“Surrounded by the flames of jealousy, the jealous one winds up, like the scorpion turning the poisoned sting against himself.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Healthy relationships are not something that just happen, they take work.
One prerequisite for a healthy union is to examine the deep-rooted behaviors that prevent us from actualizing one. Sometimes jealousy is at the root of those behaviors and can be the kiss of death to the partnership we are cultivating.
Jealousy is the fear of losing something or someone. Unlike envy, which is coveting something, someone else has, jealousy is an outcropping of our personal feeling of insecurity. Lacking confidence in who we are bleeds into our relationship, undermining the trust of the relationship.
First, it is important to discern if your jealousy is a habitual behavior or if it’s a justifiable concern.
If there is not a pattern of jealousy, then the feelings you a have may be signaling a red flag with this current partner. If jealousy is a recurring pattern, then this is something to be addressed.
If you feel insecure each time your partner is not by your side, or if every sideways glance your partner gives bothers you, it is time to address the feeling of jealousy before it destroys the trust your relationship was built upon.
Overcoming jealousy is accomplished by changing our emotional reactions and behavior.
If you want to jump off of the carousel, here are nine steps to letting go of jealousy:
1. It begins with awareness and recognizing you have an issue. If your brain tends to work overtime, always generating new anxieties and worries, this is a common cause for manifesting negative responses. When the unknown arises (i.e., your husband is late), your overactive brain begins to overthink, creating the worse-case scenarios, and jealousy is one of those. If this is your thinking style, you can start here by identifying the core beliefs that trigger your reactions.
2. Trust your partner. They are innocent until proven guilty. And if there are zero reasons to be distrusting, remember thoughts are things—you may create the very situation you are afraid will happen.
3. Don’t play games. Trying to make your partner jealous could start a spiral you do not want. It is easy to spot a red car when you are always thinking of a red car. And it is easy to be jealous if you are still thinking of reasons to be. We become what we think, so watch what you think.
4. Communicate with your partner to have a conscious relationship. With the commitment of growth to both your partnership and individually, if needed, find a mediator to help you develop tools needed for open communication.
5. Boost your self-esteem and self-worth. Learning to bolster ourselves is essential to self-care. When we eliminate self-criticism, introduce self-compassion, focus on our strengths, and accept compliments even though it is difficult, we raise our self-esteem and self-worth. By doing so, we will change our inner dialog of insecurity, and enhance our ability to handle those triggers before they happen.
6. Surround yourself with stable and rational people who will not allow you to wallow in unfounded jealousy.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others. Letting go of social media’s power is a great way to end unrealistic comparisons.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
8. Don’t forgo reality for a false scenario of your making. Jealousy is an emotional reaction when we believe situations in our minds that are not true. When we change our beliefs, we can change what our imagination sees. By doing so, we can eliminate the destruction of jealous reactions.
9. Before you act on your feelings, pause. Calm down and reassess whether you are overthinking or overreacting. Call a friend who can talk it out with you to find clarity.
To end the cycle of jealousy, we must first let go of the negative projections, our anxieties, and the drama. As harmful as they can be, we can become addicted to those feelings. If we are serious about changing our behaviors, we must make a shift.
It is within our power to shift our perspective. It is our response-ability. Not only is romantic jealousy a waste of energy, it is also the kiss of death. Nip it in the bud; the power lies within.
“Jealousy is a keen observer but looks for all the wrong signs.” ~ H. L. Mencken