STEP 1 – RECOGNISE
Understanding your feelings of jealousy is imperative to overcoming them. Before we can heal we must first recognise our emotions and determine the source or cause. Take a deep breath, take a step back and ask yourself:
a) What it is that you’re feeling (e.g. angry, frustrated, depressed, reckless, victimised, moody, aggressive, weak, hopeless, irrational)
b) Why you are feeling this way (someone flirting with your partner, a co-worker receiving praise, others success etc.)
It is incredibly freeing to take ownership of your feelings and recognise that you and you alone have created them. Blaming others or taking it out on someone else is destructive, counterproductive and only serves as a short-term Band-Aid for your inner demons. Suppressing your true feelings doesn’t solve problems, it creates problems. Own your jealousy – it is a natural emotion experienced by all human beings at one point or another.
STEP 2 – REALITY CHECK
a) Work and Money
Now that you’ve acknowledged your feelings of envy and discovered the root of the problem, it’s time for a reality check. You must ask yourself, does the reason for your jealousy warrant the pain that you are experiencing? Are you being rational? You’re more than likely being unnecessarily harsh on yourself due to self-subjected insecurities and doubt.
An example of such destructive thought patterns relating to work could be: “Everyone around me is growing, succeeding and has already accomplished so much in life. I’ve got nothing to show for it. I’m a failure.”
A person expressing this statement is forgetting to look at the big picture, as tunnel vision is a side-effect of insecurity and melancholy. “Everyone” is not every person that you know, “everyone” is simply those who you are selectively choosing to compare yourself against. Even in specific instances where people appear to have enviable lives on the surface, there are always two sides to the story and a balance of positives and negatives.
You may indeed have a lower income, a lesser title or have less education than others, but what about all of your enviable attributes? Maybe you have travelled, have a loving family, have a close circle of friends, had money-can’t-buy life experiences, have found your soulmate, have street smarts, are inspirational to others, or maybe you are genuinely happy day to day.
It is imperative to make an effort to remember and appreciate all the things that you can be grateful for. You are an individual with unique life experiences and a unique character – don’t sabotage yourself with useless negative energy. Focus instead on the big picture and see things for what they really are.
b) Love and Relationships
Irrational feelings of jealousy tend to thrive when it comes to our love life and close relationships with others. Possessiveness and attachment to a partner is a consequence of your insecurities of being unworthy and a fear of abandonment.
For example, say that your partner has a friend of the opposite gender who occasionally flirts with them, and making matters worse, your partner allows such behaviour. Filled with anger and disappointment, you take it out on your partner. “How dare they behave in an inappropriately sexual manner towards MY partner!” “How could MY partner let it happen?”
(Insert silent treatment here).
Their behaviour is indeed disrespectful of your relationship and your integrity, however, we’re only human at the end of the day. Holding such high standards for others is unrealistic, and you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment by doing so. If you have total trust and faith in your partner, there really isn’t anything to worry about, is there?
Such a scenario should be less about your feelings of inadequacy and more a reminder about other people’s insecurities and need for validation.
STEP 3 – INSPIRE
It is possible to transfer your negative jealous energy into constructive positive energy. If you can achieve self-awareness as described in Step 1, you will be able to recognise what it is that you truly desire – and go after it. For example, if you experience destructive feelings of resentment or inadequacy when looking at photos of friends on Facebook, ask yourself why.
Maybe you have body image issues which need to be addressed?
Maybe you feel that your social life is no-longer fulfilling?
Instead of feeling wracked with jealousy, it is much more constructive to instead become inspired to make change. The only thing holding you back is you.