As much as we might hate to admit it, we've all experienced jealousy before. We've felt jealous in our romantic relationships, our friendships, in our families, and maybe even in the workplace or classroom. As bad as a rep that it may have, jealousy is very much a normal human emotion. Jealousy can range from humiliation, to rage, and to fear. But where exactly does it come from and why?
As mentioned earlier, we can experience jealousy in a number of different places. But research has found that jealousy stems from a place of low self-esteem and a deep rooted fear of abandonment. We may fear that our partner may leave us for someone perceivably "better" or that we may be left behind as our friends and peers meet different life milestones such as advancing in their careers or starting their own families. Either way, jealousy can feel uncomfortable and may make us even experience shame for feeling that way. As uncomfortable as it may feel, the jealousy that we experience is there for a reason and is trying to communicate something to us. When jealousy goes unchecked, that is when it can harm our relationships.
Wherever the jealousy you may be experiencing is coming from, you can always heal and overcome it. But how exactly can you cope with jealousy? Here are some ways listed below that can be a good place to start.
1. Don't suppress it
As mentioned prior, when jealousy goes unchecked or ignored, that is when it can cause serious harm. Jealousy is something that you should not suppress. Instead, try being curious about it and leaning into it. Don't shame it.
2. Explore where your jealous feelings may be coming from
When leaning into the jealousy and becoming curious about it, explore where it may be coming from. By gaining this awareness, we can understand why the feeling is there and what it might be trying to tell us.
3. Communicate with your partner if you are feeling jealous
Conversations surrounding jealousy may never feel easy, but communication opens the door for healing and understanding in our relationships. By expressing this to your partner and having an open conversation, your relationship can become even stronger.
4. Reframe jealousy as a way to improve your circumstances or to advocate to get your needs met
Feeling jealous towards someone you love for something that may be going well in their life? There's nothing wrong with that. That person may be mirroring something that you may be wanting in your own life. Use the jealousy as a force for good and as partial motivation to improve your circumstances.
5. Understand that you don't always have the full picture about things
It might look like someone you know on social media or in your environment might be doing well for themselves. You may even feel jealous of that. It is important to remember that we don't always have the full picture and that people often present a version of themselves of how they want to be viewed.
6. Lean into gratitude for the things that you already have
This one is really important. While there will always be other things that we may want in life, it is important to practice gratitude for what we have in the here and now. When we view things from a mindset of abundance and gratitude, we can really be present.
7. Reflect on if jealousy may be harming your relationships
Even if jealousy is a normal human emotion, we need to be aware of when it is harming our relationships. It is important to explore if jealousy is impacting our ability to authentically show up for the people that we love.
8. Check in with a therapist
Your therapist will help you uncover any blindspots that you may have.
9. Remember your worth
Just because you don't yet have what others may have or if you are in a toxic relationship where jealousy is weaponized, that does NOT mean you are not worthy of love and blessings in this life. If you are in a relationship with someone that fails to see your worth, you can find and deserve much better.
10. Remember that you are only human
It is part of the human experience to sometimes experience feelings or emotions that are uncomfortable. Don't shame yourself for simply being human.