“Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies.” – Elizabeth Bowen
Moments of jealousy can strike when people least expect them. Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., in her article written for Psychology Today, seeks to define what enflames jealousy.
Firestone thinks jealousy is not something people have much control over. Its true danger is the other feelings it tends to mask, such as shame and insecurity. She notes that “critical inner voices” can encourage insecurity.
Firestone compels jealous people to challenge their inner thoughts during times of the “green monster.” Instead of assuming the other person is lying about who they are hanging out with, pay attention to his or her body language and words. If he or she seems communicative and content in the relationship, it’s unlikely that he or she is physically and/or emotionally unfaithful.
Kathy Morelli, a psychotherapist, confirms romantic jealousy to be the most frequent form of the emotion. Jealousy in the workplace and online are also commonplace.
In relationships, Morelli asks jealous partners to analyze the health of their romance. Some people may feel insecure when their partner spends plenty of time with friends or on their career. If he or she does well in their job and earns a promotion while the jealous partner has not made similar progress, that can spark negative feelings. In the end, if a partner has remained physically and emotionally faithful during their time together and doesn’t put down the jealous person, then the envious person likely harbors negative feelings toward him or herself.
While communicating with the significant other is paramount, Morelli encourages jealous individuals to seek out a support system providing feedback on his or her situation. People outside the relationship can provide an objective view of the couple.
Christina Hibbert, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist, discovers that recognizing and consciously learning from the jealousy can help the person cope. Once the emotion and its reason for existing are understood, Hibbert recommends letting it go. She recommends patients remember this statement: “I don’t need this emotion in my life.”
Morelli tells patients to slow down during emotionally intense times and practice mindfulness. This involves focusing on the moment and what is going on in the immediate vicinity rather than ruminating about what may or may not be going on.
Richard Smith, Ph.D., a social emotion researcher and psychology professor at the University of Kentucky, encourages jealous people to celebrate the accomplishments of others instead of comparing any two individuals.
Sovereign Health Group is there for individuals struggling in their relationships due to emotional insecurity and other emotional or mental issues. Therapists can work to help patients dealing with these problems and mental illnesses like depression. Call us today to learn more about our programs.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer