By Darcy Servais | Head of Advice
Jealousy is one of those emotions that we never like to endure, but we all feel to certain extent. It’s not a particularly enjoyable emotion, and one that we never care to admit when we experience it. However, whether its romantic jealousy or professional jealousy, we all inevitably feel it. From seeing your ex with their new partner, to your friend receiving a better grade than you, we all experience jealousy in a different way, as much as we’d like to avoid it.
The key to tackling jealousy is understanding where it comes from, and why we feel it in the first place. It is one of those emotions that when experienced, is so overwhelming that we cannot get a proper grasp of it, resulting in unfortunate outcomes and behaviour.
Naturally, studies have shown that feelings of jealousy stem from a lack of self-esteem. Now the interesting thing about this is that some people may not describe themselves as having low self-esteem, yet they still experience forms of jealousy. This is most likely because we all have an inner voice that fuels us with negative thoughts, forcing us to compare ourselves to others. It’s completely normal to feel this way, and much more common than you think. People are often embarrassed to admit when they’re jealous, which is why you may not think that it’s as common as it is.
In terms of romantic jealousy, this can mostly stem from feelings of insecurity. If this insecurity is left unaddressed, it can manifest and ending up negatively affecting your relationship. Insecurity again comes from a lack of self-esteem, and experiencing self-critical thoughts therefore leads to jealousy. When we experience this jealousy, we retreat from our significant other in order to avoid the disappointment that your inner critic is telling you will happen. As a result, pulling away from the relationship results in an even heightened feeling of jealousy and leaves more room for intrusive thoughts and actions.
Similarly, jealousy also manifest in a professional environment. This is mostly due to the competitiveness that arises in these environments, whether it’s in school or in the workplace. Witnessing someone achieve more than you, plus a lack of self-esteem, is a recipe for a jealous disaster. A little bit of healthy competition is never a bad thing, but it is important to manage any negative thoughts to stop them from manifesting into something worse.
So, how can you manage these thoughts?
It is important to be aware of what triggers these negative thoughts and address these triggers head on. Being able to get to grips with your triggers is a great step towards managing your negative thoughts altogether. Being able to recognize your jealousy is a vital part of being able to learn from it. As well as this, it is best to accept the unknown and trust yourself when things cannot be controlled. Particularly in a romantic relationship, trust is built overtime, and the only way to build this trust is to open your heart up to your significant other. This is much easier said than done, and one of the tougher parts of being in a relationship. If you can feel yourself becoming jealous, then express these feelings to your partner in a respectful and mature way. Talk to them about how you feel; it is always better to talk things out rather than let them manifest.
Finally, one of the most important things to do is to learn to appreciate yourself. I imagine that people are getting fed up with hearing this, but self-love is genuinely the most important thing when tackling jealousy. Loving yourself changes your attitude to many things and opens up a world of opportunities. Having a healthy and loving relationship with yourself is the start to having positive and trusting relationships with others. Always remember that you are the source of your own greatness.