10 Simple Strategies to Stop Being Jealous of Others
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Jealousy is a poison whose toxicity affects the individual experiencing it. At the same time, it also has a negative impact on the person who is the target of the “green-eyed monster.”
Some people romanticize jealousy in relationships. They declare that it is a way of showing they care about or love their partner.
However, being jealous allows doubt to blossom. It is a sure way to start the ball rolling toward the end of a relationship. In extreme cases, jealousy might spur some people to act rashly, with disastrous results.
You might have been led to this article because you’re searching for ideas on how to stop being jealous, either for you or for someone you care about.
In this post, you’ll discover 10 simple ways to stop being jealous. But first, let’s discuss the root cause of jealousy, and the difference between jealousy and envy.
Jealousy: Its Root Cause and How It Is Different From Envy
This three-minute video presents the evolutionary origin of jealousy. It wasn’t always based on romantic thoughts. In fact, our prehistoric ancestors used it for survival.
Evolutionary psychologists have been able to study jealousy and create an educated hypothesis on how it played a part in pre-historic times. Professionals believe that jealousy has been an emotion for over a million years. It may have originated when males would go out looking for food to provide for their families, and females would protect the children and maintain their home environments.
Males would get jealous if they believed their female partners were sharing resources with other males because it suggested that they were not prioritizing their partners’ genes. Female jealousy occurred in this same environment, and manifested over feelings of betrayal if her partner shared the resources that he gathered with other females, which would ultimately take away from their family.
One interesting thing that studies have shown about jealousy in relationships is that heterosexual males are the only people whose primary concern is physical infidelity. On the other hand, heterosexual females and homosexual males and females are more concerned about emotional infidelity.
But what causes jealousy? Having low self-esteem is the most common cause of jealousy. Being insecure means not feeling confident that you are good enough to keep your partner interested in you for the long term. While jealousy is most commonly associated with romantic relationships, it can also present itself in sibling, friend, or social rival relationships.
Source: Fix.com Blog
Jealousy is when you react to a perceived threat of losing someone or something that is very valuable to you to another person. Envy, on the other hand, is your reaction when someone has something (looks, material possessions, titles) that you don’t have.
As with most emotions, jealousy manifests itself in a variety of ways from person to person, but most people agree that the feeling of jealousy can be overwhelming. However, feeling jealous is very natural when one feels like their well-being is being threatened. What is important is how one reacts to their jealous feelings. Jealousy only primarily effects the person experiencing the emotion, but it can have secondary effects on the subject of jealousy, depending on the reaction of the individual.
Considering the possible harmful effects of jealousy, what can you do to reduce this emotion in your life? Here are some strategies to help keep it at bay.
10 Simple Strategies to Stop Being Jealous of Others
1. Own your jealousy.
It is important to admit (at least to yourself) that you are feeling jealous. You can not blame other people for your jealous feelings. The truth is, people often think that they are feeling jealous because of the behaviors of someone else. But jealousy stems from your own thoughts or reaction to a situation.
Admitting that you're jealous can feel threatening because you are acknowledging your own weaknesses and insecurities. However, in order to fix the issue of allowing yourself to feel this emotion, you have to acknowledge the fact that it is there.
2. Accept the fact that loving someone involves the risk of being hurt.
When you start to fall in love, you know that you're at risk of experiencing rejection at some point. In some cases, love is lost due to a death or because one person decides to move on without the other.
Many people are unaware of the basic shame that lies within them because it comes naturally to be self-critical. However, shame from your past can greatly impact your degree of jealousy and insecurity in the present moment. When you are in love, experiencing real hurt from rejection or betrayal can bring up old feelings that there is essentially something wrong with you.
Rejections do hurt, but long-term harm is caused by the manner in which your critical inner voice influences you after the incident has passed. When you listen to self-criticism that fuels your insecurities, you risk becoming less like the person you are and more like the person your inner voice is claiming you are.
3. Develop self-awareness to recognize the direction where you are headed.
Overcoming jealousy begins with self-awareness, because it is only when you have self-awareness that you are able to recognize that the stories in your head are deceiving. Without self-awareness, you likely think that circumstances are fixed and permanent. When you see someone who is doing better than you, instead of focusing on how you can improve, your mind gets stuck on the current moment.
This is why comparisons are deceiving—you will always find people who are better (and worse) than you, and when you compare yourself to them, you assume the circumstances are static. You look at what the other person has instead of what you have or what you can change. However, once you have the necessary wisdom, you can directly see and understand the positivity that surrounds you and the good fortune of others.
4. Appreciate who you are.
Of course it is good to appreciate other people, but you can't forget to take care of yourself. Often, we can feel insecure and depressed when comparing ourselves to those around us.
For example, you may be jealous if you have a friend who is more athletic than you are, or someone who is more successful in their career. In these cases, you have to remind yourself of your skills in other areas that other people may lack. Perhaps you have a strong familial bond or you are known for your excellent memory. Be proud of the strengths that you have. Appreciating yourself will allow you to love other people better.
5. Heal your wounds and let go of the past.
You might have had a traumatic relationship prior to the present one that has led to your natural instinct to be jealous. In this case, tell yourself that you don’t have any room for this emotion in your life, and that you are going to release it. Then take some deep breaths and imagine it leaving your mind. Do this as often as it takes to actually let it go.
6. Learn how to free yourself from resentment and anger.
Do you hold on to past incidents when people have hurt you? Do you allow yourself to continue to be hurt by things that happened years ago? Or do you have a hard time letting go of your own mistakes? These tightly kept feelings of anger and resentment are keeping you from moving forward. They don’t benefit you, and they certainly don’t change the past.
For some, holding on to their anger becomes such a big part of their identity that also acts as the scapegoat for anything that goes wrong, and for all of their missed opportunities in life. However, most people largely underestimate their own control over themselves. Once you gain the ability to recognize your feelings, you have the power to decide what to do with them.
7. Replace the negativity with something uplifting.
Channel your jealousy for personal gain. We solve problems by identifying the issue, focusing on what’s missing, and filling that void. If you find that you have a void because you notice someone else's gain, sitting around thinking that someone is about to take something important from you won't get you anywhere. Use that emotion for self-improvement.
No matter what you are jealous of, the question is the same: What is standing in your way of having what you want? What is holding you back? Is there an actual obstacle, or are you fearful of something? Are you limited or are you hesitant? Get to the root of your belief and allow your jealousy to fuel your work ethic to fill the void.
8. Tell your partner you trust him/her, and really mean it.
If you cannot trust your partner, you need to let them go. Otherwise, it is important to develop true, honest trust. If your partner tells you that someone of the opposite sex is just a friend, you need to believe that. You have to accept the fact that your partner will not live the rest of their life without becoming attracted to someone else. However, the same thing goes for you. The important thing is to have the self-control and understanding to make peace with this.
Accepting this means knowing that you believe your partner will never actually go down a path of betraying you. If you give your partner honest love and respect, your jealousy and feelings of insecurity will fade.
9. Don’t act on your jealous feelings.
Feeling jealous is normal in a relationship, especially if there is a perceived threat from another person. The problem arises when you start acting on that feeling and allow it to erode your better judgment.
If you start to feel jealous, take a moment to practice mindfulness and tune into your body to figure out exactly what you are feeling. Try taking a walk or doing some journaling to process your emotions and get to the root of your jealousy.
Only once you have calmed down should you address the issue with your partner. Jealous feelings and jealous behaviors are different from each other, just like there is a difference between feeling and acting angry.
It’s important to recognize that your relationship will likely be jeopardized if you exhibit jealous behaviors like accusations or constantly seeking reassurance. Stop and tell yourself, “I am feeling jealous, but I don’t have to act on it.” You have a choice of whether or not you act on this feeling.
10. Learn to be happy alone.
If all else fails—if the ball has already stopped rolling and you find yourself alone, courtesy of your jealousy—then learning how to be happy alone can help you build a better relationship with yourself.
Having a healthy relationship with yourself means that you are able to value yourself as a person and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. It means that you take the time to consider yourself every day by practicing self-care, self-respect, and self-love. As you have unconditional love for your family, you must also extend that back to yourself. Having a good relationship with yourself will help you improve your relationships with other people.
Feeling Jealous of Others Is Normal, But Don’t Let It Consume You
The takeaway from this article is that most people commonly experience feelings of jealousy. The problem is when they allow those feelings to consume them. This can creates havoc in their lives, as well as in the lives of their loved ones. The above strategies are efforts to improve yourself, but they can also change how you appreciate and interact with those around you.
While jealousy may still rear its ugly head, as you continue to practice these tips, you will be able to recognize when jealousy is starting to arise, and control those emotions instead of allowing them to control you.
Hopefully, the strategies featured in this article will motivate you to stop being jealous and to work on having a better relationship both with yourself and with the person you care about.