Five Easy Ways to Manage Jealousy
Story: Tangled Whispers
Shobha, a highly educated and employed individual in her thirties, successfully balanced her responsibilities at home and work. She was married to Shiv, a consultant, and they had a daughter together. However, due to professional obligations, Shiv had to relocate abroad.
To maintain their connection, Shobha and Shiv frequently communicated through video calls. During one such call, Shobha learned that Shiv was having lunch with a former classmate from graduate school. Although the conversation was polite and friendly, once the call ended, Shobha experienced an indescribable tension within her mind.
She started to overthink. There was a loud whisper: “What if..?” The little whisper gradually became a monologue and evolved into a dragon of turmoil - “he could be cheating on me.”
“Oh, Shiv? I haven’t heard of her in a while; How is she?” During conversations, she would bring up her name. While she regretted the words the second they left her lips, the ghost of suspicion was always tense, alert, and stiff.
He would answer in his usual way, but she searched his eyes for any recognition, any fondness, any fear.
Poor Shiv betrayed nothing, but the demon inside Shobha did not let up.
She started giving Shiv massive grief over meeting a lady for lunch. Things did not stop there, she put detectives behind him, and when they did not find anything substantial, she moved in after finding a job in the same city, and that is when the entire matter started to get worse.
While most fears never turn into reality, the thought of them often clothe the mind with lumps of emotional venom. Imaginary cheating was happening in the brain, and she would make snarky, sarcastic remarks to her husband.
Her imagination led her to think that the child preferred her father, and she would offer emotional bribery. Not only did she ruin her married life, but she also spoiled her child, who grew up being an insecure individual incapable of trusting anybody.
Jealousy is a strange ailment. It forces your focus on the other when the issue is in you. This is like trying to heal your fractured leg by setting the cast on someone else’s leg.
Psychologists often call it “Loss Aversion,” in which one experiences more pain from a loss than pleasure from gain.
What is the antidote to this green-eyed vexation of the spirit?
Jealousy is a widespread feeling experienced by almost everyone at some point. However, how jealous behavior is viewed differs from one individual or culture to another, and how it’s perceived often depends on its damaging effects. Therefore, it can result in both a neutral and an adverse reaction, primarily based on the circumstances in which it occurs.
For example, it’s natural to feel jealous when someone is attempting to steal your husband/wife or girlfriend/boyfriend, and the same is true of the jealousy you feel when you see your best friend receiving everyone’s attention (at a party, for example).
Luckily, there are five simple ways to deal effectively with this feeling, and this is true whether you are a jealous person by nature or if you simply want to teach a person close to you how to control your emotions better.
1. Identify Your Triggers
This is foundational to managing jealousy effectively; you need to be aware of what makes you feel jealous in the first place. Is there an ex who shows up in your social media feed a few too many times with their new family?
Does a particular co-worker seem to get all the attention from your boss? Or maybe you’re jealous of your partner’s relationship with their sibling? Once you can figure out what makes you feel jealous, you can start developing strategies for working through it.
2. Consider the Full Picture
After that, you need to assess whether your jealousy is warranted. When something terrible happens, such as your partner going out without you, you will most likely make snap judgments or immediately jump to conclusions.
But, if you take a step back, pause, and think about it, there may be a logical reason why the other person behaved the way they did. For example, maybe your partner didn’t want to leave you out of their plans, but their best friend had a rough day and needed to talk. People usually have excellent reasons for what they do — even if you’re not immediately aware.
3. Remember Your Value
When we feel jealous, we often compare ourselves negatively to someone else, leading us to focus on how they appear to have the very thing we want. This is where the importance of remembering your value comes into play. You have unique strengths that no one else possesses, so acknowledge those now, and remember that you are valuable just as you are.
That’s why you are loved by the people who know you. Therefore, if you feel like your partner has been paying too much attention to someone else, that could be a red flag about how well they know you in the first place. They should avoid triggering you while you work through your issues of jealousy.
4. Practice Gratitude
Every day, write down three things that are good in your life. If you’re having trouble thinking of anything, start with something small: “I have a roof over my head,” “I had a good meal today,” or something simple like, “I enjoy watching TV.”
5. Talk to a Trusted Friend
Jealousy is often rooted in the fear of losing something, and the best way to overcome that fear is by trusting someone with it. Talk openly about your fears with a friend who has your best interests at heart. If you truly value your friend’s opinions, they will be able to talk some sense to help guide you and help calm your fears.
In many cases, these tips may not completely eradicate your jealousy, but they will help you cope with those feelings in healthy and productive ways. Learning how to manage your Jealousy is just as important as learning how to deal with it. If you begin feeling jealous, try using these tips to help you regain control of the situation.
In conclusion, managing jealousy is crucial to improve our emotional well-being and relationships. Identifying our triggers and analyzing our jealousy is important. Remembering our values and strengths is essential. Practicing gratitude and discussing our fears with a trusted friend can further aid in overcoming jealousy.
While these strategies may not wholly eliminate jealousy, they provide practical ways to cope with and regain control over these feelings. By actively engaging in self-reflection and implementing these techniques, we can strive for healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
Jealousy is a universal human experience, and understanding how to manage it is vital for personal growth and interpersonal harmony. By promoting empathy, communication, and self-awareness, we can foster a culture that values emotional well-being and supports individuals in overcoming jealousy. Let us embrace these strategies and work towards creating a more compassionate and understanding society.
About the Author
Belynder is the founder of Serene Lifestyles, an online psychotherapy practice, where she uses Psychotherapy and Neuroplasticity to help people feel less anxiious or stressed.
She provides Therapy, Hypnotherapy, CBT, NLP, Psychotherapy, Self-reflective, Mindfulness Coaching, Relational Therapy, and Transformational coaching services.
Her articles have been published in Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Thrive Global, The London Economic, Health & Wellbeing, The Moment Magazine, and Calm.
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