Whether you’re in a relationship, a situationship, or any other coupling, a little bit of jealousy can be healthy because it shows that you value your partner. But anything more than that, and the green-eyed monster needs to get slayed.
If jealousy has reared its head and is causing trouble and toxicity, you need to know how to deal with it to ensure it doesn't negatively affect you or your partner long-term.
It’s vital that you see jealousy for what it is.
At its root, it’s a sign that you’re insecure emotionally. However, admitting that you’re insecure and looking at why is a crucial step in starting to manage your emotions in better ways.
You’ll need to work towards addressing and understanding your feelings of jealousy by looking more deeply into what’s causing them. They might be the result of fears and insecurities you don’t even know you have! These could include:
By taking the time to recognize what lies just below the surface of your jealousy, you’ll be closer to finding ways to manage it more effectively.
Here are 5 tips for dealing with your own jealousy or that of a partner.
If your jealousy is persistent and causing you and your loved one distress, you may find that it’s related to anxiety or issues with your self-esteem. Learning how to deal with these issues will alleviate or, at the very least, reduce your jealousy.
One way to start working on low self-esteem involves identifying your personal values. Think about developing your qualities of honesty, communication, and compassion. This will help you because it focuses your attention on yourself and if you’re integrating these admirable values into your daily life.
It will also bring your positive traits to light and allow you to review what’s important to you. This, in turn, will increase your levels of self-respect, which will help reduce feelings of competitiveness and inferiority.
Each one of us has different life experiences. These play a huge part in shaping our relationship expectations. We may have had negative experiences in previous romantic relationships. These could have led us to be dependent, distrustful, and insecure in the present.
When you lash out at your partner, they’re going to get defensive most of the time. It may even lead to them becoming insecure themselves down the road.
When you notice jealousy starting to rear its ugly head, try taking a moment to pause. Reflect on what event from your past is triggering you. Why are you assuming the worst about your significant other?
From this more objective standpoint, it will be easier to start using statements that begin with I. Do this to explain how you’re feeling and why. You may find it easier to avoid making your partner the bad guy or assigning blame. This kind of vulnerability may be difficult to handle at first. But it will also allow you and your partner to deepen your bond as you both learn more about each other's needs.
Although coping with jealousy as it arises won’t do anything to solve its underlying causes, it can drastically reduce your distress. This gives you the space you need to work on the underlying causes. Turn your attention away from your jealous feelings. This may help stop you from acting on them and doing something you can’t take back.
A good idea is to find a safe word—yes, just like you use if you’re into BDSM—to use with your partner. This tells them you’re in the danger zone and lets them know they need to treat you gently to avoid a meltdown.
There are several strategies you can try to distract yourself from your irrational feelings of jealousy before they overwhelm you. These are just two that are very effective:
Start a journal specifically for dealing with these feelings. Jot down your thoughts and emotions as they arise, and try looking behind them to find the actual cause.
The endorphins will do you good; you’ll have physical space from the event that’s triggering you, and you’ll be able to get a handle on your negative feelings before they spin out of control.
You may find yourself unable to cope with your jealousy on your own. If this is the case, you should consider talking to a therapist.
It’s hard to talk about feelings of jealousy, and you might feel ashamed to share your insecurities with someone you know. Finding yourself a psychologist who can meet you with compassion, kindness, and respect may be just the thing. And it’s nice to know that they know that jealousy is a relatively common emotion that everyone feels.
If you aren’t sure that you need a therapist, take a look at the following symptoms of serious jealousy. If you’re experiencing any, talking to a professional may be what you need:
Are you constantly checking your social media feed or your partner’s? Is it difficult to not check their phones, or have you succumbed to the temptation? When you’re no longer present in your own life, you’ve got a problem.
Healthy jealousy exists and can help you focus on those you care about. It doesn’t have to upend your life and cause you unbearable pain. In some cases, it can even strengthen relationships! At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you use your feelings.
Jealousy in your partner doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. You may be dealing with someone who’s got some baggage, but it’s more than possible for you two to work together through jealousy. You’ll need:
Here are 4 tips for dealing with a jealous significant other:
As tricky as this may be, try not to let your defensiveness get the best of you when your partner is being jealous. Try to objectively evaluate the situation and then calmly respond to it. Tell them that you’re committed to working on the situation with them. But if it’s gotten to the point where you’re ready to end the relationship, be open about that as well.
Chat with your partner about their anxieties and fears by sitting them down and asking them directly what’s happening. Because jealousy is usually an indicator of fear or feeling threatened, listen actively. And employ compassion and empathy.
When jealousy flares up, think about showing a little extra affection. As irrational as the behavior may seem to you, being supportive may put an end to it more quickly than getting angry will.
If you’re monogamish, poly, or in an open relationship, your partner may battle with sexual jealousy. Simply spending more time being intimate, fulfilling fantasies, or playing sexy games can show them that they pleasure you and have no reason to feel threatened.
If jealousy doesn’t get processed properly and in a healthy manner, it will affect almost every aspect of your relationship. This means communication, feelings of partnership, sex, and trust will all take a knock.
Unfortunately, many people frequently tend to misinterpret jealousy for love. And it can be this if it’s infrequent and controllable. But abnormal jealousy is the opposite of love. It can wreak havoc on your relationship as you or your partner become more fearful, angrier, and controlling. If there’s jealousy on either side, you both need to work towards alleviating it and enjoying your time together without any insecurities.