Unmask the Green-Eyed Monster
Jealousy is a whole bundle of emotions.
We tend to think of jealousy as a single emotion, but actually it is a whole bundle of feelings that tend to get lumped together. Jealousy can manifest as anger, fear, hurt, betrayal, anxiety, agitation, sadness, paranoia, depression, loneliness, envy, coveting, feeling powerless, feeling inadequate, feeling excluded. It often helps to identify what is the exact mix of feelings you experience when you feel jealous.
What is the primary emotion you feel when you are jealous? Demystifying the exact components of your jealousy can be a giant step towards getting a grip on things and resolving the problem. Is it always the same for you or does the mix change from time to time depending on circumstances? For instance, one woman figured out that her jealousy was about 50% fear, 20% anger, 20% feeling powerless and 10% feeling betrayed. However, when she asked her partner for reassurance and affection, and he provided it, the anger and betrayal disappeared. Then her jealousy was much more manageable, because most of what was left was fear and she could express those feelings more easily to her partner and resolve them.
Like me… when I used to get jealous with someone I feel so afraid that someone I love might leave me or I might loose him/her/them, insecure cause I am not with him that he might compare me to any other girl he met so he can tell me what I have and don’t have and most of all I’m getting paranoid. I’m thinking that he will find another girl who can give him everything that I can’t do/give him cause we are in long distance relationship.
Jealousy is FEAR
It is crucial to understand what jealousy is and what it is about. Jealousy is about fear- -fear of the unknown and of change, fear of losing power or control in a relationship, fear of scarcity and of loss, and fear of abandonment. It is a reflection of our own insecurity about our worthiness, anxiety about being adequate as a lover, and doubts about our desirability.
For every jealous feeling there is an emotion behind the jealousy that is much more significant than the jealousy itself. Behind jealousy there is an unmet need or a deep fear that our needs will not be met. Recognizing those fears and unmet needs is the key to unmasking jealousy and taking away its power. Jealousy is just the finger pointing at the fears and needs we are afraid to face. When jealousy kicks in, it is the ancient reptilian part of our brain going into a “fight or flight” response because we feel that our very survival is threatened. When you feel jealous, ask yourself, “What is it that I am really afraid of? What do I need to make this situation safe for me?” “What is the worst thing that could happen and how likely is that to happen?”
Jealousy is insecurity
This is an important point. Feelings of jealousy always appear to stem from one’s sense that something about their life is not secure, e.g., is uncertain or in danger.
Several readers have objected to this particular point because they believe that insecurity is necessarily pejorative. That’s not what I mean by the word. (I’d love a better word, but I don’t have one.) It could be that this lack of security is very well founded–that the partner is about to run off with ‘the other woman’. Is it okay to be bothered by that? Of course it is.
In some cases, the insecurity is not founded on realistic dangers to the relationship. If that is really the case, then you (the jealous partner) may wish to consider where your insecurities are coming from. Solving those sorts of insecurities isn’t easy, but until you do you’ll continue to face those feelings.
Since we tend to become more secure in relationships as they become more stable with time, you may find that time is your ally in dealing with jealousy.
So what do we to get rid of jealousy?
“Don’t deny jealousy, deal with it!”
Let’s say you’ve found that you are jealous. It’s not going to be easy, but what can you do to solve it?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try and hide it (in the long term, that doesn’t mean you have to display it at the moment you feel it.) Jealousy is usually a signal of something needing fixing, and ignoring that usually only makes things worse.
Instead, I would suggest asking yourself “What do I feel insecure about?” Do I feel unattractive or uninteresting myself? Do I doubt the other persons love for me? Their physical attraction? Do I doubt that I can have the type of relationship I want?
Once you’ve figured out what the core discomfort is, then it’s appropriate to ask yourself if your fears are well-founded. If it is, perhaps talking to your partner about what you are afraid of and why you believe your fears are well-founded makes sense.
Gain more self-confidence… trust your self… believes that you have something that no one else has. Think of something, everything that will make your self-esteem grow, you yourself have a very special characteristic that only you can have.
Visualize your jealousy triggers
When you discover exactly what triggers your jealousy, it puts things in perspective. Realizing that you are only jealous of a small piece of the overall picture makes it much more manageable. After identifying you jealousy triggers, you have two basic choices. You can “engineer the problem away” by making agreements with your partner to avoid that particular behavior or situation, as shown in several previous examples. Or you can use the “phobia model”, taking the risk of gradually exposing yourself to situations which trigger your jealousy in the hopes that you will learn to tolerate and eventually feel comfortable with it.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no simple and easy solution to jealousy. It usually requires trial and error to discover what works for your individual situation. And jealousy can bring up many powerful feelings and unpredictable emotions. So be gentle with yourself and your partners, and don’t expect instant changes. Try to be understanding of each person is needs and feelings. Make every effort to create a “win-win” situation for everyone by giving each person as much voice as possible in decisions and rule making. And be willing to compromise to make sure everyone’s needs are met.
So why wait? Unmasked the green-eyed monster in your life. Free your self from anger and fear. Its good to live your life with full of happiness. Fight your insecurities , and you will find out the true beauty is within your self.
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