emotion.