Jealousy is a feeling that can be very painful for the person who feels it, but also for the people around them who often do not understand the behaviors generated by this jealousy. Whether it is in a relationship, friendship or family, there are ways to understand and overcome it.
Why don’t we feel jealousy in the same way?
Where does this feeling come from and why do we not all feel it in the same way? No one is equal in front of emotions, that’s what makes us unique. Our character, our education, our personal history, all contribute to differentiate us from each other. Jealousy is a brief or lasting emotion/feeling that arises when we lose something to someone else. For example, we are jealous of our ex’s new lover . A child is jealous of a classmate who “takes away” his best friend. There is always the idea of holding on to something that is going away.
Jealousy can also occur without a loss of someone but rather because one would like to be another person and have what they have. Their physical appearance, their money, their professional success, their friends, their family, their relationship, etc. Everything that the other has that we don’t and that we desire can make us jealous of our best friend. Why not take a cue from this person to improve yourself instead of feeling sorry for yourself? For example, if you find that a friend is much thinner than you, then stop eating poorly and go exercise!
A feeling like any other
Jealousy is a feeling like any other, it is not a pathology. What can become pathological is the inability to manage it, leading to violent behavior. Possessiveness and control are often the behavioral responses that the jealous person gives to what he or she is experiencing: for fear of losing, he or she will control more.
It is difficult to say where jealousy comes from, but most often it comes from a great lack of self-confidence and is closely linked to emotional dependence. If it is not taken care of, it takes up more and more space. For example, if our spouse is jealous, we will limit our outings and any opportunities that might cause him/her to have a crisis… but that only leads the jealous person to want to control and monitor even more. To avoid this, you should never give in to the jealous person’s attempts to control and manipulate you, as this will make the situation worse.
It should be noted that men and women do not experience jealousy in the same way. Women are more jealous of a possible feeling of their partner towards a rival, while men are jealous of a possible act of infidelity (a sexual relationship).
Overcoming jealousy means learning to get rid of this feeling or controlling it?
Neither one nor the other! You can’t get rid of emotions and you can’t control them either. We can only control our actions and tame our emotions. This means that we no longer let our emotions guide us. We feel it, but we give it the continuation we choose.
Thus, jealous people tend to watch their partner (read their messages, search their pockets, have them followed, etc.), restrict their contacts with others and isolate them(“Don’t go to your mother’s, she says bad things about me!“) and finally to depreciate them to prevent them from seeing other people (“In any case, with your physique, I don’t run a big risk…“). All of these behaviors are obviously counterproductive. They end up driving people away rather than attaching them to us.
Overcoming jealousy is learning to live with it without acting on it. To feel it, but without making “neurotic” gestures. One could say that it is a question of “depotentiating” jealousy.
Tips to overcome this unpleasant feeling
The first point is to understand that jealousy belongs to the one who experiences it. It does not have to be attributed to someone else. We must be categorical on this point! This is also the case for violence. No matter what the other person does to me, I am still in control of my reactions (and I must assume the full consequence).
As long as we have accepted jealousy as a feeling within us, we can explore it. What exactly am I afraid of? Why is this? Is this realistic? And what would happen if my fears were true?
Secondly, it is crucial not to indulge in behaviours that reassure at first, but that spoil the relationship at a later stage: surveillance, control, restriction of contact, devaluation, etc.
Self-confidence is a must
Another very important thing is that people suffering from jealousy must absolutely work on their self-confidence and make efforts to improve themselves.
This is how we can learn to feel jealousy, but without succumbing to temptation. “Ok, I’m jealous that you’re going out to eat with your ex, but I hope you have a great night and I wouldn’t want you to give it up.” For it is not the feeling that is the problem, but the actions that follow.
So if you feel attracted by this article, don’t hesitate to contact us to make an appointment with one of our professionals who will identify your starting point.
Sources : https://www.journaldesfemmes.fr/couple/conseils-amoureux/1520883-comment-surmonter-jalousie/
Yves-Alexandre Thalmann, Psychologist