Understanding Jealousy

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Jealousy is a thought-process and an emotion that is almost too complex to describe, simply because it is constituted of different kinds of emotions. This is to say that jealousy may be manifested through distress, anger, resentment, hate, anxiety, and fear. On the whole, jealousy is an emotion triggered by the fear of or anxiety over an anticipated loss of a highly valued person to a rival. It may also be triggered as a result of the fear of losing one’s status to another person, who they fear may overshadow them. 

A jealous person feels inadequate, helpless, and insecure. Jealousy in itself is a threat-alert; it alerts the jealous person that there’s a threat. Therefore, it is not always a negative emotion, not until you let it consume you. 

Studies have shown that jealousy is observed in infants when their mothers suddenly focus their attention on life-like dolls. This shows that jealousy is a natural emotion, triggered for the purpose of defending our interest; a defense against perceived threat. Unmanaged jealousy can evoke aggressive reactions and lead to some really serious crimes, including violence. Some women have been incarcerated as a result of violent acts and abuse that are birthed by their unmanaged/uncontrolled jealousy. Under the overwhelming influence of jealousy, people can humiliate, ridicule, and kill, as well as tarnish other people’s images; no wonder it is known as the green-eyed monster. 

Jealousy can be felt by anyone; no one is above experiencing this emotion. However, it is our manner of approaching and processing our feelings of jealousy which vary extensively. While some people do not allow jealousy to lead to other negative emotions, others lack the knowledge and ability to manage theirs. Jealousy can happen between lovers when a third-party is involved, between/among siblings who are competing for the attention of their parents, and between friends who hold one another dearly and fear that they may lose their highly valued friendship to a third-party. Although, a threat-alert, jealousy sometimes leads to an unintended and unexpected end of a relationship, due to the irrationality and toxicity of the manifested emotions of a jealous person. 

Jealousy is similar to envy, but not the same. Jealousy exists when there is a perceived threat to a relationship. On the other hand, envy exists when another person’s success, opportunities, or status are much desired, but seem unattainable. Envy, like jealousy, is triggered by a feeling of inadequateness, low self-esteem, and insecurity. How should you deal with your feelings of jealousy? 

You don’t have to be jealous

If you are not treated with as much affection and respect as you think you deserve, then it is either you are not ‘yet’ worthy of your friend’s/partner’s affection, or he/she is not worthy of yours. If you are confident that you are a great, caring, and valuable person, then you should understand that people who cannot comprehend how wonderful you are, are going to be the ones to lose. And if they cannot value your worth, then they do not deserve you. If you do not deserve them (perhaps because you are nasty or too controlling), then it is a respectable act of thoughtfulness and generosity to let them enjoy the privilege of meeting those who value them more. Either way, you don’t have to be jealous. 

Understand the law of attraction

Sometimes, two people may just have a far better chemistry together than with you. They deserve this friendship/relationship/bond and should therefore be left to enjoy it. If you discover that they do not value you as they used to, it’s either they have found more compatible people, or they are too stupid to acknowledge how valuable and wonderful you are. If they have found more compatible people, give them the freedom to be happy in their lives and don’t come between them. Accept that it is over, and that you must endure this painful reality for goodness and sanity sake. Do not act irrationally. This should help you understand that your friendships can sometimes die; although, we hope that they may last. 

Embrace the reality that your friendship/romantic-relationship has lost its usual vibe, and stop trying to recreate this vibe; you are only going to make yourself unhappier. Meet new people and start new relationships. This can be tough, but it is necessary. You need to accept that you’re no longer as important as you used to be in that person’s life; these things happen. Some best friends/romantic partners drift far apart to the extent that they may seem like strangers to one another. Don’t hold on to friendships/romantic relationships that are beginning to seem too one-sided (for example, you always find time for them, but they never find time for you). Understand that there’s a possibility that they will end. And when they end, move on with your life; let them become history. 

Stop trying to win over your friend/romantic partner

The truth is, if that chemistry is absent, or if your friend/romantic partner has a better chemistry with other people, you are only wasting your time. The more you try to win them over, the more uncomfortable you make them feel; you are more likely to appear weak, desperate, and annoying. No matter how many gifts you buy them or how well you treat them, your efforts are bound to be futile. At the end of the day, you are more likely to become frustrated, angry, and bitter. You may begin to regret your abundant sacrifices to make it work. You may feel used or stupid. You end up poisoning your heart and feeling like shit; all of these simply because you fail to understand that nothing will come of it. 

Note: If your friends or romantic partner truly value you more than they value other people, they may socialize and enjoy the company of others, but still show their steadfastness and loyalty towards you; it’s as simple as that.

How should you deal with jealous people?

Jealous people can be lethal, and they carry inside of them bitterness. Out of the abundance of their bitterness, they are more likely to poison you. You must therefore protect yourself against them. Avoid them if you can. Rather than being infected, you are better off letting the bitterness eat them up. Jealous people have issues of insecurity and low self-esteem and are more inclined towards feeling jealousy unless those emotional issues are addressed by them.