We have a wide range of emotions as humans. Some are considered to be good emotions (like happiness and gratitude) and others are often considered negative (such as anger and jealousy). In reality, though, all of these emotions are simply part of how we process the world around us.
That being said, there are definitely times when certain emotions can cause us to react in unhealthy ways to what is going on in our lives. In other words, no emotion is inherently bad or good; there are simply times when we process these emotions in unproductive and unhealthy ways.
One emotion that often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to processing is jealousy. But, just like any other emotion, there are healthy ways to process this feeling — all you need to do is know how to use them.
So, here, we’ll talk about how to cope with feelings of jealousy in a healthy way.
1. Recognize It
The first thing you should do when you are feeling jealous of something or someone else is accept the feeling. Admit that you are feeling jealous. As we mentioned earlier, jealousy is a natural emotion, and pretending you don’t feel it only denies yourself the truth of your feelings.
So, recognize the feeling, and accept it. You don’t need to judge it. Just accept that it is what you are feeling and remind yourself that all of your feelings are important — even if they aren’t “good.”
2. Identify Your Vulnerabilities
A lot of times, the reason we feel angry, upset, or jealous of others is because of our own insecurities that we are projecting. Again, there is nothing unusual about this type of behavior. As intelligent creatures who are really only capable of fully understanding what is going on in our own minds, the only feelings that we can really understand for a situation are our own.
Now, this is not to say that there is no such thing as empathy or “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” But, it is important to recognize that when you are feeling jealous of someone or something else, it is likely stemming from your own insecurities or unmet needs.
3. Talk to Your Partner
Open and honest communication is always the right move for a healthy and happy relationship. We hate to be the ones to tell you, but there is no such thing as a relationship that is rainbows and smiles 100% of the time. Everyone gets into arguments or gets their feelings hurt sometimes.
This is normal. But, if you want to deal with these occasions healthily and productively, you must talk about them. If your partner is doing something — like a certain behavior with a friend — that makes you feel jealous, talk to them about it.
When speaking to your partner, it is essential that you are going into the conversation with an open mind and intending to come to a solution together. You are not having the conversation to shame or scold them; you are having it to determine what it is that you can both do to prevent this feeling from coming up like this again.
4. Keep a Level Head
We touched on this briefly in the section before this, but when dealing with feelings of jealousy, it is absolutely crucial to keep a level head. It is all too easy to jump down your partner’s throat and play the blame game. But, if you want to solve the problem — rather than cause a new one — you’ll want to avoid making rash decisions.
You can try relaxation exercises like deep breathing or mindfulness activities before having a conversation with your partner if that will help you to go into it without aggression.
5, Learn More About It
Sometimes the best way to cope with something is to simply educate yourself on the topic. There can be many reasons for jealousy, and having a better grasp on why people feel this strong (and rather impactful) emotion can be a good way to help you understand why you are feeling jealous.
Additionally, it is important to note that many people will react to jealousy differently. For some people, jealousy is a big “turn off,” and it makes them feel more like a possession than a person. But, some people may enjoy it when their partner gets jealous because it makes them feel more important and valued. The latter is not a very healthy mindset because it relies on other people’s anger towards others to offer validation and desire — but some people may not even be aware that they are like this.
6. Seek Out a Professional
Maybe you’ve tried all of the coping strategies above, or you’re simply hoping for some more personal guidance. Another thing you can do to cope with feelings of jealousy is speak with a professional therapist. Therapists are amazing resources for anyone who is looking to work on their mental health, better understand themselves and their emotions, and work through struggles like coping with unwanted feelings and memories.
So, if you’re ready to get professional guidance on how you can cope with jealousy in a healthy and productive way, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow.