“Jealousy may be an expression of insecurity, of fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, feeling left out, feeling not good enough, or feeling inadequate… Jealousy might also be associated with feelings of competitiveness and wanting to be number one… On the other hand, sometimes the truth is that we are becoming aware on an intuitive level that our partner is moving away from us.” – The Ethical Slut
This will be one of many posts on the topic of jealousy.
Almost everyone I know has struggled with jealousy at one time or another. I struggle with jealousy constantly. It’s this ugly monster that lives inside of me and simply will not die.
Jealousy for me happens mainly in dealing with relationships… when the person I’m with likes someone else in addition to liking me. The logical side of my brain says “We humans are wired to be attracted to many people, not just one.” But the non-logical side of my brain says “Why am I not enough? Why can’t he just like me?”
The Ethical Slut has a great section on dealing with jealousy. I skimmed it years ago, but I really should have studied it.
“The challenge becomes learning to establish within yourself a strong foundation of internal security that is not dependent on sexual exclusivity, or ownership of your partner. This is part of the larger question of how to grasp your personal power and learn to understand and love yourself without such a desperate need for another person to validate you.”
The Ethical Slut says that “the way to unlearn jealousy is to be willing to experience it. By actively choosing to experience a painful feeling like jealousy, you are already starting to reduce its power over you.”
HOLD STILL WITH YOUR JEALOUSY
Learn to feel jealousy without acting on it. That doesn’t mean that you should hide your jealousy. It just means you shouldn’t throw a tantrum. When you hide your jealousy, you are not being honest and it is important for everyone involved to know the reality of the situation.
* Listen to yourself and explore your feelings. Where do you feel them in your body?
* Feel your feelings. Painful feelings have a tendency to run their course if you let them.
* Reflect on your feelings. Journal your thoughts. Write down your stream of consciousness.
* Own your feelings. Try writing or talking to someone without blaming anyone. It’s not easy, but it’s good practice
* Ask yourself “What are the specific images that disturb me the most?” Pay attention to the images that are less scary.
GETTING THROUGH JEALOUSY
Don’t try tackling jealousy all at once. Try just setting a short period of time for yourself to get through the jealousy. Ask yourself if there’s anything that would make you feel just a tiny bit better?
* Practice good self care
* Do something physical
* Play music that fits your mood
* Focus on the positive. Remember all the good things. It could be a good idea to keep a book of good times around with stories and pictures to help you remember.
* Express your love. Do nice things for your lover or your friends.
I know that I have a long way to go before jealousy is no longer in control of me. But I am determined to get that point. And I always succeed where I am truly determined.
“There is no graceful way to unlearn jealousy” – The Ethical Slut