How to Deal with Jealousy

Apr 29, 2022
A book with a single word

~ 3 minute read ~

Jealousy is an uncomfortable feeling. But, like other emotions that cause discomfort, jealousy has its own wisdom. Instead of trying to push jealousy away, I’m going to teach you how to embrace it.


Many of us are tempted to label jealousy as a negative emotion instantly. After all, it doesn’t feel good to be jealous! However, jealousy is neutral until you choose how to react to it. That’s right, this neutral emotion doesn’t have any label except the one you choose to put onto it.


Surprisingly, many of those in relationships put a positive label on jealousy when their partner expresses it. They believe that jealousy is proof of love and may even get annoyed when their partner doesn’t express jealousy! This is just one of many examples that shows jealousy in a new, positive light.


Below are five simple steps that will help you think of jealousy in a more positive light so that it can be your ally, not your enemy.


To Sooth Jealousy… Slow Down


Step 1. Notice


First, notice the emotion you’re feeling and name it. Ask yourself: Am I feeling jealous or envious?


No matter the emotion, meet it with compassion and acceptance.


Ignore your urge to put up the wall and turn inward to your sensations. Do you feel bound, constricted, or heavy? Where do you feel it in your body? What is your inner dialogue as you feel this emotion?

Jealousy is Complex

Step 2. Name


Now, it’s time to go deeper and name the feelings that come along with your jealousy or envy. Remember that jealousy comes in flavors; it can be curious, rageful, excited, and even anxious.


So, pop the hood open, look inside your mind, and ask yourself what emotions you’re feeling. Some of the feelings that pop up may include grief, fear, anger, and shame. If you relate to these emotions, don’t worry! Most of us already have tools to deal with these other emotions. Simply pulling out those tools and applying them to your jealousy will make this entire process a lot easier.


Quick Jealousy Hack


Step 3. Navigate


In order to navigate the emotions that you’re feeling, it’s important to self-soothe. So, what are your options? First, remember that self-regulation is available right away. You are whole on your own, and you value your relationship. So, remind yourself of the boundaries and trust you have with your partner. Use breathing and soothing affirmations to recenter yourself.


Some soothing mantras that you could say to yourself or your partner may include I am feeling jealous or I am worthy of love and attention.


Another great way to self-soothe is to make a jealousy self-care playlist that will remind you of your value and lift your spirits! This is a great way to make jealousy your ally and will help you associate jealousy with more positive feelings.


If you find that you still need extra assurance, ask your partner for reassurance! This might mean saying to them: “Remind me that you love me, please?” Never assume that your partner can read your mind. Asking them for reassurance is NOT the same thing as asking them to change.


Jealousy Might Not Mean What You Think


Step 4. Narrate


Narrate the story that you tell yourself about jealousy. Jealousy doesn’t have to be a bad thing! You can take charge of your internal dialogue, bring the narrative of jealousy to the surface, and make it more positive.


To narrate the story that you tell yourself about jealousy, you first have to notice what your internal dialogue is. Do you buy into the way that jealousy is portrayed in the media? Which stories of jealousy do you relate to?


Are you ready to create your own story around jealousy? One way to take control of your interpretation of jealousy is to remind yourself that jealousy does not mean that your or your partner are bad. Nobody should be ashamed of jealousy! In fact, just like I said earlier, isn’t jealousy what proves love?


Once you hold jealousy more gently and refuse to let it run you, you’ll be able to transform the way that you think about this confusing emotion.


Move Toward Jealousy’s Opposite


Step 5. Nurture


Nurture compersion. Compersion, a term coined by polyamorists in the 1990s, simply means feeling joy for another person’s joy.


Nurturing compersion doesn’t mean that you will only feel compersion and completely throw jealousy out the window. Remember, just like any emotion, if you hold jealousy underwater, it will eventually bounce back up in a harmful and unexpected way.


Allow yourself to feel joy while you feel jealousy. Two emotions can exist simultaneously! Give space for both emotions so that your jealousy simply exists next to the compersion. This will allow you to embrace the other parts of you that feel happy for your partner!


The Jealousy Checklist


To make sure that you’ve made jealousy your ally and not your enemy, ask yourself these three questions:


  1. Have you and your partner communicated your boundaries explicitly?
  2. Have you asked your partner for reassurance?
  3. Have you taken the time to sit quietly with your feeling of jealousy?


Asking your partner for reassurance and starting open conversations about jealousy are never easy tasks. So if you’re interested in my advice and guidance throughout your journey, apply to work with me here!

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