Jealousy has a bad reputation. It’s not uncommon to hear well-meaning people say things like, “Don’t be jealous” or “Jealousy destroys relationships.” But what makes this emotion so bad?
While it’s often linked to romantic relationships, jealousy can come up whenever you’re worried about losing anything or anyone important to you. This is different from envy, which involves wanting something that belongs to someone else.
No one enjoys feeling jealous. Yet, jealousy is an inevitable emotion that pretty much every one of us will experience. The problem with jealousy isn’t that it comes up from time to time, but what it does to us when we don’t get a hold on it. It can be frightening to experience what happens when we allow our jealousy to overpower us or to shape the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
That is why understanding where our jealous feelings actually come from and learning how to deal with jealousy in healthy, adaptive ways is key to so many areas of our lives from our interpersonal relationships to our careers to our personal goals.
Here is how you can deal with jealousy in relationship :
Be honest about jealousy’s impact.
It’s impossible to solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it. Rather than pretending you aren’t jealous or your jealousy isn’t a problem, be honest. How do you feel because of your insecurities, and how are they hurting your relationship? It might be difficult to acknowledge the problems your envy is causing, but take heart in the fact that you’re taking the first step to a healthier relationship.
List your insecurities.
Mastering how to stop being a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend starts with looking at yourself. What insecurities are driving your jealousy? Are you unsure of yourself due to perfectionism? Are you comparing yourself to others? You’re not making this list to shame yourself – you’re owning your role in the relationship.
If you’re living under the shadow of your partner’s ex, make a list of all the traits your partner loves about you. If you constantly compare yourself to celebrities, unfollow them on Instagram for a week. By giving yourself space from feelings of inferiority, you’ll be able to develop the self-confidence you need to overcome jealousy.
Be honest with your partner.
If you’re struggling with jealousy, your partner has probably already noticed. Your partner is most likely also contributing to the problem. By practicing effective communication, you’re acknowledging your contribution while also holding your partner accountable – and giving them the opportunity to support you as you work toward a solution.
There’s no question, that it takes a certain level of emotional maturity to deal with the many feelings around jealousy. It takes a willingness to challenge our critical inner voice and all the insecurities it generates. It also takes willpower to step back and resist acting on our impulsive, jealous reactions. However, when we foster this power in ourselves, we realize we are a lot stronger than we think. By learning how to deal with jealousy, we become more secure in ourselves and in our relationships.