Jealousy is a combination of fear and anger. Fear of losing something and anger that someone is "moving in on" something that you feel belongs only to you.
Jealousy is a warning sign that informs us of the existence of danger, losing the affection of our loved ones due to the presence of another person. It is usually accompanied by the feelings of abandon and exclusion, living through a very painful situation. But this sign, if we learn to process it and understand it, can be very enriching.
One can feel jealous about many things, but above all it is related to those areas in which the person feels most insecure. But, contrary to the way it seems, the rival of someone who is jealous is not another person, but rather the image of what one wants to become.
Jealousy is not only part of relationships (although that is the most typical case), but also between siblings, cousins, friends, family members, co-workers, etc. It is for that reason that this feeling, present in all cultures, is a part of songs, myths, legends, books, and, of course, scientific studies.
Jealousy: the mistaken idea that someone belongs to us
If we would set aside the view that the other person is our asset, jealousy would not exist. It is that simple. Human beings, by nature, have been raised in an environment where they appropriate everything they have around them. We stay with something because we like it, it does us some sort of good, we enjoy it, and we want it at our mercy when we feel like it.
In the specific case of a couple, the most common relationship where jealousy is experienced, the feelings and opinions of both should matter. This means that it is necessary to find a balance. We cannot pretend that the other is an object that does what we want, when, how, where, and as many times as we want.
Sometimes excessive worry by one partner implies the need to control and this is more related to possession than love. Constantly asking where they are, if they have arrived at work, what they are doing, and “overprotecting” can be a subconscious way of holding them by our side.
If we don’t believe that our partner belongs to us, it does not mean that we love them less, but rather completely the opposite. Each member of the couple needs autonomy, they each play a satisfactory part in their own life and within the pair, and both grow within the bond.
Do you believe there is a greater display of love than the person we have at our side being happy and having the free will to do what they want?
Of course, it is at this point when we think: If I “let” them do what they want they will surely deceive me or behave in a way they shouldn’t. Not necessarily.
The main reason a person becomes jealous is low self-esteem, and that is something that the jealous person him/herself needs to work on. The excessive fear of losing the person we love indicates that we are not happy with ourselves and that we think that we need someone else to be happy. And, what can you do to cure jealousy?
It is important to directly address the root of what generates the jealousy: the destructive self-rejecting. We all have parts of ourselves that we don’t like or wish to improve on, but the problem is when we reject these parts in a destructive way.
If your partner is controlling every one of your movements, if they criticise how you dress, if they spy on you while your write a text message or e-mail, if they feel anxious when you go to work and find excuses for you to stay home, or if when you return from being out, you have to endure an interrogation, they are excessively jealous.
So what can be done? Talk about it and try to help them understand that trust is very important in a relationship. If both partners try to work to make it better, there is no doubt they will succeed.
What to do about jealousy and low self esteem
Feel the emotion - Allow yourself to actually 'feel' emotions in a healthy way. When you start feeling jealous, ask yourself: Is it more fear-based or more anger-based, and why? Recognise which part of your body is being affected. If you feel a dropping or clutching sensation in your stomach, it’s probably fear. If you feel a burning, tight sensation in your shoulders and jaw, then you’re likely feeling anger. You might also feel a combination of those sensations.
Communicate your feelings - Sharing your true feelings with someone without blaming them can create a deep sense of connection between the two of you and open up a dialogue about the path of your relationship. Use "I" instead of "you." Instead of saying, "You shouldn't have done that," say, "I felt terrible when that happened."
Identify what it is teaching you - Identify what your jealousy is teaching you. Jealousy can alert you to what you want and what is important to you. If you’re jealous of someone talking to a friend of yours, personal relationships may be important to you. If you’re jealous about money, you may have an underlying need for security or freedom. Ask yourself, "Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What am I trying to keep? Why do I feel threatened?" When you begin to understand what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive steps to maintain those things, without the cloud of negative emotions that accompany jealousy.
Change your beliefs - Change any false beliefs that might cause jealousy. There are often false beliefs that underlie jealousy and fuel emotion. If you examine the belief, you can often eliminate the jealousy. Some common underlying beliefs are “Everyone is out to get my money” or “If this person leaves me, I won't have any friends.” Beliefs are changeable. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel. Choose to tell yourself a belief that is nurturing and supportive, and you’ll feel better. When you begin taking steps to creating a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, you will find the anger, the jealousy, and the fear will disappear. Don't listen to people who make you jealous.
List your good points - Make a list of all your good points and only compare yourself to yourself rather than to others. Raise your sense of self worth and self confidence by acknowledging your accomplishments, inner qualities and other good things about you. One way to change your belief system and inner dialogue, is to journal on a daily basis supportive messages to yourself. In time, your efforts will begin to sink into your subconscious. And as a result, you'll develop new inner strengths, diminish any envious feelings, and feel more joy within and in life.