Overcoming Your Jealous Feelings
Everyone feels jealousy from time to time, it is only natural to feel jealous if you partner is interacting with another attractive female. However how your partner responds to that female is your key to whether your feelings are legitimate jealousy or not. If you are feeling jealous, the first thing you need to do is determine whether the feelings are about you or your partner’s behaviour.
If your partner is overly flirtatious, secretive with his mobile phone or whereabouts or talks about other women in a sexual way, then it is understandable if you feel pangs of jealousy. These feelings are probably more to do with his behaviour than you being unreasonable jealous.
The most important thing you need to do is to bring your feelings into awareness, slow yourself down and look at your behaviour objectively. Awareness allows you to recognise whether your jealous feelings are true or not. Jealousy often characterises itself by projected stories that extrapolate what might or might not be happening with your partner and somebody else. When you have clarity, you can manage your reactivity to these thoughts and feelings.
When you know what is real and what isn’t, you can recognise that these stories in your mind are about your feelings and aren’t true. Your feelings about your partner come into sharp focus, and your jealousy becomes about managing yourself rather than trying to control and manage him to make yourself feel better. Always remember, even if your jealousy is justified, being angry and reactive is not an effective way to manage your feelings, both for yourself and for being in your integrity, and regarding communicating your boundaries clearly to you partner.
Managing Jealous Feelings
The most effective way to manage jealousy is to identify what triggers your feelings before you feel overtaken by them. Think about when you last felt jealous, have you had a partner cheat on you, what are some of the things that have happened in previous relationships to make you feel insecure? Remember the old saying it can be too late to stop a horse once it has bolted. The same thing goes for your feelings. It is much easier to interrupt angry, jealous feelings before they start to rage. Your ability to handle any situation is much better if you have a clear head. This means recognising the situations that might trigger your jealousy, challenging your belief’s about that situation before you find yourself unable to control your emotion.
Steps to Managing Jealousy
Remember it is natural to feel some jealousy, especially when we are in love with someone, it is part of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in a relationship. However, there are steps you can take to stop your jealous feelings raging out of control.
Steps to Managing Jealous Reactivity:
1) Recognise your triggers. Become mindful and notice your feelings day to day. Keeping a journal of all your thoughts and feelings around events and people, both now and from the past, can be helpful in identifying when you feel jealous and whether your feelings are reasonable or not. When you recognise the situations that make you jealous, you bring your emotions into awareness and this is the first step in taking back your personal power and managing your reactivity.
2) Recognise when you are telling a story in your mind that creates a scenario designed to feed your jealous thoughts. Slow yourself down, shift your thinking and create a gap of time where you can objectively analyse whether you are being reasonable or not.
3) Think about your core beliefs. What are the things you fear might happen, such a fear of loss of your partner to someone else. Bring these fears into awareness, so you know what fuels your jealousy. This is so important, as you need to be clear in your mind about how you are feeling in order to communicate with your partner.
4) Recognise that your beliefs are not true. This is about understanding the difference between what is actually happening and how you are feeling. If you can recognise the triggers that cause you to feel jealous, you can then recognise that your beliefs are not true and that they are fuelling your feelings of jealousy.
5) Rewrite the story. Slow down before reacting. Give yourself time to rewrite the story in your mind so that you don’t allow yourself to be consumed by your beliefs about what is happening rather than what is real and actually happening.
6) Communicate. Use your self-knowledge to communicate to your partner about how you are feeling in a calm way. If appropriate bring your understanding of your triggers to your partner’s attention in a calm way, so they have the opportunity to manage themselves differently, and understand how you are feeling. Don’t delay communication and bottle things up inside. That only makes managing your emotion harder and impossible for your partner to know how you are feeling.
It is important to be responsible for your own behaviour. While I encourage your to speak to your partner about how you are feeling it is not helpful to say to your partner “If you didn’t do X then I wouldn’t react this way.” That is about excusing your behaviour and blaming your partner. What you need to understand is that managing your jealousy is about recognising your triggers, knowing that your response to those triggers is unreasonable jealousy and taking steps to manage yourself. It is about communicating how you are feeling to your partner so that in their care for you they have the opportunity to know how you are feeling.
Jealousy and low self-esteem
Low Self Esteem
Low self-esteem is one of the major triggers of jealousy. We believe we are not good enough for our partner and this fuels great fear of loss. The pathway to improving self-esteem is self-care. That is, creating experiences for ourselves that provide for personal growth. As you challenge yourself and your thinking you get to know yourself intimately, you get to know who you are and what you want. As you gain in personal knowledge, your confidence will increase to try new things and build your confidence. Self-care also involves looking after your temple, if you do not care for yourself how can you expect anyone else to care for you?
Your Inner Critic can seek to sabotage you.
Your inner critic, as devastating as it is, seeks to help you. The problem is we are all guilty of judging ourselves far more harshly than others would judge us. If you try to shut down your inner critic it tends to criticise louder. The better option is to do the personal work to understand where your inner critic is coming from, and bring the messages into awareness. Then you can speak to your inner critic and treat yourself with the same compassion you would treat a friend. You can listen to your inner critic and soften the message so that it isn’t so devastating.
The Key to Self Management
The key to self management is self knowledge through self care. Your self care will give you the space to recognise where you feelings are coming from so you can follow the steps to manage your jealousy, address any self esteem issues you may have and speak to your inner critic with compassion. However, in order for all of these interventions to work you must be committed to yourself, motivated and most importantly honest with yourself and those around you.
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