J for Jealousy
If a person is jealous, it means that they are in some way threatened with a loss, mostly because a third person stakes a claim on someone (or something) they value highly. The most common scene is someone being jealous because their partner is enjoying himself / herself or receiving attention from another woman / man. You can read more about how psychologically complex the topic is here and here. Jealousy is of course not limited to love or relationships, but also occurs among friends and family members as well as at the workplace, closely linked to envy.
I’ve seen jealousy as part of romance novels many times. Often the heroine tries to make the hero – who rejects her love or doesn’t want to admit his attraction to her – react by (seemingly) throwing herself at another man. And it seems to work. By realizing that he’s feeling jealous, the hero finally admits to himself – and due to the resulting anger or possessive behaviour also to others – that he’s interested in her.
This might sound tempting to try, and does prove successful in literature, but jealousy is a huge problem that can destroy relationships and eat up the person until it causes a serious psychological disorder or becomes a lethal threat to others. A little jealousy is healthy and can be positive because it results in some possessiveness and commitment and is a sign of love. After all, we feel jealous because we care about a person and don’t want to lose them. But extreme jealousy is not to be taken lightly. So here are 5 ways to deal with jealousy:
1) Step back from the situation and look at it from a neutral point of view.
2) Admit that you’re jealous. Understanding jealousy is the first step to preventing or controlling it.
3) Dig deeper and find out why you feel jealous. Lack of confidence? Previous failures? Not sure where you stand with the person? Loneliness and fear of abandonment? Insecurity and self-loathing?
4) Talk about it, with others and with the people concerned. Communicating your feelings will lessen the burden and explain your odd behaviour.
5) Realize that jealousy is ego-centered and usually has nothing to do with the other person. Even if said person might actually try to make you jealous, the reaction lies in your hands.