You scoop around, checking messages on their phone when they are watching. Your compliments are insincere and you only pretend to be happy for them. You criticize them and try humiliating them whenever you find the opportunity. Perhaps there is that one person that reminds of how you messed up in the past or you hate them for no reason?
If any of the above resonates with you, then you may be jealous.
What is jealousy?
Jealousy is a complex emotion that usually presents itself in two main forms:
- Jealousy could come about when you are about to lose something that is very important to you.
- You envy something that someone else has or has done and this brings up feelings of anger, being upset or even hatred
The first type of jealousy is easy to identify in relationships. You may suspect that your partner is cheating on you and the fear of losing your partner (something that is very dear to you) causes you jealousy.
The second type is very closely linked to envy. But there’s a clear difference between envy and jealousy:
When somebody has something or has done something that you don’t have or want to do, resulting in a negative state of mind, bringing up emotions like resentment, hurt, anger or hatred.
When somebody has something or has something you don’t have, but want or want to do. Envy can actually be healthy. You may admire a close friend’s ripple muscles and be envious of their beach body and then ask someone what his or her secret is.
Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies. –Elizabeth Bowen.
Jealousy itself does not pose a major block on our personal and emotional wellbeing. Jealousy itself isn’t the problem, the problem are all the other emotions that follow. This includes feelings of, loss insecurity, fear, abandonment, hurt, anger and hatred. Jealousy brings about very destructive emotions.
WHAT CAUSES JEALOUSY
Like all other problems, jealousy itself is not the problem. The problem is the driving factors behind jealousy. What are the underlining problems behind our feelings of jealousy? Let’s briefly discuss a few of these reasons:
I have broken it down into 6 main sub-categories as per below:
Possessive people are those that don’t like sharing what is dear to them with others. When someone that’s possessive feels like something that belongs to them is being taken away or even being shared, feelings of hurt and jealousy start to develop.
Co-dependent people find happiness in others. This happens a lot when someone has a very low self esteem and feels that they cannot find happiness within themselves. They find happiness from other people. When it feels that their primary source of happiness is being taken away from them, feelings of jealousy arise.
Those that believe there is something wrong with them typically suffer from a low self-esteem. They struggle to find the good in their actions; they experience constant feelings of inadequacy. Due to all these insecurities, they also constantly compare themselves to others and by doing so start developing resentments towards other people because, try as they might; they feel that they cannot compare with these people.
Rapid changes in mood can affect how we perceive things. Feelings of anxiety, of fear and of depression have a great impact on how we view the world. These can all be very big driving factors towards fear-based actions such as insecurity, fear of abandonment and fear of loss. This ultimate results or contributes to feelings of jealousy.
Our past hurt can trigger feelings of jealousy and insecurity, especially if we have not dealt with it effectively as yet. Those that do not effectively deal with their resentments start believing that history would always repeat itself. We may be in a new relationship and find ourselves checking up on our partner’s phone to try and see if they are being honest and faithful because we were previously cheated on and have not dealt with it as yet. Unresolved resentment is very dangerous, because if we find that history has in fact repeated itself and that our jealous suspicions came true, we then start blaming ourselves for having fallen for the same lies again or we may start believing that we are the problem.
The reason why shame is such a big driving factor in addiction is because we may have done something that we have not forgiven ourselves for and the shame becomes so overwhelming that we are constantly “on the run” or trying to escape. This comes with anxiety and this anxiety follows us in relationships and our dealings with people. Un-dealt with shame and guilt of our past strongly influences how we act today. We may have acted in a shameful manner and as a result, we start feeling that others may behave in a similar manner with that anxiety that shame brings about in us as a big driving factor.
These are the main driving factors I have identified behind jealousy.
When dealing with jealousy, we have to deal with the underlining issues driving our jealousy. We need to understand the root or trigger.
HOW TO OVERCOME JEALOUSY
Imagine living a life filled with feelings of constant suspicion and uncertainties? You start blaming others for your feelings of insecurity. You struggle to believe anyone and are constantly faced with doubts about everything….
Unless jealousy is dealt with, you will either remain or could eventually become this person.
Like all problems, the first step is awareness. Recognizing that there is a problem goes a long way in solving it.
When trying to resolve or work on your jealousy, you aren’t actually working on jealousy itself, you working on the underlying psychological issues driving this behavior.
You need to then identify what the driving factors are that are causing you to act jealous, i.e. are you possessive, co-dependent, emotionally unstable? Do you have a low self-esteem and this causes you unnecessary jealousy? Are you holding onto shame and resentment that could lead to jealousy? By dealing with the underlying issue, you then automatically deal with your issues of jealousy.
Working on jealousy can be tough because it requires deep and honest introspection, but jealousy affects us both ways. We can either be jealous and need to look within ourselves to start working on it or we could be experiencing the wrath of someone jealous around us.
How to deal with jealous people:
1) Often, the person may not realize that they are behaving in a destructive or jealous manner and it could all be due to miscommunications. Try speaking to the person and tell them how their actions make you feel.
2) Try not to take it personally. Remember, some else’s jealousy is not about you. It is about them and is something that they need to address.
3) Try reducing the negative interactions you may have with this person. Even though their jealousy is about them, if they are not willing to seek help or start working on their jealousy, it may be difficult to keep them in your life, especially if you are in the process of working on a healthier emotionally secure you. Constant negativity can largely impact you. Jealousy and all the other negative emotions that stem from it, is contagious.
4) Assess if the person adds value in your life. If the person only brings negativity and only seems to have bad things to say, then it might be necessary to cut that person out of your life.
Myth buster: Jealousy is not a sign of love; it is not a sign of care and affection. It’s a sign of insecurity.