Truth Bomb Tuesday: We tend to shame jealous feelings. There’s something being missed there.
I was talking to a friend recently who has a tendency to get jealous.
So I decided to do a quick lightening search around how to work with your jealousy.
(That’s one of the things about being independently wealthy. You just get to do whatever you want. Follow whatever interest. Help whoever needs it.)
Anyway, keeping in mind that I’m a property investor with tickets on herself, not a professional psychiatrist, here’s what it seems the literature is saying about jealousy.
1. Welcome it.
We have a tendency to shame the feeling of jealously. Like it’s a mental or personal failing if you get jealous.
This is wrong.
Jealousy is a perfectly natural emotion and it’s an incredibly useful emotion.
When you’re jealous of something, it gives you insight into what you really want. If you’re jealous of your friend’s relationship, there’s a signal about the kind of relationship you want to be in. When you’re jealous of your friend’s car, that’s a signal about the kind of car you want.
Jealous is a window into your desire.
(You can quote me on that.)
Jealousy is a great tool for getting greater definition around our needs and desire.
2. Meet jealousy with action
Jealousy often comes bundled up with a number of different emotions. One of these is despair and hopelessness.
So you see your partner talking to an attractive co-worker. You feel jealous because you value that connection too. But then you tell yourself stories about how he’s going to leave you or cheat on you, and then you withdraw because it all feels hopeless.
The antidote to despair is action. It’s taking steps to give yourself the things you want.
And so really jealousy is an invitation to be a champion to your own needs and desires. But to do that, you need to act. You need to take some steps. Anything. Just get active and give the child within you hope.
3. Acclimatise to jealousy itself
Because we have tended to shame jealousy so much, the feeling itself has become scary and unwelcome.
But as I said, there’s incredibly useful information in your jealousy – about what you desire and what in your life doesn’t feel secure and stable enough.
So it’s worth just hanging out with your jealousy. Spend some time with it. Yes it’s uncomfortable. Intensely uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s painful.
But if you can hold yourself and breathe in your jealousy, it begins to lose its sting. It starts to feel ok.
And once it feels ok (not good, or gone, just ok), then you can start to mine it for the information it holds.
4. Bolster your self-worth
Tied to jealousy is an idea of a lack. We don’t feel jealous of the things we have or that we feel we hold securely. We feel jealous about the things we don’t have or the things we might lose.
Bolstering our sense of self-worth and our belief in an abundant universe can help us here.
This is about whatever works for you. Maybe it’s affirmations. Maybe it’s power-poses. That’s up to you to find out.
But I’ll say this. If you don’t feel like you are worthy of nice things – if you don’t feel that you deserve them – then you will always feel like you are one day away from losing them, no matter what the reality is.
5. Acclimatise to the triggers
Generally certain things will trigger our jealousy – specific scenarios or ideas.
While it is useful to work in the background on these – bolstering our sense worth and identifying where fearful thoughts come from – we can also meet them head on through what they call ‘exposure therapy’.
That is, just get used to it.
This is obviously easier said than done, but if a certain situation is fearful or triggering, then exposure to that situation, and seeing that it doesn’t result in disaster, can help.
The key here is to go gently and slowly. Get support if you need it. Give yourself maximum care.
Not a monster
Anyway, everybody’s situation will be different, but I do want to stress that jealousy doesn’t have to be a monster.
There is useful information there, and there are ways we can mine that information, and smooth that monster’s worst edges.
I mean, that’s probably a good rule for life.
Everything you feel is useful.