The causes of jealousy may differ from culture to culture. Even so, it is a universal emotion, and people who deny that they never felt jealous might as well be lying. It may be at work, your relationship with your partner, siblings, or just about anyone, you might have experienced this emotion in the forms of competitiveness or uncanny rivalry. However, coping with jealousy is necessary as you cannot let it affect your overall personality. It is the chief reason why many relationships come to an end, and it also makes you a difficult person to deal with in daily life.
What causes jealousy?
Evolutionary psychology suggests that jealousy is just a result of a man protecting his vital interests in life. Although it is believed that jealousy stems from deep-rooted insecurities and low self-esteem, jealousy can also be a consequence of high self-esteem – the fear of losing what is valuable to you or believing that “this is not how I would like to be treated.”
The most important aspect of coping with jealousy is normalizing this emotion as much as you can. Many times, you may have experienced people say that “you must be crazy to be jealous of such a petty issue” or “please stop being so insecure.” These bits of advice are surely not going to work, as they will pull you down further.
Being jealous is natural. You can almost feel the rage and angst rising within you, but you aren’t sure what you should do.
Dealing with jealousy
The first step towards coping with jealousy is to acknowledge this emotion inside you. Then, realize that you have a choice whether to act on it or not.
Secondly, it is crucial to distinguish between jealousy and reality. What ‘seems’ to trigger your resentment might not always be the truth. For example, being jealous of your partner just because he or she seems to be interested in talking to someone else at a party doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true. Our mind is a dangerous place, so your notions might not always lead to the truth.
Further, the sheer acceptance of your jealous feelings and thoughts is vital. When you do notice that you are experiencing jealous elements, observe them and assess them. When you consider both sides of the story, it allows you to act on your jealousy in a rationalistic manner.
Recognising the fact that uncertainty and insecurity are natural factors of any relationship is essential. Be it at work or your relations, learning to accept uncertainty as part and parcel of relationships will help you gain a more prominent perspective; instead of accusing one another and getting into unrealistic expectations.
Lastly, addressing pre-supposed notions about your relationships is essential as well. Your idea about a perfect relationship may not be mutually shared by the other person, which leads to a conflict. These notions are usually formed from your childhood experiences. For example, if your father cheated your mother, you might be prone to thinking that your partner might do a similar thing.
Stop and re-think
Jealousy often leads to disastrous decisions, and it is necessary to address this issue in a balanced way. Holding it back or ignoring the emotion simply won’t do. Struggling with jealousy isn’t new; however, it needs to be treated appropriately.
Related: The Power of Using Someone’s Name