To a certain extent, jealousy in relationships is inevitable. Put simply, when you care about someone you don’t want to lose them and, ironically, jealousy often arises when a partner is happy in their relationship. The fact of the matter is that jealousy is natural but what’s important is how you deal with it. Here are some good ways to emotionally handle jealousy so that you don’t jeopardize a great relationship with irrational paranoia.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 Dos and Don’ts in order to help you overcome jealousy and let your relationship blossom harmoniously.
Overcoming jealousy: The Dos
DO recognize you have an issue
The first step to overcoming something irrational is, as always, to acknowledge that you have an issue. Awareness will enable you to accept that your jealousy is most likely unjustified and therefore easier to conquer. It is how you deal with your jealousy that dictates how the relationship will continue. Recognizing your irrationality towards normal situations will stand you in good stead to control your emotions.
DO actually trust them
Many people who are actually happy in their relationship, still get really jealous. But ultimately you have to ask yourself if you trust them – have they ever given you any reason to doubt their faithfulness in the past? Most likely they haven’t and it’s all in your mind. Remember the saying ‘innocent until proven guilty’? Give them the benefit of the doubt and actually trust them – there are still plenty of good people out there who value monogamy.
DO keep yourself busy
The best way of dealing with irrational doubts is to keep yourself busy so that you don’t indulge your mind and let it run wild with jealous thoughts. While it’s easy to allow your mind to come up with ridiculous scenarios that you imagine your partner to be in, you’ll have more control over your thoughts if you surround yourself with people. Throwing yourself into projects or keeping your mind occupied by spending time with friends will help you with overcoming jealousy.
DO improve your self-esteem
When trying to overcome jealousy, it might be worth also taking a look at yourself and considering perhaps why you become green-eyed easily. Often it’s down to a lack of self-esteem. Most likely, you have no reason not to trust your partner and the jealousy is coming from you being treated badly in the past or feeling like you’re not worthy of them. Stop this! Your insecurities are not your partner’s fault and if you’re not careful you will scare them away. Have some faith in yourself – you’re great and your partner is lucky to be with you!
DO communicate properly with your partner
Jealousy often arises from miscommunication and misunderstandings. It’s best to clear this up instantly by ensuring your communication with your partner is solid. Obviously don’t behave like a crazy, jealous person with too many questions, but clarifying certain things to give you peace of mind is no bad thing. This is better than letting your mind run wild with irrational thoughts that could easily be reined in. DO this within reason though; if it’s irrational and likely to offend your partner, don’t ask them.
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Overcoming jealousy; The Don’ts
DON’T compare yourself to others
One of the best ways to deal with overcoming jealousy is to stop comparing yourselves to others. It’s easy to become jealous of your partner’s friends or colleagues if you’re constantly finding fault in yourself and focusing on other people’s better qualities. But it’s this kind of thinking that will encourage jealous thoughts. Of course there are always people in the world who are better looking or more intelligent than you, but you will have great qualities that others don’t! That’s probably what attracted your partner to you in the first place.
DON’T play games
Many jealous people in relationships think the answer is to play games. Perhaps you want to make your partner feel how you’re feeling? Whatever the reasoning, this is not the answer. Playing games will only makes things worse and ruin the trust between you. Fight your instinct when you feel like you want to make them feel bad or anxious and treat them fairly.
DON’T try to make them jealous
Likewise overcoming jealousy is not done by creating more jealousy. This is a very dangerous path to go down and will end up causing more problems in your relationship. Many people think that by putting their partner through the same jealousy they’re feeling, they’re taking back the power somehow. Actually this doesn’t work. It will probably result in your partner having trust issues with you too and cause arguments and even more distance between you.
DON’T let your imagination overpower reality
This is perhaps the most fundamental point when overcoming jealousy. The problem with jealousy is, predominantly, that it’s all in your head. It’s often based on unfounded irrational thoughts and you need to let your rational mind overpower them. As Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. suggests on PsychologyToday, ‘Recognize that jealous thoughts are not the same thing as a REALITY. You may think that your partner is interested in someone else, but that doesn’t mean that he really is. Thinking and reality are different.‘ It is very important then to decipher between the two and keep your rational side intact. Control your mind and you’ll make your life a lot easier.
DON’T get swept up in the online world
With technology becoming all the more significant, it’s difficult not to obsessively check social media and various contact platforms you have with your partner. It is easy to misinterpret pictures or messages online and many people jump to absurd conclusions. One of the best ways of overcoming jealousy is to remove yourself from the online world as much as possible.
These are some of our tips to help with overcoming jealousy but ultimately it comes down to trust. The feeling of uncertainty is natural but it’s all about how you deal with it. As Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. suggests on PsychologyToday, ‘But uncertainty is part of life and we have to learn how to accept it. Uncertainty is one of those limitations that we can’t really do anything about. You can never know for sure that your partner won’t reject you. But if you accuse, demand and punish, you might create a self-fulfilling prophecy.’