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Jealousy can be a powerful and painful emotion, and this negative emotion can end almost any relationship. If left untreated, jealousy can create a permanent wedge between you and your partner, while negatively affecting future relationships. Jealousy basically arises from insecurity within oneself and not trusting your partner. In fact, envy and jealousy are similar. However, jealousy involves a sense of possessiveness and entitlement whereas an envious person covets what another person possesses—their possessions, positions, privileges or who they are as a person their looks.
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If you buy through links on thiswe may earn a small commission. Jealousy has a bad reputation. This is different from envy, which involves wanting something that belongs to someone else. Jealousy can lead to feelings of angerresentment, or sadness.
But it can often tell you a thing or two about yourself and your needs. Whether your jealousy stems from insecurity, fear, or past relationship patterns, knowing more about the causes can help you figure out how to confront it.
Maybe you have an open conversation with your supervisor about getting on track for promotion, resolve to try a different approach to dating, or talk to your partner about your feelings. Your partner may not have noticed the behavior, or they may not have realized how you felt about it. Use the opportunity to talk over any relationship boundaries you might want to revisit, or discuss ways to keep your relationship strong.
Overcoming jealousy in relationships
If you trust your partner but have doubts because of past relationship experiences, try finding a few ways you both can help improve the situation. Your partner might even have had some jealous feelings of their own at some point. Jealousy can sometimes give you a slightly warped sense of reality. You might wonder if that nonverbal flirting you swear you saw actually happened. Sometimes, voicing these concerns to a third party can make the situation less frightening and help you gain some perspective.
But instead of thinking of it as something negative, try looking at it as a helpful source of information.
She adds that unchecked jealousy can turn into self-blame and create a cycle that keeps you feeling deprived. But you may be able to manage it by identifying it as helpful information that you can use to create circumstances in which your needs are met. Jealousy sometimes develops in response to a partial picture. In other words, you might be comparing yourself and your own achievements and attributes to an idealized or incomplete view of someone else.
Your college friend with the Facebook photos of her and her husband out in a meadow, looking so carefree and happy? A little gratitude can go a long way. It can not only reduce feelings of jealousy, but also relieve stress. You might not have everything you want. But you probably have at least some of what you want. Remind yourself of your sturdy, reliable bike that gets you where you need to go. Consider the benefits of having a partner who appreciates the value of friendship. But it can help to keep the distress at bay until you can deal with the underlying issues.
Turning your attention away from jealousy can also help keep you from acting on your feelings and doing something that could harm a relationship or friendship. Jealousy that persists and causes distress can sometimes relate to anxiety or self-esteem issues, explains Vicki BotnickLMFT. One way to approach low self-esteem involves identifying personal values, such as compassion, communication, or honesty.
Psychologists explain how to be less jealous in your relationship
This can increase your sense of self-respect and may help decrease distressing feelings of inferiority or competitiveness. Anxiety can have a range of symptoms that might be more difficult to address on your own. Coping techniques can help find some tips herebut therapy can also be a good option.
Botnick also suggests trying an anxiety workbook like The Mindful Way Workbook. When jealousy prompts you to compare yourself to others, your self-worth can end up taking a hit. Your life might be pretty enviable to someone else, after all.
But jealousy can make you feel like nothing you have is good enough. Research exploring a possible link between jealousy and self-esteem found evidence to suggest jealousy can develop when you face a threat to your self-esteem. Mindfulness techniques help you pay attention to your thoughts and feelings as they come up without judging or criticizing them. Increasing your awareness around jealousy can help you notice any patterns it follows, including things that happen before you feel jealous.
Mindfulness can also help you feel more comfortable with jealousy.
8 ways to get over your jealousy and save your relationship
For example, it can help you notice and accept your jealous feelings for what they are — part of your emotional experience — and move on. Not judging the jealousy, or yourself for feeling it, can help keep it from affecting you negatively. It might feel less intense after you deal with your feelings, of course, but it can also lessen once whatever you felt jealous about is over.
According to research that looked at the experience of jealousy, people are generally more likely to feel jealous right before something happens, rather than after. But the positive feelings you have stay. But a good therapist will meet you with kindness and compassion.
Plus, they know better than anyone that jealousy is a normal emotion that everyone feels at some point. Jealousy can help you focus on who and what you care about.
It can even help relationships become stronger in some cases. It all comes down to how you use it. A new study shows that a dog can be just as green with envy as a human if it thinks another dog is homing in on its owner. Learn about narcissistic personality disorder and its symptoms, causes, and treatment. A lack of communication can bring down even the most picture-perfect relationships.
Jealousy and relationships
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12 ways to let go of jealousy
Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. Find the source Communicate Get another opinion Find another angle Consider the big picture Practice gratitude Rethink your response Go deep Know your worth Be mindful Be patient Try therapy Share on Pinterest We include products we think are useful for our readers.
Trace it back to its source. Voice your concerns. Talk to a trusted friend. Put a different spin on jealousy.
Consider the full picture. Practice gratitude for what you have.
Practice in-the-moment coping techniques. Explore underlying issues. Remember your own value.
Overcoming jealousy: the 10 dos and don’ts
Practice mindfulness. Give it time. Talk to a therapist. Read this next.
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