4 Tips When You’re Feeling Jealous
For some of you, jealousy and relationships go hand in hand. For others, it mainly shows up during certain periods, especially when your significant other is working late, disconnecting, putting more energy into something or someone else than you, or spending more time around someone you find threatening. You may feel jealous of your partner’s hobbies, career, colleagues, friends, children, or admirers.
Jealousy, in whatever form it takes, can quickly lead to overwhelming feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, fear, worry, anxiety, anger, disappointment, and doubt and can create turmoil within oneself and in the relationship. We’re here to help you break through jealousy’s deceptive bonds so you can open to the love that’s been waiting for you all along!
Tip #1: Jealousy = a cry for love and acceptance within you.
Oftentimes, when we feel jealous of someone else, it is because we aren’t fully loving or accepting some part of ourselves. When we are overflowing with genuine self-love and acceptance, it is much easier to feel confident and secure, and we more naturally feel happiness, rather than jealousy, towards others. What part of yourself have you been judging, neglecting, or feeling ashamed of? See this jealousy as a loud and clear message that these aspects long to be accepted by you, and intentionally breathe some love into these places.
Tip #2: Allow jealousy to show you where you want to grow and take better care of yourself.
Go ahead and reflect for a moment… Who or what are you feeling jealous of? What is it about this person or thing that threatens you? What does this person or thing have that you see yourself lacking? For example, perhaps you are feeling jealous of someone else with whom your partner spends time. Let’s call her Nancy. Things have been really stressful in your relationship lately, and the majority of your time together is spent on logistics or arguing. Nancy and your partner, however, joke freely, he smiles whenever he’s with her, and you feel jealous of their positive and quality time. You see Nancy as having the ability to uplift your partner (something you sense you’re currently lacking), and she’s fun, engaging, vibrant, healthy, and interesting.
Notice what this other thing or person has that you want more of in your own life. For example, Nancy could bring your attention towards the longing inside of you to be happier, healthier, more positive, and interesting. Make a commitment to yourself to nurture these aspects of yourself. Set some new health goals, start speaking more positively to yourself and your mate, plan a fun date, fill your life with more things that bring joy, and start learning something new. Do this not to compete with Nancy but because she has helped remind you of how you can better love and honor yourself and grow into the person you really yearn to be.
Tip #3: Upgrade your old, outdated thoughts.
Most often, when clients come to us experiencing big bouts of jealousy, the roots go back much further than this current relationship. Perhaps it comes from a past relationship in which your partner betrayed your trust or suddenly left you. Maybe it stems from childhood when you never felt secure in your parents’ love, when you sensed you had to do a certain thing in order to be wanted or accepted, or when you were always competing with a sibling. Maybe it comes from a time when you were bullied. What are some messages you received and beliefs that were imprinted at an early age that may be affecting you? When did jealousy first start showing up in your life, and who did you feel jealous of? Some messages you may have held onto are things like…
“I need to do _____________ in order to be loved.”
“I don’t deserve ________________.”
“I’ll never be good enough or get it right.”
“I’ll never be as ________________ as ________________.”
“_______________ is better, more likable, smarter, funnier, prettier, etc. than me.”
Unfortunately, these old, outdated negative messages do a very sneaky job of flooding our minds with jealousy and all sorts of self-doubt and judgment later in life, and they create a barrier of static that interferes with receiving all the love right in front of us. Plus, whatever we believe, we will perceive, so it’s like you’ve hired the wrong translator to decode what your partner is doing or saying.
Also, ironically, when we are feeling jealous, it is usually when we are the most hungry for love, attention, and affection, and yet it’s when we tend to, very unintentionally, push people away ~ who wants to hang out with a really jealous person?
Let’s try this analogy. Imagine you are in a sound-proof glass room, just you and your thoughts. Your partner is standing right outside this room, looking at you and telling you an abundance of loving messages. However, you don’t hear or receive any of it, because all you hear is the sounds of your own mind. When you step out of the walls of your outdated limiting thoughts, you can step into the love that’s been there all along. Plus, when you choose to believe you are lovable, worthy, deserving, and good enough, you’ll start to radiate confidence and positive energy, and you will be much more enjoyable and attractive to be around (which then leads to a fabulous upward spiral!).
Tip #4: Openly and vulnerably communicate.
The way you are currently communicating your jealousy to your beloved (through blame, criticism, control, etc.), may not be working so well. To prevent feeling vulnerable, we humans tend to project, judge, and blame. Underneath the conflict created from jealousy in your relationship is probably a lot of beautiful tenderness. Here is a formula below to openly express your feelings in a way that will bring you closer, rather than accidentally push your beloved away…
“When you _________________, I feel _________________, because the story I tell myself is _________________. What I am really scared of is _________________. I’m sorry that I react by _________________. I dream of _________________. I am wondering if you would be willing to _________________.”
It could sound something like this: “When you send text messages to your ex-girlfriend, I feel jealous, scared, and lonely, because the story I tell myself is that you are more interested in her than me and that I’m not enough. What I’m really scared of is that we’re drifting and I am going to lose you. I’m sorry I react by trying to control you, saying mean things about your ex, and focusing on your worst intentions. What I dream of is having a thriving relationship where we both feel passionately connected, safe, and fulfilled, and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to go out on a special date with me this weekend so we can reconnect and have fun.”
May you put these tips into action right away, as jealousy is taking up prime property in your mind, body, heart, and spirit, as well as using up precious time and energy and robbing you of all the love and joy you deeply deserve!
If jealousy is an issue in your relationship and continually comes between you, we support couples with this kind of thing every day! We can help you replace jealousy with deep feelings of loving safety and security as well as healthy independence and life-lasting passion, connection, and fulfillment. We are here for you! Learn about our counseling, coaching, and retreats (including our upcoming Thrive in Love weekend!).
Loving Gratitude and Infinite Blessings,
Christine and Bret Eartheart
Co-Founders of the Center for Thriving Relationships