Jealousy is a reactionary emotion so by its very nature it has a reason. Jealousy is a very natural and normal emotional response to a perceived threat. Getting jealous is not necessarily bad. Problems arise when your jealousy gets unmanageable and your behaviors get out of control.
This is a type of jealousy brought on by imagined or misperceived events. Irrational jealousy is never healthy. It is based on paranoia and insecurity not in reality. People suffering from an irrational jealousy rely heavily on their feelings that something is wrong even though there are no real signs that these feelings have merit.
Without reliable external validation of their jealousy irrationally jealous individuals often sink in to a depression based on paranoia. They are convinced that they are right to be jealous even when the evidence does not support their beliefs. It is very difficult to show them the truth.
Irrational jealousy is best treated by therapy. If you find yourself feeling jealous often and can’t calm yourself with rationalization consider seeking professional help.
Destructive jealousy is based in reality. The emotional threat that is provoking the jealousy is real and can be backed up with external evidence. The reasons for the jealousy are valid. The way this jealousy plays out is the problem.
When feeling a destructive jealousy people usually lash out at the person or people who have caused them harm. It is an angry jealousy that is based in revenge. It is not an effective protection mechanism because the focus is on hurting back not reaching a solution.
The best way to manage a destructive jealousy is by getting counseling. In counseling you will be able to talk through the situation with an impartial third party. You will get to vent in a safe environment. In counseling you will likely learn anger management techniques to help you control your need for revenge.
Proactive jealousy is a jealousy that is based on a real threat to ones emotional security. The purpose of any jealousy is to avoid being hurt or to lessen hurt that has already happened but sometimes jealousy makes people do crazy things. A proactive jealousy rarely manifests as violence or self harm. While anger is a part of this type of jealousy it never takes control of actions.
This type of jealousy works as a protection mechanism. The jealous feelings lead to productive actions, like ending a bad relationship or getting out of an unhealthy friendship. The primary concern of this type of jealousy is self preservation not revenge or retribution.
Jealousy is a form of anger brought on by a fear of loss. Controlling jealousy is very much like controlling anger. When you feel yourself growing jealous the first thing you must do is calm down. Take some deep breaths, try to relax and then take an honest look at the situation.
Never allow yourself to go off in a jealous rage, it takes away from any validity to your feelings and makes it very easy for others to dismiss you. Approach the situation in a calm but stern fashion. State your point of view without throwing around accusations and keep the emphasis on how what is happening makes you feel.
Avoid pointing the finger or calling out others on their behaviors. Own the jealousy for what it is, your reaction, and try to reach a real solution rather than just vent your hurt feelings. A little venting is healthy but try to keep the focus on the real problem.
Learn From Jealousy
Listen to what the other people have to say about the situation that has provoked a jealous response from you. Their perspective may be very different from yours and it is possible that you don’t have the full story about what is going on. There are many innocent situations that can be misinterpreted as something sinister. Make sure you know as much as possible before getting jealous.
Jealousy exists to protect you from harm, not to control the behavior of others. It is an emotion that can get out of control if you let it. Your can never control another person but you can help yourself when that person is hurting you. Healthy jealousy can help you identify and deal with some of life’s more unpleasant lessons.