Jealousy is an attitude of resentment that we tend to direct towards others. Jealousy often leads to the feeling of envy. Jealousy is mostly viewed in a negative connotation. But mild jealousy can also work as motivation and help us to work harder. In some, jealousy is simply instinctive reaction and each one of us has experienced it at some point of our life.
Jealousy is very powerful and can be dangerous and harmful for an individual as well as for relationships. It blurs the sense of judgement, reasonability and shifts the focus to see only negative in the others. It makes good, well-meaning individuals act in ways that they never imagined and can destroy relationships in many ways.
The roots of jealousy can be trace back to childhood experiences. What an individual experience as an infant, has an impact on each individual as an adult. Some research suggests that infants as young as six months have exhibit jealousy as reaction to a parent merely directing attention to another child. Further, parents sometimes prefer either or compare two siblings; make fun or mock a certain child or behaviour. Brain of a child is not developed enough to let go or understand such behaviours. As child grows, these experiences like seeds grow within him and a proportional growth takes place. Children express jealousy in various forms. Parents should be cautious towards infantile behaviours such as bed-wetting, thumb sucking, attention catching. In older children, hurting others, verbal quarrel, gossiping, name calling, making sarcastic and taunting jokes. When an adult, this child exhibits signs of adult jealousy.
The feeling of jealousy can occur due to other’s behaviour pattern and most of the time it arises due to our thought process.
Lack of Self-Esteem:
When we don’t believe in our own abilities and skills. We tend to become doubtful about ourselves and subsequently about the other person. We tend to give too much importance to the others and often forget to love ourselves. Thus, the day we develop respect and learn to give ourselves highest importance, then our relationship with others will take positive direction.
Poor Self Image
If one has poor and negative self-image, then feeling of jealousy are bound to creep in. Due to poor self-image we constantly compare ourselves to others forgetting about our own individuality. This will ultimately leads to high level of insecurity and jealousy, the effects of which could be visibly seen in any relationship that we form. An intense jealous behaviour is extremely harmful for an individual and a relationship. A jealous person is needy and constantly looking for reassurance that they are the only one. They constantly feel threatened that someone might replace them. At its worst, jealousy can result in controlling and distrustful behaviour leading to physical or emotional abuse. A jealous person may try to control the actions of their partner, checking up on their whereabouts or monitoring their calls, texts or emails, who they meet etc.
This behaviour sets up a pattern of distrust that is unhealthy and will eventually cause a relationship to collapse. A person struggling with jealousy is unable to trust the other person or show respect to them as an individual or their boundaries.
“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.” Maya Angelou
How to Control Jealousy:
Improve Communication: The experience of jealousy in a relationship can be painful, no matter whether it is from your or other person’s end. In order to improve communication you should sit and try to understand each other deeply. Many times when we carry the baggage of the past, which manifests itself in the present. Thus, it is becomes essential to talk to partner about how you feel. Focus more on quality of time rather than quantity of time. In order to have meaningful relationships it becomes very essential to be a good listener and to not engage in selective listening.
Appreciate Yourself: People with low self-esteem and poor self-image are more prone to the feelings of insecurity and jealousy. Individuals feel they are not good enough and always looking for approval from others. When you learn to love yourself and appreciate yourself you will not wait for other’s opinions even if that’s your partner. Only when you value yourself and have trust in yourself, other does will reciprocate the same.
Trust Your Partner: Trust is the basis of all relations. Healthy and happy relationship is based on trust. Jealousy, on the other hand, is distrust of either self or others. While jealousy and insecurity are normal emotions, when adults express them negatively they can come off as petty or childish. No one can control you and no one should. No matter how much you worry about things, they will may or may not turn out the same way. It becomes essential to get control over your feelings and refrain from acting upon such negative emotions. Trust yourself and live life freely.
Seek professional help : An intense jealous behavior can be tough to control at personal level. The underlying issues rarely go away on its own. If jealousy is a pattern and is repeated in relationship after relationship, it is best to seek the help of a professional therapist to help rein it. Their intervention will provide tools to cope with the causes that are driving it.
Key is to express feelings of jealousy and insecurity in a mature way is to communicate better. If you feel that the other person is doing anything out of order, calmly clue them, how their behaviour is triggering negative feelings in you. Communicate your feelings in mature manner along with simple adjustment which leads to healthy relationships where in each person feels more comfortable. However, if other person repeatedly continues the behaviour refusing to make any adjustments, it’s time to realise that this is not an ideal relationship to be in and becomes all the more important to move on in life!