Controlling jealousy is an emotion that follows us through life
Jealousy is one of the rawest emotions and although it’s not something we should be especially proud of; we are all human at the end of the day and therefore all experience it. Envy follows us through each stage of our lives and is a very prevalent and telling sentiment. Just think back to high school, for example, when you (like so many other girls of that age) spent hours slating the group that called themselves ‘The Plastics’. Despite them not even knowing your name, their perfect teeth, brace-free teeth, and perfectly coiffed hair was enough to make you despise them, all because you were envious of what they had and the attention it conjured.
Fast-forward another 30 years and although you probably no longer wear beat-up Converse every day and waved goodbye to your Orthodontist many moons ago, jealousy is still an important feature in your life. Yet now the stakes are way higher. You now no longer risk upsetting the class queen bee and being conveniently left off the popular kid’s house party list, but throwing your relationship into jeopardy.
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What are 3 reasons for jealousy?
From a somewhat innocent-seeming text message that your partner didn't show you, to your man being followed on Instagram by his drop-dead gorgeous new coworker, there are a multitude of explanations as to why our envy sparks. However, that being said, many of the reasons go deeper and are quite revelatory.
1) Lack of self-confidence
Having a poor image of yourself, whether you constantly criticize yourself or believe that you are way less pretty than 99% of womankind, will lead to a toxic surge of envy. Not being able to value yourself for who you are and what you have to offer will see you feeling unworthy of love and affection. If we constantly hold other people in such high esteem yet hate ourselves, we’ll inevitably always compare and torture ourselves.
2) Trust issues
Once our trust has been betrayed, it can be hard to rebuild. We’ve all had our hearts broken and been betrayed, or even cheated on at least once, and shaking off these memories is easier said than done.
Trust is the bedrock in love, but can’t develop if we are instinctively suspicious and doubtful. In short, if we constantly assume the worst, then it’s only natural for envy to arise.
3) Societal norms
From high-profile affairs to 9 romcoms out of 10, society exposes us to cheating in every form and although this may seem fairly innocent when it’s televised, it plants seeds of doubt about our own lives. How many times have we seen the main character of a series run off with the hot blonde despite him being in a relationship? And what if this happened to us?!
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How to manage your jealousy and save your relationship
Your love life doesn’t have to be catastrophic and unstable just because you suffer from jealous tendencies. Follow these 3 tips to control your envious urges.
1) Communicate openly with your partner
Whenever you feel yourself getting suspicious, sad, or angry, open up to your partner and discuss how you are feeling and more importantly why. Your partner perhaps doesn’t even realize that certain actions trigger this emotion in you, which is why listing your insecurities is essential. Likely, this conversation could even bring you closer together and give him a more profound understanding of you.
2) Distract yourself
Putting things into perspective and moving on by taking your mind off things will instantly calm you down. It will also give you the time to reflect on the situation before jumping to any sort of conclusion.
3) Appreciate yourself
Whenever testing situations crop up, use them as a lesson and invest your energy into loving yourself. Instead of beating yourself up about the way you feel, praise yourself for who you are and focus on what you have to offer. Self-love will help you realize how special you are and will prevent you from constantly putting yourself down.
Is jealousy healthy in a relationship?
When we consider healthy relationships, we often think of trust, respect, and strong communication. Although, when we are head over heels in love, we often become fearful that we’ll lose our partner, which is where jealousy begins to develop. That being said, a mild form of jealousy in a relationship can be healthy, and proves that you care about your partner and that you don’t want to lose them. This level of jealousy also helps to reinforce our feelings towards our partner too. However, if it leads to fights and arguments between you and your partner, then it can become troubling.
Does jealousy mean you care?
It is difficult to conceive of a love relationship that is totally devoid of jealousy. In fact, it is not uncommon to think that a person who is not jealous at all does not sincerely love their partner. As a result, the two feelings are commonly associated. In fact, jealousy is a response to the threat of a third party to a relationship we are attached to and therefore means we care. It is the fear of having one's partner stolen by another person, and therefore the desire to keep the relationship, that is at the root of this feeling. In this sense, jealousy is less a proof of love towards one's partner than a will to keep possession of him/her. If the feeling of love often induces in fact the instinct of possession, the opposite is not necessarily true, and it is therefore not directly love that explains jealousy.
Editor’s opinion – Don’t let envy get the better of you
Jealousy is a normal emotion, yet it is a lot more threatening and dangerous for our emotional relationships as adults. Although outbursts can be forgiven, they often leave their marks further down the line and create an unhealthy and suspicious space. Just because you get envious every once in a while, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person; however, you should try to work on yourself in an attempt to remain in control.
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!
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