On a cold and rather romantic Valentine’s Day in 2003, C. Harris had just been convicted as guilty of the murder of her restlessly cheating husband. She had run him over with her car time and time again after walking in on him and his mistress, secretly meeting up in a sketchy hotel room for some time. Echoes of passionate yet forbidden love weren’t the only things in the air that night; it was jealousy. Raging, passionate, and quite deadly jealousy. And according to various studies being condoned on the subject, that same jealousy is one of the main drives and motives in premeditated murder cases and assaults.
But in a less murderous tone, jealousy has made quite a name for itself throughout history. Stories of jealous royalties, men, and mistresses have glazed our literature books and films in full glory; showing us just how bad and even poetic things can get. As experts would put it, jealousy is a very complex emotion; a mixture of various emotions if you will. And it successfully strikes our heart, mind, and chest in many situations, not just in aggressively bad romances and heartbreaks.
The severity of your jealousy can determine how much damage it can cause, in many ways. Do you know how to hide it? Are you as jealous as you have been as a child? When do you feel jealousy? Is it the same thing as envy? Is jealousy normal? We’ll be discussing and dissecting all of these today, so we hope you’ll be left with a little less jealous greenery in your chest.
What Does Jealousy Feel Like and Why?
Jealousy is a tricky bastard, to say the very least. Depending on the individual, you are most likely experiencing a mixture of the following feelings: anger, sadness, betrayal, envy, lust, and many more. It feels like drowning in your own pool of emotions, caused by none other than you. And since it is very subjective, no one else can fully grasp nor understand where all of this negative energy is coming from.
To put it quite plainly, it’s an attack on your ego; a fragile little ego, holding on to its dear life. I’m sure there are a lot of you who Google “ how to stop jealousy”, or something along those lines. To put things into perspective, here’s an in-depth analysis of what your mind and body are going through. When you feel a strong rush of jealousy a very internal and mental characteristic feels as if it has been under attack:
Your insecurities. It’s okay, we all have them. People don’t have to directly call your insecurities out for them to feel threatened. For example, if you feel insecure when other girls look at your boyfriend, it says more about how you view the situation than how it actually is. Or your friend gets a promotion before you. Does that make you feel jealous? Do you feel like you’re slacking in life because of it? Again, it says more about your view of yourself than theirs on you.
So now that you know that jealousy is mostly powered by insecurities, it’s very important to trace yours back to their roots. Where do they all come from? Only you can answer that.
Is Jealousy Normal? Why do I Get So Jealous?
Of course, it is, if it stays in mild and even expected amounts. Some partners even expect you to get jealous from time time, deeming zero jealousy as a red flag.
How to deal with jealousy in a relationship? However, how much jealousy is considered normal? Feel free to answer the following questions to find out.
- Are you stalking your ex’s socials?
- Are you stalking your new partner’s following list and likes?
- Are you happy when your friends are doing better than you?
- Do you seek external validation often and how do you feel when you don’t receive it?
If most of these are marked as “yes”, you should probably reevaluate the way you react to certain things. Remember, your jealousy in a relationship is just a coping mechanism to situations that aren’t even threatening, to begin with.
Maybe answering the how to stop being a jealous girlfriend question begins with trust. Not in your boyfriend, but in your own value. And the same goes for open love. How to deal with jealousy in an open relationship? Believe in your own value and faith in things being right where they have to be.
Coping Through a Jealous Episode
Other than cutting the issue at its core, there are many ways to train your brain to not be so reactive to false threats and situations. As mentioned before, jealousy is a mixture of emotions, so you can always try to cut out one, or one by one. Ask yourself, what makes you so angry and why? Is it necessary to be angry right now? Do you deserve something more than someone else who has gotten it now, or before you?
Even if you do deserve it more, what makes you think your time will never come? Also, what makes you think you won’t get ten times more, just a little later? The problem with jealousy, beyond its complex and quite damaging emotions, is that it’s lying to you. Similar to anxiety. Everyone is bigger or better than you; everyone is a threat, both romantically and in any way you deem intimidating.
The truth is, most of it is in your head and has no real place in the world.
How To Stop Surviving?
This is kind of how to overcome jealousy, so let me tell you a little story. It’s not that long, I promise. There was a red-haired girl in my class back in middle school, let’s call her Tara, who always used to pick on this blonde girl who sat next to her. The poor thing couldn’t even enjoy recess. I was very confused as to why, because the blonde girl, let’s call her Emily, was very nice to everyone. I never heard anyone else pick on Emily as Tara did.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, our parents came to a teacher-parent conference to discuss the prospect of the classes we had been taking. That’s when I met Tara’s mom; she looked just like Tara, only older, with angrier-looking eyebrows and a handful of grey hairs, covering her naturally red one. When the parents were asked a question regarding school lunches, my mom, a very noticeable blonde woman, raised her hand to share her opinion.
After the conference was over, and as I waited for my mom to get out of the classroom, Tara and her mom passed right by me and I couldn’t help but overhear what Tara’s mom said: “Of course…I never heard a blonde with a good opinion, nothing new”, referring to my mom. That’s when it hit me; Tara is either just mimicking her mom, or is exactly like her mom; not being able to hide her obvious distaste, or maybe even jealousy of blonde women. In evolutionary words, emotions are very adaptive. They are survival-driven responses to a “threatening” environment. However, emotions are not as simple as physical pain; they are much more complex. They compose a more systematic response to pain.
Additionally, we are not yet sure if they are purely based on genetics, or are indeed taught. Some experts even state that jealousy is nothing but a social construct, depending on societal and cultural differences people have been brought upon. But on a more human note, when you do experience jealousy, kindly ask yourself where is it coming from. Why do you feel threatened by other people’s beauty or success? Why is their win a loss for you? Who told or taught you to think that way?
After all, maybe your emotions regarding this matter are nothing more than a taught thinking pattern that has originated from someone or something else. A lot of the time, it has nothing to do with who you are, but with who you were with. To end this in reference to the statement above; why are you trying so hard to survive a specific situation by awakening jealousy?
To fully embrace a jealousy-free life, it’s so important to tell yourself the truth. There sadly is no how to not be jealous in a relationship go-to manual. It’s not embarrassing to say you have felt envious of someone else even if that someone is a close friend or a family member. We all feel betrayed by life, so you shouldn’t beat yourself up for reacting to life doing just that.
Be honest, painfully honest, say it aloud, to yourself in your bedroom, and reflect on the weight of the words you’ve just said. We often find out the ridiculousness of a feeling only after we have said so out loud, with no judgment.
And the more things come out, the faster it is to leave them up in the air, and away from the heart.