Jealousy can crop up for anybody…even those who have done a lot of personal growth work on themselves. As frustrating as it may be to read this, it’s true.
Just about every single one of us– no matter how many books we’ve read or courses we’ve taken– has the likelihood of getting jealous. It happens. We have an insecure moment (or more). We sense a threat to our relationship. We compare ourselves and feel lacking in some way.
Jealousy appears and brings with it a barrage of worried, fearful and even angry thoughts and feelings. Because most of us know how destructive jealousy is to personal well-being, relationships and the ability to attract what is wanted, we tend to look the other way and pretend that the jealousy is not there.
This, of course, doesn’t work.
Jealousy usually doesn’t just go away on its own. Instead, it festers, grows and becomes even more painful and intense. At a certain point, it is impossible to control. It seems to take over causing you to say and do things you wouldn’t otherwise do.
There is no doubt that jealousy can become a huge obstacle to your ability to create the happy and abundant life you desire and being aware of your tendencies when it comes up can help.
The next time you get jealous, do NOT do these 5 things…
#1: Deny it.
“I’m fine.” “It’s no big deal.” “That doesn’t bother me.” These statements won’t make the anxiety and worry you feel go away. Recognize when you feel tight and tense and stop yourself from pretending it’s not there.
#2: Stuff it down.
Stuffing is similar to denying. You sense that you’re jealous and you don’t try to look the other way, but you tell yourself that you’re “too busy,” that you “don’t have time to deal with this now” or that you “can’t handle it.” You compartmentalize how you feel in an attempt to cut yourself off from stressful thoughts and feelings. This might bring temporary relief, but it’s rarely long-lasting if it’s effective at all.
#3: Justify it.
“If only ____ wasn’t going on, then I wouldn’t be jealous!” This is an example of a common justification of acting jealously. Something your partner or another person said or did seems to have complete power over how you feel and what YOU say and do. When you justify jealousy, you don’t take responsibility for your own thoughts and beliefs that may be causing you to misinterpret or put an inaccurate spin on whatever is happening.
#4: Beat yourself up about it.
“I’m hopeless!” and “Jealousy is one of my character flaws!” are a couple of ways that people make themselves feel even worse. Do you heap even more torment on yourself when you feel jealous by criticizing and judging yourself as somehow bad, weak or even crazy? If so, know that beating yourself up for how you feel is only going to increase your fear, doubt and insecurity.
#5: Blame others for it.
A variation on justification, when you blame your partner or anyone else for your jealousy, you don’t move any closer to relief or improvement. “It’s her fault that I’m jealous!” and “The way he looks at others makes me so jealous!” are a couple of examples. While your partner (or another person) may be doing things that trigger your jealousy, you are the only one responsible for how you continue to feel and– most importantly– what you say or do about it.
We’re being pretty negative here, but the first step to getting out from under a destructive habit like jealousy is to recognize what you do that only makes it worse.
Notice how you react when jealousy arises within you. Identify those reactions that inflame and intensify your jealousy and figure out what soothes you and helps you develop a clearer view of a triggering situation. These observations are your essential tools. Use them to move yourself easily AND mindfully through your jealousy and back to your center, your power and your capacity for joy.