Jealousy: Everything You Need to Know

Jealousy is a complicated emotion that includes emotions like mistrust, fury, fear, and shame. It affects individuals of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations and is most often sparked when a person feels threatened by a third party in a valued connection. The danger might be actual or hypothetical.

Why We Feel Jealous

It’s common to think about jealousy in romantic relationships, such as a boyfriend who bans his girlfriend from speaking to other guys or a person who can’t bear to watch her ex-boyfriend share photos of their new relationship on Facebook. The emotion may appear in every kind of human connection, from colleagues seeking to win over a respected boss to siblings vying for parental attention.

Even though it is a terrible feeling, evolutionary psychologists believe that jealousy is a warning or a wake-up call that a valuable connection is in jeopardy and that action is required to win back a partner’s or friend’s devotion. Because it sustains social links and encourages individuals to act in ways that preserve significant relationships, envy is thus seen as an essential emotion.

Why am I so jealous?

According to research, extreme jealousy has various underlying reasons, including poor self-esteem, excessive neuroticism, and feelings of possessiveness toward other people, especially love partners. Another important incentive is a fear of desertion.

Are men more jealous than women?

Both men and women experience jealousy. According to some data, men are more likely to feel envious of actual or perceived sexual infidelity in romantic relationships than women are about emotional adultery.

Is jealousy good or bad for relationships?

Unwarranted jealousy often leads to relationship discontent or unrest, and jealous individuals may act in ways that are illogical or even hazardous. However, envy is a normal, adaptive emotion created to protect significant connections. Feeling envious may indicate the importance of a connection or that two individuals are becoming more apart.

Can animals feel jealousy?

Evidence shows that certain animals, such as monkeys and dogs, that build deep social relationships with one another or with people may also feel jealousy. Similar to humans, different animals experience envy, depending on the circumstances.

How to Deal With Jealousy

Even while it might be beneficial, envy has the potential to encourage negative conduct. It may drive someone to constantly watch another person’s interactions, connections, and movements, try to undermine their confidence, or even act violently.

Even though it could seem taboo, merely recognizing jealousy might help prevent it in the future and improve a relationship in the here and now. Examining the feelings underlying jealousy may encourage self-reflection and the development of internal coping mechanisms. Being open about your emotions of resentment toward the other person might help you have fruitful discussions about what the relationship might be lacking and how to mend it.

Is there a “cure” for jealousy?

Jealousy cannot be instantly reversed. However, acknowledging that jealousy is common, resisting negative thoughts, and engaging in mindfulness exercises may help lessen its attraction. Speak to a therapist if your envy is out of control; it may be quite beneficial.

How do I stop feeling jealous about my partner’s past relationships?

Retrospective jealousy, or envy of a partner’s history, is a common emotion. Trying to concentrate on the present and realizing that such sensations are common may be beneficial. Asking a spouse about previous relationships or needing frequent confirmation will make you envious.

What should I do if my partner/friend/sibling is jealous?

Insecurity or anxiety are often the causes of jealousy. Expressing sympathy to your loved one for feeling these difficult emotions is crucial. Discuss openly what makes them jealous and what adjustments might make them feel less enraged. Set boundaries that both parties can live with.

What are the signs of controlling behavior?

Controlling conduct may easily cross the line from jealousy. The relationship has deteriorated into something unhealthy and dangerous if your spouse, friend, or other close person keeps tabs on your actions or whereabouts, makes outrageous allegations, or attempts to keep you away from others who make you jealous. Ask for assistance.

Envy, Compersion, and Other Related Feelings

Although they are comparable emotions, envy and jealousy are not the same. A third individual who is seen as a competition for love or attention is always involved in jealousy. Only two individuals may experience envy, which is best summed up as “I want what you have.” For instance, one could feel jealous of another person’s riches, position, or looks.

Another emotion that is somewhat connected to sexual or romantic jealousy is compersion. Compersion is the sensation of joy for a partner who is emotionally or sexually connected with someone else instead of being upset about it. The most common contexts where compersion is mentioned are polyamory and other consensually non-monogamous partnerships.

What should I do if I feel envious of my partner?

Be sincere with your emotions and attempt to resolve any underlying problems (such as inequality within the relationship or personal feelings of inadequacy). To increase self-efficacy and self-esteem, the jealous partner could find it helpful to seek practical options like changing careers or starting a new exercise regimen.

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