Use This Method to Cure Your Jealousy and Improve Your Love Life
If you’re one of those rare people who has never been overcome by jealousy, consider yourself lucky. Jealousy is an unpleasant emotion and seems to feel most intense when we’re romantically involved with a person. It can be a difficult emotion to manage, leading us to “react” in an unconscious, irrational way. Understanding why we feel jealous is an important step in improving our personal relationships.
When we find ourselves searching through text messages on our partner’s phone or telling them they can’t have friends of the opposite gender, we are probably reacting to our own insecurity from a past experience more so than responding to something occurring in the present. Jealousy does not show how much we care. On the contrary, it stems from feelings of fear and insecurity. And if our partner eventually turns out to be unfaithful, instead of seeing them as having a character flaw, often we turn and blame ourselves. “See?” we say. “I am unworthy.”
Often, self-doubt and insecurity start when we are children. We may have had a hyper-critical parent, teacher or coach, or we witnessed negative experiences that we internalized. Insecurity and shame lead to jealousy, because when we don’t feel worthy of someone else’s love we panic. We snoop through their personal items, text messages or phone records, unintentionally pushing them away because we are accusing them of getting ready to dump us for another person. (They don’t know about this, of course.) We permanently damage the trust in the relationship, and once they find out, they usually end the relationship.
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How can we counteract our jealousy? One theory is to surround ourselves with friends we can trust and who “lift us up.” There’s an old saying: “Those who lie with dogs are likely to get fleas.” So, if we are influenced by the company we keep, we should keep good company. Having relationships that are positively reciprocal, and remembering that our lover chose us because they want to be with us are steps in the right direction.
If the jealousy involves a loved one, a heart-to-heart talk is a great idea. Remind each other of why you got together in the first place. Be honest about your insecurities. Tell your lover what you admire about him or her. Ask him or her what they admire about you. Commit yourself to being your best self.
If you find yourself feeling jealous of someone’s success, take a breath. Find a pad of paper and write down things to be grateful for in your own life. These things could be as simple as clean water, your apartment or house, job, boyfriend or girlfriend, car. Taking a few moments to think of what’s going right in your own life can work wonders to combat jealousy. For long-term positive feelings, perhaps start a gratitude journal.
Remember: small steps and taking life one day at a time leads to big, positive changes in your life.