Do you ever feel overwhelmed by jealousy?
Maybe it’s when your best friend is talking about their new job, or when your ex posts photos on social media.
Dealing with jealousy can be extremely difficult, regardless of what causes it. If left unchecked, it can undermine our self-confidence and negatively impact our relationships.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to understand the root cause of why we feel jealous, tips for avoiding feeling envious in certain situations, and helpful strategies to get over unpleasant jealous emotions once they arise.
Ready to take control of your jealous feelings?
Let’s dive right in!
What Is Jealousy?
Jealousy is the fear of losing something very valuable to us. It contains emotions of betrayal, loss, fear, and abandonment in close friendships or relationships.
It’s a pretty complex feeling and ranges from suspiciousness to anger, rage, fear, and even humiliation. It can also easily become obsessive.
Jealousy is considered by psychologists to be a useful emotion and has a meaning. First of all, it’s been around since humankind.
It has evolved throughout the centuries, and its purpose is to protect us from losing something valuable to us, such as people, material things, social status, etc.
In addition to this, jealousy can lead to maintaining social bonds and drive people to behave accordingly to that goal.
When we feel that we’re going to lose something valuable to us, and being jealous drives us to become better, then it’s a healthy thing.
When we cross the line, however, by losing ourselves to keep a relationship and becoming toxic to ourselves and others, jealousy becomes a serious problem.
The problem is that in today’s modern society, jealousy is magnified. The so-called threat is exaggerated in our heads, and it’s not so real.
We, as humans, by nature, are possessive to some extent.
We want to keep hold of the things in our lives that have the most value to us, it’s common logic.
Also, we don’t like to lose these things.
This is called self-preservation. That’s what kept us alive all these years, and this is what survival looks like.
Learning how to deal with jealousy is a skill, and it takes practice to master.
Why We Are Being Jealous?
Jealousy is not a sign of love. I repeat. Jealousy is not a sign of love.
It’s a sign of some insecurity/ies we have about ourselves.
But behind all of these insecurities, the one thing that is common is a lack of trust.
It can be a lack of trust in others or in ourselves, which is way worse. Also, it can be a lack of trust in life in general.
For instance, if we’ve experienced a bad situation in the past and we bring it up in the present, no matter what.
E.g. You’ve been cheated on by your last relationship, and it grew on you as insecurity. You believe that your future or present partner will do the same to you.
This is not a lack of trust in the individual but rather in the category in which he or she is placed (partners, men, women, colleagues, friends).
This is the mindset of: “It happened to me once, so it will happen to me again, so it means that I should be on the lookout for the signs.”
Jealousy comes from:
- Low self-esteem
- Low confidence
- Comparing yourself to others
- Disclaimer: If similar situations happen to you, then all of your failed relationships have one thing in common: you.
This means that you need to work on yourself.
What Are The Signs Of Jealousy?
Here’s how you can recognize their signs in yourself and others.
Sometimes it is not so obvious.
1. They can’t hear about your achievements.
They change the subject of the conversation as soon as you start talking about your achievements, or they’ll stay passive and silent and wait impatiently for you to finish so they can change the subject.
This doesn’t mean that you do something wrong (unless you talk all the time to yourself). Instead, you remind them of the things that they aren’t doing and avoid them.
2. They pretend that they care.
Humans have the ability to sense the sincerity of others and can read each other, most of the time at least. When someone fakes their interest in the things that we have to say, we can understand it.
3. They talk badly behind your back.
They’ll try to understate your social status and prestige. They’ll do it to improve their self-image and make themselves feel better.
Pro tip: If a person speaks in front of you badly for another person behind their back, and then he speaks to them as if nothing happened, then be almost certain that they do the same thing to you.
They come off as arrogant. Their constant need to showcase their achievements is a deep-down insecurity they have. It’s like they need to hear from themselves that they are good in life, which they aren’t.
5. They take credit for your achievements.
If you’ve come a long way in life, you overcame an issue that has bothered you for a long period of time, they’ll come and say to you: “I told you so” or “I told you how to do this, or how to overcome that, etc.”
It seems that, in some way, they want to feel like a part of your success and that without them, you wouldn’t have made it, which may be true, but it’s the way they tell you these things that they take credit from you.
They compete with you in almost every aspect of your life. Work, interests, lifestyle, relationships, you name it.
7. They discourage you.
They’ll tell you that you can’t make it, that it’s too hard, that you aren’t good enough, and that it’s a total waste of time to even attempt to do it.
They either do it because they’re over-protective (e.g. parents) or because they’re jealous of you.
8. They take from your success.
They’ll say that your success doesn’t have to do with your courage and efforts; instead, it’s a circumstantial product.
That you were in the right place at the right time. That you got lucky and you won’t ever make it again.
How to deal with jealousy?
Jealousy can damage both our personal and professional relationships, and it is important to know how to manage it.
Only those who use jealousy as feedback can really improve themselves.
We have to be brutally honest with ourselves. It all starts with awareness and then acceptance.
- “What am I feeling?”
- “For what reason am I feeling this way?”
- “Is it reasonable the way I feel?”
- “If so, how can I handle it?”
- “If not, how can I handle it in my favor?”
Take full responsibility for the way you feel. By answering the above questions, you are able to work on your feelings.
Don’t stop having feelings.
You learn to deal with the feelings you have in a way that you can live with. Feelings are not voluntary experiences.
You have the feelings you have, whether you want them or not. Trying to stop them from happening is like trying to hold back a river. You can do it until there is a flood. But there is a ton of damage downstream afterward.
So don’t try to stop them. Learn to manage them in a way that limits collateral damage to those downstream of you, and even helps you grow as a person.
2. Have a conversation
We have to find a way to communicate this feeling so we can find a solution for it.
By having a conversation in a healthy manner, problems can be solved.
Often we misunderstand certain things, or we just got them wrong. That’s why is so important to solve our problems and fears through communication.
3. Work On Your Self-Improvement Journey
As we saw in the Why We Are Being Jealous section, jealousy comes from things that we 100% can and should improve.
What? You don’t remember them?
So, if you want to deal with jealousy, you have to work on yourself first.
The more you work on yourself, your goals, your achievements, your mindset, your confidence, etc., then the more sure you’ll be that the thing you care about isn’t being threatened at all. So you won’t be jealous
4. Don’t Search For The signs.
If you go with the mindset that your future partners will cheat on you, then you’ll be constantly on the lookout for these signs.
You’ll search their Facebook or Instagram account, and you’ll be suspicious of every like they get. Your mind wants to confirm your mindset.
This is called confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.
People tend to unconsciously select the information that supports their views but ignore non-supportive information.