10 Tips to Manage Your Jealousy

Jealousy is an ugly emotion. It’s also a completely natural one, whether you’re envious of your friend’s new job or your girlfriend’s best male friend. But when jealous feelings turn into jealous, controlling behaviors, that can damage your relationships. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to manage your jealousy in a healthy way.

1. Breathe.

The next time you feel the green-eyed monster flare up, take a second and just breathe. Allow yourself to feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach or the heat between your ears – but breathe through it. Take a moment to recognize that it’s totally possible to feel jealous without acting on that jealousy. And remind yourself that the fact that you feel jealous that your boyfriend is out clubbing isn’t an indication that he’s cheating on you.

2. Pinpoint why you’re jealous.

It’s easier to deal with jealousy when you can pinpoint exactly what has you feeling so down in the dumps. If you’re jealous of a romantic partner, why is that? Perhaps there’s something in your past that makes you more sensitive to the situation – maybe you’ve been cheated on or your parents were unfaithful to one another. Maybe there’s a specific behavior your partner exhibits that makes you uncomfortable. If you’re jealous of a new development in a friend’s life, what exactly do you want for yourself? If your friend got a new job, are you jealous because of the money or the prestige?

3. Communicate.

Once you figure out why you’re jealous, communicate it. This isn’t license to lay out a list of accusations. But talking about your issues with your partner will help him/her feel more empathetic towards you, and help you find solutions that you’re both comfortable with. Be upfront and honest, and remember that you’ll feel less jealous if you’re more connected. (But to a point! You shouldn’t feel jealous because your partner isn’t texting you every 5 minutes.) And if you’re jealous of a friend, use that feeling as a starting point for evaluating your own life. Jealousy over a friends’ relationship might be a sign you’re not happy with yours.

4. Take care of yourself.

Jealousy tends to come from a place of insecurity, which is a major stressor. So you’re much better able to control your own jealousy if you are in a state where you’re able to deal with stress. So take care of yourself! You’ll be surprised just how much eating healthily and exercise will do for your self-esteem. It’s also crucial to develop sources of comfort and love outside of your romantic partner – and to be proactive in developing your career and hobbies if you tend to spiral into jealousy over your acquaintance’s lives.

5. Stop comparing.

When you’re jealous, you compare. You compare your accomplishments to your sister’s, or your relationship with your girlfriend to her relationship with her manager. So stop comparing! Of course, that’s easier said than done – but there are things you can do that will help. First, get off of social media. It’s all too easy to get caught up in how your life isn’t nearly as perfect as everyone else’s, forgetting that social media is totally manipulated. Plus, you don’t want to spiral into 2 hours of Facebook-stalking your boyfriend’s ex. Secondly, never go through your partner’s emails, phones or social media accounts. Snooping is a huge breach of trust we won’t get into here – but some people share passwords to prove there’s nothing there. If you fall under this category, ask your partner to change his/her password back and change your own as well. You’ll be less tempted to Facebook-stalk.

6. Twist your imagination.

The problem with jealousy is that it’s easy to imagine yourself into a situation that’s far worse than it actually is. Luckily, your imagination is under your control – so twist it the other way. Maybe you’re jealous that your girlfriend is out at a bar and guys are likely to hit on her. Instead of imagining that she’ll say yes and go home with someone, imagine a scenario in which she meets an incredibly creepy guy and leaves the bar thankful that she has someone great like you to go home to. Are you jealous of a co-worker because you don’t think he deserves the promotion? Imagine a tough backstory for him. Maybe he secretly worked late to get the promotion so he could pay for his sick mom’s medical treatments. You might scoff and say this is all fake – but it’s just as fake as the worse version, and this way makes you feel happy instead of jealous.

7. Accept the loss.

Jealousy over a romantic partner is often driven by the fear of losing that person. So as hard as this might be, you have to work to accept the loss. Imagine that your partner cheats on you and ends up married to some other woman. What is the worst that could happen? Yes, you wouldn’t have that person in your life anymore and you might be embarrassed. But wouldn’t the people who love you most stand by you? Wouldn’t you someday be happy not to have a cheater in your life anymore? Doesn’t that give you room to someday find a partner who deserves you? Imagining the worst-case scenario and then going over how you would deal with it will help you regain a sense of control and thus feel less jealous.

8. Focus on the positive.

Having trouble not comparing yourself to others? Try doing it positively instead. When you find yourself jealous that you’re not at a prestigious job, count all your other blessings in life. Reminding yourself what an awesome person you are will boost your self-confidence and help you deal with jealousies both romantic and otherwise.

9. Turn the tables.

If you’re really having trouble dealing with your romantic jealousy, try a little experiment. Figure out what exactly you do that frustrates your partner – and have them do it to you for a few days. Are you constantly texting when she’s at work? Do you quiz him on everything he did while you were away? Being on the receiving end of jealous behavior could be a big wake-up call as to how unfounded your behavior really is.

10. Get motivated.

Jealousy is generally regarded as an ugly emotion – but great beauty can come from even the darkest of places. Why not use your jealousy to get motivated? Maybe you realized in Step 2 that you’re jealous because you’ve gained weight in the relationship and think your partner will find other women more attractive. That’s great motivation to go to the gym. Or maybe evaluating your life helped you realize that you really need to go back to school. Something positive can come out of jealousy. Let it.

Liked this? Check out How ‘Netflix and Chill’ Is Ruining Your Dating Life!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Ρanayotis via Compfight cc

Jealousy is an ugly emotion. It’s also a completely natural one, whether you’re envious of your friend’s new job or your girlfriend’s best male friend. But when jealous feelings turn into jealous, controlling behaviors, that can damage your relationships. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to manage your jealousy in a healthy way.

1. Breathe.

The next time you feel the green-eyed monster flare up, take a second and just breathe. Allow yourself to feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach or the heat between your ears – but breathe through it. Take a moment to recognize that it’s totally possible to feel jealous without acting on that jealousy. And remind yourself that the fact that you feel jealous that your boyfriend is out clubbing isn’t an indication that he’s cheating on you.

2. Pinpoint why you’re jealous.

It’s easier to deal with jealousy when you can pinpoint exactly what has you feeling so down in the dumps. If you’re jealous of a romantic partner, why is that? Perhaps there’s something in your past that makes you more sensitive to the situation – maybe you’ve been cheated on or your parents were unfaithful to one another. Maybe there’s a specific behavior your partner exhibits that makes you uncomfortable. If you’re jealous of a new development in a friend’s life, what exactly do you want for yourself? If your friend got a new job, are you jealous because of the money or the prestige?

3. Communicate.

Once you figure out why you’re jealous, communicate it. This isn’t license to lay out a list of accusations. But talking about your issues with your partner will help him/her feel more empathetic towards you, and help you find solutions that you’re both comfortable with. Be upfront and honest, and remember that you’ll feel less jealous if you’re more connected. (But to a point! You shouldn’t feel jealous because your partner isn’t texting you every 5 minutes.) And if you’re jealous of a friend, use that feeling as a starting point for evaluating your own life. Jealousy over a friends’ relationship might be a sign you’re not happy with yours.

4. Take care of yourself.

Jealousy tends to come from a place of insecurity, which is a major stressor. So you’re much better able to control your own jealousy if you are in a state where you’re able to deal with stress. So take care of yourself! You’ll be surprised just how much eating healthily and exercise will do for your self-esteem. It’s also crucial to develop sources of comfort and love outside of your romantic partner – and to be proactive in developing your career and hobbies if you tend to spiral into jealousy over your acquaintance’s lives.

5. Stop comparing.

When you’re jealous, you compare. You compare your accomplishments to your sister’s, or your relationship with your girlfriend to her relationship with her manager. So stop comparing! Of course, that’s easier said than done – but there are things you can do that will help. First, get off of social media. It’s all too easy to get caught up in how your life isn’t nearly as perfect as everyone else’s, forgetting that social media is totally manipulated. Plus, you don’t want to spiral into 2 hours of Facebook-stalking your boyfriend’s ex. Secondly, never go through your partner’s emails, phones or social media accounts. Snooping is a huge breach of trust we won’t get into here – but some people share passwords to prove there’s nothing there. If you fall under this category, ask your partner to change his/her password back and change your own as well. You’ll be less tempted to Facebook-stalk.

6. Twist your imagination.

The problem with jealousy is that it’s easy to imagine yourself into a situation that’s far worse than it actually is. Luckily, your imagination is under your control – so twist it the other way. Maybe you’re jealous that your girlfriend is out at a bar and guys are likely to hit on her. Instead of imagining that she’ll say yes and go home with someone, imagine a scenario in which she meets an incredibly creepy guy and leaves the bar thankful that she has someone great like you to go home to. Are you jealous of a co-worker because you don’t think he deserves the promotion? Imagine a tough backstory for him. Maybe he secretly worked late to get the promotion so he could pay for his sick mom’s medical treatments. You might scoff and say this is all fake – but it’s just as fake as the worse version, and this way makes you feel happy instead of jealous.

7. Accept the loss.

Jealousy over a romantic partner is often driven by the fear of losing that person. So as hard as this might be, you have to work to accept the loss. Imagine that your partner cheats on you and ends up married to some other woman. What is the worst that could happen? Yes, you wouldn’t have that person in your life anymore and you might be embarrassed. But wouldn’t the people who love you most stand by you? Wouldn’t you someday be happy not to have a cheater in your life anymore? Doesn’t that give you room to someday find a partner who deserves you? Imagining the worst-case scenario and then going over how you would deal with it will help you regain a sense of control and thus feel less jealous.

8. Focus on the positive.

Having trouble not comparing yourself to others? Try doing it positively instead. When you find yourself jealous that you’re not at a prestigious job, count all your other blessings in life. Reminding yourself what an awesome person you are will boost your self-confidence and help you deal with jealousies both romantic and otherwise.

9. Turn the tables.

If you’re really having trouble dealing with your romantic jealousy, try a little experiment. Figure out what exactly you do that frustrates your partner – and have them do it to you for a few days. Are you constantly texting when she’s at work? Do you quiz him on everything he did while you were away? Being on the receiving end of jealous behavior could be a big wake-up call as to how unfounded your behavior really is.

10. Get motivated.

Jealousy is generally regarded as an ugly emotion – but great beauty can come from even the darkest of places. Why not use your jealousy to get motivated? Maybe you realized in Step 2 that you’re jealous because you’ve gained weight in the relationship and think your partner will find other women more attractive. That’s great motivation to go to the gym. Or maybe evaluating your life helped you realize that you really need to go back to school. Something positive can come out of jealousy. Let it.

Liked this? Check out How ‘Netflix and Chill’ Is Ruining Your Dating Life!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Ρanayotis via Compfight cc

  • Comments