Jealousy is a tricky emotion, especially within a romantic relationship. If you allow jealousy to grow, it can be a powerfully destructive force. The good news is that jealousy is also a perfectly normal emotion and that there are some basic strategies you can employ to handle jealousy.
Stop and reflect on your feelings of jealousy when they arise. Try to single out the root of the emotion. Jealousy typically is about the fear of losing someone or something. It also usually is combined with anger over the idea that someone is invading your territory.
Talk about the situations sparking your jealousy. If you can share your emotions in a calm, non-judgmental way, you often can clear the air and avoid playing the blame game. Remember to start statements with “I” rather than “you” so that the focus is on your feelings and responses rather than on what you perceive the person is doing to offend you.
Consider what your jealousy means. Oftentimes, people can use their jealous feelings to identify what is a priority in their lives and relationships. Pose the question to yourself about why you feel threatened in a given situation. Doing so can help you determine what positive, constructive measures you can take to keep what is important to you.
Identify the negative self-talk that may spark irrational feelings of jealousy. People who have low self-esteem or who believe that others are siding against them are often vulnerable to jealousy. Get to the root of what fuels your negative self-talk, and replace those messages with those of self-approval. If you have friends and family who generate these negative messages, it is time to find some supportive friends.
Allow time for yourself to grow and learn from your jealous feelings. You cannot develop trust in a relationship overnight. It takes self-reflection, discussion and the support of your romantic partner.
- Avoid dramatic types who feed off of jealousy.