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Many 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.
- 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.
- 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? 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- Jealousy is not the same thing as love. Sometimes, people think that by feeling jealous about someone, they are loving them. Jealousy is not love; it’s the fear and anger of losing love. Jealousy disappears when you are truly loving yourself and others for whatever experience you’re having.
- Learn to be happy with yourself and what you have. 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 your own insecurities and low self-esteem. Address these issues first.
- Be happy for the other person. When you are jealous, you may think, "I like that; it would be nice to have that thing or experience." When you can be happy for another person's success and happiness, you allow positive feelings to flow into your life. Instead of being angry, congratulate the other person.
- 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.
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Sources and Citations
- Advice and Examples on How to Cope With Jealousy Practical advice on how to deal with romantic jealousy.
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