3 Things to know about the psychology of Jealousy and how to deal with it ?

Jealousy is when someone feels anxious about things happening with others. For example, getting resentful when a coworker gets a promotion. Also, we can find it in relationships when partners get angry from their friends of different sexes. It is dangerous and we should avoid feeling jealous. This is all that we know about this topic. 

Let me know if you have studied in school, or your family talked about such a topic in a constructive way. Or share a movie you watched that gave new insight about jealousy, other than framing it as grudge, hatred, unbelieving and finally, not to trust people. Personally, no one in my family, nor at school, or even in a movie did. For me, it is always portrayed as a negative emotion that we need to avoid. We tend to forget that we are human and have different feelings, and every situation, emotion, trigger, or any other thing comes for a lesson. This blog gives information about jealousy in the form of answering 3 questions. 

  1. What is Jealousy?

  It is a state that mixes anger, fear and sadness. This feeling is hard to explain, as it contains different feelings, cognition and behaviors, not only one emotion or one attitude. It includes some coping behaviors that tend to hide the feeling of sadness and fears such as violent behavior (slamming doors), Indirect aggressive (throwing bad words in an indirect way), manipulation attempts (tricking partner to test loyalty)

Jealousy in a romantic relationship can be defined as a protective reaction to a threat to a valued relationship that came up, as a result of a situation that opposes the partner’s values in a relationship (Carrie, 2018). For example, when a man ordered his partner to ditch males friends from facebook under the name of jealousy and love. However, both are different, expressing fear and anger is healthy but hidden fears by jealousy and controlling the other person is unhealthy. This state in a romantic relationship arises from a threat of separation, loss, especially when there is the possibility of the partner’s romantic interest in another person (Sharpsteen et.al, 1998). It all has to do with unfulfilled needs and wants, which can be solved by communication with no expectations. 

So, someone can say but there are many forms of jealousy.. Yes, of course, read the whole article, be patient. 

   Jealousy in children: A study was done on 94 infants, which are 6 month old. It was found that infants got jealous when their mothers gave positive attention toward a lifelike doll ( Hart, 2022). This discussion argues that jealousy is in our nature, since our childhood , it could be found. However, how we tackle it is the core of the topic. You might get a question that says, so do you want to say that jealousy is a biological thing, or cultural? This exact thing is that jealousy can be universal human nature but it can be activated or narrowed by our thinking, expression, reflection(Buss, 2002). I am going to discuss this deeply in question 3. 

Jealousy in Animals, a study was made at the university of California, to report the jealousy of dogs on humans. It was found that many dogs show jealous behaviors when their human companions paid attention to dog-like toys (Harris, 2014)

So, once again, this state is a universal emotion that can happen to any being. 

  1. What is the difference between Jealousy and Envy  

The difference between Jealousy and Envy, in popular culture people tends to mix between jealousy and envy. Both can come together, however, they could have two different characteristics.

The common experience of jealousy for many people may involve:

  • Fear of loss
  • Suspicion of or anger about a perceived betrayal
  • Low self-esteem and sadness over perceived loss
  • Uncertainty and loneliness
  • Fear of losing an important person to another
  • Distrust

The experience of envy involves:

  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Longing
  • Resentment of circumstances
  • envied person feels guilty about this feeling
  • Motivation to improve
  • Desire to possess the attractive rival’s qualities
  • Disapproval of feelings
  • Sadness towards others accomplishments

Let me give you a small quiz, which one of these are jealousy and which is envy ?  

  • “I feel jealous and a bit frustrated when I see my classmates going for holidays. I wish i can go for an holiday”
  • “When I talk about money with my peers who earn more than me, I feel envious of the opportunities that are available to them because of the added cash.”
  • “I have seen the rich use their money to ‘buy’ more opportunities for their children (e.g. interviews, school enrollments etc)”

Let me know your answers in the comments. 

  1. How to deal with this feeling?  

This is a very important point, do you remember at the beginning of the article, when i said that we learn that we should not be jealous and we have to avoid it. Great, the key of handling jealousy is the exact opposite, as the more we are true to our feelings and expressing it, the more we can regulate our emotions, in general, and jealousy specifically. 

Let us see some examples,

Communication, in a romantic relationship, when one feels jealous will have multiple thoughts, emotions, defensive behaviors, right? The number one tip is Integrative communication. 

Yes, communication, which will mainly work on three issues, reducing uncertainty, strengthening the relationship, and restoring self-esteem( Peter, 1988). Actually, this tip is a magic for all struggles in a relationship. It always needs consciousness to reveal your authentic self to your partner. But the more you communicate, the stronger your relationship becomes. 

Acknowlging it, I know this sounds a little challenging, but simply acknowledging that fact is enough to make you feel better.as we previously mentioned, Jealousy can be found in different situations, not only in relationships. There is a simple tool that anyone can use whenever he feels jealousy. Draw an iceberg and start asking some questions. This is an example of how to make this activity. 

The part that is above the surface is jealousy, however, start digging deep into your roots, what is beyond this feeling.Is it anger, hurt, a wound? Express and describe how exactly you feel.  

Why do you feel this ? What do you need to do? Give yourself time for each question. Write as much as you can, talk to a therapist, record it, draw it. The important part is to express it in any form you like. 

Remember, it needs courage for people to be true to themselves, it needs effort. But it is an effective thing. 

Taking responsibility, we are only responsible for our feelings, behaviors, actions, thoughts, and everything that has to do with the self. So, your feelings are part of your responsibility. It is a good thing that you felt like this to work on it and connect to yourself. 

Conclusion:

Overall, jealousy is a state that could be found in animals, children, and adults. The critical part is how you handle it. It is a process that needs persistence, mindfulness, and courage. 

All the tips, tools, and techniques encourage you to stay connected to yourself, focusing on your life will make you more connected. Comparison, getting involved into others’ issues, mind shattering, trying to save others are all unhealthy techniques that would encourage fears, sadness, anger, jealousy, and comparison. 

Outro:

Let us know, what do you know about jealousy? And if you found new information, like and subscribe to the magazine. 

Resources:

Buss, D. (2001). Human nature and culture: An evolutionary psychological perspective. Journal of personality, 69, 955-978.

Carrie D. Kennedy-Lightsey. (2018) Cognitive Jealousy and Constructive Communication: The Role of Perceived Partner Maintenance and Uncertainty. Communication Reports 31:2, pages 115-129.

Sharpsteen, D. J., & Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1997). Romantic jealousy and adult romantic attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(3), 627–640. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.627

Hart, S. (2022)Jealousy and the Terrible Twos, Evolutionary Perspectives on Infancy, 10.1007/978-3-030-76000-7_15, (325-347).

Harris, Christine ; Prouvost, Caroline ( 2014). “Jealousy in Dogs”. PLOS ONE. 9 (7): e94597. Bibcode:2014PLoSO…994597H. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094597. PMC 4108309. PMID 25054800.

Salovey, Peter; Rodin, Judith (1988). “Coping with Envy and Jealousy”. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 7 (1): 15–33. doi:10.1521/jscp.1988.7.1.15. ISSN 0736-7236

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