11 Dec Jealousy – take one
Jealousy is something that pops up throughout life and can cause many a heartache. Some people feel intense jealousy. Others, not so much.
Jealousy is the feeling that makes us feel possessive of someone else and makes us feel insecure about their commitment to us. It makes us wonder all types of things like, “Why did she look at him that way?”, or, “Is he really at the library right now?”. It can then influence us to act in ways that are controlling, “I want to read all of your texts,” or, “You can’t go to that party without me.” But the truth is, controlling another person is never a way to a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, there is trust between two people. Jealousy erodes (meaning gets rid of) that.
Quote here “[J]ealousy… is a natural, instinctive emotion that everyone experiences at one point or another. The problem with jealousy is that it masks other feelings and attitudes that are even more hurtful to us and those closest to us. Its intensity is often shielding deep-seated feelings of possessiveness, insecurity or shame.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201109/what-drives-jealousy
You can think of jealousy as a little green-eyed monster that makes you suspicious. And that green-eyed monster – let’s call him Earl- ultimately stems from the negative beliefs we have about ourselves and about the way the world works. When Earl sees your girlfriend texting, he immediately shouts, “Who is she texting??? Are you not good enough for her??? Warning, warning!!!”
When Earl hears that your boyfriend has to work on a school project with someone else he screams, “NOOOOOOO!!! He is going to fall out of love with you and in love with that person!!!! Warning, warning!!!” And so you respond, by going into protect yourself mode – which means questioning the person with whom you are in a relationship. And, ultimately, when you keep making demands of that person, it becomes controlling and it doesn’t feel good to the other person. Over time, jealousy can make us act in ways that aren’t truly in line with who we want to be.
So what to do? Get to know yourself. Remind your self that you are enough in every way. Kick Earl out the door and respond to events in the same way you would like your love interest to respond if the situation were reversed. That means, if your love interest talks to someone else, that’s okay because that’s what normal people do, it does not have to be a reason to get upset.
And, by the way, if by chance, your love interest does end up being unfaithful to you, that really says more about him/her than it does about you. You can’t control other people. All you can do is control who you are and behave in ways that you want to behave. Don’t let Earl control your behavior.
Listen, most of us feel a bit jealous from time to time. But how you handle that jealousy and what demands you make on your partner because of it, says a lot about the type of relationship you wish to build: one that is based on love and mutual trust or one that is based on control and fear.