Jealousy is a complex creature that can sometimes rears its ugly head when you’ve fallen in love with someone. Jealousy is tricky — it can strike at any time, and it can be hard to sort through those feelings. However, Psychology Today notes that when it exists in large or excessive amounts it can be corrosive to relationships. In extreme situations, it may even cause excessive fighting or lead to violence. It encompasses complex feelings ranging from fear of rejection, to loss and abandonment, to humiliation, anguish, and even rage.
Taking it a step further, Excel at Life states that irrational jealousy involves a fear of losing your partner to another person or by another means, suspicion and anger about a perceived or potential betrayal, diminished self-esteem and sadness/anger over the perceived loss, and anxiety that results in uncertainty, loneliness, and distrust.
If you are prone to fits of jealousy, here are four ways to better deal with your emotions. Both you and your partner will be happier if you can learn to control it.
1. Recognize your destructive thoughts
If you’re feeling jealous, recognize it instead of avoiding or denying it. Psychology Today advises you to question yourself by asking:
- What is making me jealous?
- What am I afraid of losing?
- What am I trying to keep?
- Why do I feel threatened?
Are these feelings due to anger? If you recognize your jealousy as soon as it strikes, you can begin to take quick steps toward constructively managing your feelings. First, take a deep breath, and then look at the situation from all sides. This will help offer some perspective, so you can deal with the situation with a clear head.
2. Push negative thoughts aside and focus on the positive
Jealousy and irrational thoughts are not something that go away overnight. It takes a lot of work to deal with your thoughts rationally and re-focus your negative thoughts on things that are positive. What is positive about your relationship? Think about it, and then write it down. This will help you organize your thoughts and sort out your feelings.
3. Work on yourself and keep busy
Jealous tendencies are something you have to continuously work on. If you don’t feel happy, spend some time working on yourself. Do things that make you happy, and engage in self discovery. Dr. Phil suggests analyzing why you are jealous. Have you been cheated on in the past? Are you scared of eventually getting hurt? Once you know what’s sparking your jealousy, you can start to work on understanding those feelings.
4. Discuss jealously with your partner
It’s important to discuss your jealousy problem with your significant other. Sharing your feelings (calmly) is a constructive way to avoid serious relationship damage. You should always feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with your partner. When doing so, though, avoid blaming your significant other for your behavior. Stick to “I” based statements, and be open to your partner’s thoughts and opinions on the matter.