Jealousy. Why are we jealous and what can we do?

Why are we jealous?


Have you ever felt jealousy and insecurity? Do you struggle with self-esteem when comparing yourself to others? Do you find it difficult to deal with situations where your partner is associating with others? If so, you are not alone. Thousands if not millions of people feel the same feelings of frustration, insecurity and jealousy in today’s society.

What is jealousy? Where does it start?

Jealousy is a common issue in relationships and the problems that arise are not easy to solve. Jealousy has deep roots: it is often associated with trust and lack of it and it starts from the first years of life with the attention and protection provided by the parents to the child. Sometimes, however, some events-experiences in life, later the loss of a loved one or rejection can be the driving force of jealousy. Both types of experiences can create insecurity in relationships and reduce our ability to trust each other.

How does jealousy manifest itself?

In the beginning, jealousy can make your partner feel good. It can make him feel wanted and valued. But as he later discovers, he/she soon ends up feeling prisoned, where your freedom is restricted and you are constantly in clouds of suspicion, constantly apologizing even for innocent actions. Jealousy is often the driving force behind psychological, verbal and even physical violence.

Jealousy triggers fear of loss, rejection, feelings of weakness – in other words it is a sign that the person feels threatened. In emotional panic, some people do dangerous things.

Fear leads them to misinterpret innocent social interactions, observing any contact or conversation with a stranger as the ultimate proof of abandonment. They feel terrible anger for what they see as betrayal.

Although jealousy brings out tension and anger, it stems from a feeling of weakness rather than strength. It is created because the one who is jealous is afraid of losing a partner and a relationship that are important for their sense of self. The abuse takes place in an attempt to eliminate doubt.

When the other person says he/she loves you, know that he/she means it. But, the fear of abandonment triggers such primitive alarms, that it eventually leads to emotional panic. It’s not the ease with which you talk to others, or the way you dress, that makes you jealous. The demand for absolute control is to blame, which leads to such irrational behavior.

What should I do when he/she is jealous of me?

Avoiding annoying your partner, try to talk to him/her calmly and try to solve problems together. You may be able to change some things. Of course, the moment of jealousy is not the right time for the kind of conversation you need. And whatever you do, avoid any quarreling and avoid being in a position to apologize for your own behavior.

You can tell your partner that there are some things you do that obviously upset him/her. And that you are not happy to upset him/her. Then ask him/her which of your behaviors bothers him/her the most? When talking to other people of the opposite sex? Who do you talk to at work? Deal with only one behavior at a time.

Tell him/her in a polite way that testifies to your love, how you feel about his/her behavior. How frightened you are by his reactions, how limited you feel, and that these reactions prevent you from doing your chores, or living a normal, everyday life.

Then, together (this is the key word, together!) make rules that you can both follow. Rules for your behavior, which, in a given circumstance, will satisfy both of you. Be creative after saying that this is a relationship you want to save. If your partner feels that he/she has some degree of control over the situation, you can avoid an outburst next time.

You will not solve the problem completely in one discussion, nor in ten. You need to look at this problem over and over again and push the boundaries yourself until your partner feels comfortable with normal behavior on your part. It will not be an easy process, even under ideal conditions. But, you will learn a very important lesson:

that love does not automatically solve all the problems of life, although, over time, with a lot of patience and understanding from you, your partner’s worst fears will be curbed. If this person deserves a partner, then he/she deserves your first step to change.

For psychology, advises: Dr. Anastasia Kotsopoulou,

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