Jealousy is a feeling that all people experience. Someone may not admit it, not be aware of it. But still, in the depths of his soul, every person, at least sometimes, felt jealousy. And it can both complicate or even destroy the relationship. So strengthen them if jealousy arises only in small quantities.
What is jealousy?
Jealousy is a painful feeling that occurs when someone who is meaningful to me gives something of value to someone else instead of me.
For jealousy to appear, a real or imaginary rival is required. That is, there is a triangle in jealousy: the jealous himself, the one who is jealous, and also the rival – that is, to whom he is jealous. The rival can be either a living person or something inanimate (work, hobby, alcohol, etc.).
If in a situation there is no such rival even in the imagination, but there are only two – the one who is jealous and for whom he is jealous. It is most likely that a person does not feel jealousy, but envy.
The feeling of jealousy is based on the fear that someone will get more than me. Or that they will not choose me, but someone else. Or that someone else will be appreciated more than me. Or that I will lose what is dear to me.
Why does jealousy appear?
First of all, our jealousy arises from our innate sense of ownership, which we all have. And this feeling prompts us to take care of what we consider “ours”, which is important and dear to us. Appreciate it and avoid losing it.
But there are other reasons why jealousy appears or intensifies. And then this feeling begins to give us serious difficulties, hurt us, lead to problems in our relationship or even to parting.
Reasons for jealousy:
- Past painful experience – when a person in the past has already had situations when he was betrayed, abandoned, cheated on him. And the person, fearing a repetition of this traumatic experience, begins to worry if the partner is going to do something similar, not to trust the partner. And therefore jealousy arises in him.
- Real problems in relationships are when the appearance of jealousy in a person is adequate to what is really happening in the relationship. When a partner has a communication or relationship with someone on the side. When it becomes inaccessible and cold. Begins to disappear somewhere, to correspond with someone, to linger, to deceive, to behave somehow suspiciously, etc. It also happens when one partner of a couple unconsciously provokes jealousy from the other in order to get something from him (confirmation that he is loved, appreciated, attention, etc.).
- The partners have different ideas about the boundaries of what is permissible in a couple, which they have not discussed – for example, one in a couple may think that if you are married, then there can be no friendship with a person of the opposite sex. And the other considers such a friendship to be quite normal and natural. And because of this mismatch of boundaries, jealousy may arise in one partner.
- Accumulated dissatisfaction in relationships – when a person does not receive something important in his relationship, then he may develop strong jealousy as an indicator of his desires. For example, a woman wants her man to praise her. And when she hears him expressing praise to his friend, she gets searing jealousy.
- Feeling of inferiority – when a person does not feel his own worth, assesses himself low, then it may seem to him that other people are better than him in everything. And that the partner (or the one at whom the jealousy is directed) will inevitably choose another, as soon as he has such an opportunity. And for this reason, such a person develops strong jealousy.
- Distrust of people – if a person as a whole does not have trust in people, he believes that you cannot rely on anyone. That people will inevitably betray, change, and act meanly. Then a person’s feelings of jealousy and suspicion may increase.
- The transfer of feelings of jealousy from childhood to relationships in adulthood – when a person in childhood had situations where he felt jealous, but could not properly express these feelings. And when, in adulthood, something unconsciously reminds him of those very situations from childhood. Then he may experience very strong jealousy. Which, in fact, is not related to his current situations, but to those situations from his childhood.
- Fear of loneliness – when a person, for some reason, is very afraid of being alone, then he has a strong fear of losing a partner. And it is this fear that makes him feel jealous.
Projection of his own desires onto a partner – when a person has some desires that he denies and is not aware of, then he may unconsciously ascribe them to his partner (or the one at whom the jealousy is directed) or other people.
How to get rid of jealousy? Step by step algorithm
- Determine if your jealousy is truly justified. Is it related to your relationship or is the jealousy caused more by your inner reasons? Or is there both? If your jealousy has a cause in your relationship, then consider what you can do about it. It might make sense to talk to your partner about your jealousy.
- Think about what gets your attention the most in this jealousy situation? Your relationship? Your partner? Rival? What exactly is the key for you here? What do you think about the most in this situation?
- Based on your answers to point 2, identify the reasons why you are jealous. Perhaps it makes sense to work out some of the reasons together with a psychologist.
- Think about what your jealousy gives you? Are there any benefits, advantages that you get with its help? If so, are there any other ways to get these benefits?
- What do you want when you are jealous? What unmet need is your jealousy signaling? What do you want to achieve from another when you are jealous of him? Once you’ve identified what you need, think about how you can get it. What exactly can you do in the near future to meet this need?
- Find what or whom you are afraid of losing when you feel jealous? Imagine in your imagination that this has already happened, that you have already lost it. Imagine this situation and how you will deal with it.
- Think about what good is not happening in your life while you waste your energy on jealousy? Where would you better direct your energy now?
- How can you take care of yourself now? Maybe you should do something for yourself? Is it worth changing something in your life?