Some people’s immediate response to being “accused of” expressing jealousy is “So what?”
And that’s not necessarily wrong or bad.
After all, as we discussed in other articles jealousy is a common human experience. We even talked about some of the possible reasons why someone might feel jealous in Why Do I Feel Jealous? — and it’s not always outlandish or bizarre reasons, either. Jealousy comes in many shapes and sizes.
For example, you might:
- be jealous of a co-worker who gets a raise you were up for,
- feel jealous when your friend chooses someone else to go out with,
- have jealous thoughts whenever your partner is away and not spending time with you,
- experience jealousy so often that sometimes it seems like the whole world is against you.
So, let’s back up a bit and take a look at the idea of “okay-ness” —
What exactly does it mean to you when you say or think “it’s okay for me to be jealous”?
First, if you can, think about the actual feeling you get when “Everything Is Okay” in your world (even if that’s only happened once in your life.)
- It might feel like a wave of relief comes over you, you let a big sigh out and your shoulders stop tensing up.
- Perhaps it’s a small sense of ease, and your mind stops buzzing about all the things that are wrong or still need to be done.
- Maybe you get a burst of joy, and a smile breaks out all over your face.
So that’s “Everything Is Okay,” for you. When you think “it’s okay for me to be jealous,” does it bring that “Everything” kind of experience to you … or something close to that?
Think the words to yourself again: “It’s okay for me to be jealous.”
Are you feeling a sense of “meh” and a mild shrug when you think the word “okay”?
Is the next automatic thought that comes up for you something like, “It’s not so bad. Not great, but not so bad. Could be worse. Could be better.”
We’ll call that “It’s No Big Deal, This Jealousy.”
Think it again: “It’s okay for me to be jealous.”
Did you feel a tinge of insistence, as if you’re making a point, taking a stance?
Are you feeling a need to explain more, to defend your jealousy?
Let’s call that “Need to Defend My Jealousy.”
Now ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being like the “Everything Is Okay” feeling described above and 10 being like the “Need to Defend My Jealousy” — Where are you now?
Next — and this is the most important part:
Is where you are now exactly where you want to be?
Are you even close to where you want to be on that scale?
If you’d like some ideas on how to move yourself along that comfort/discomfort scale, you’ll find several ideas in our pages on How to Deal with Jealousy in Yourself, From Every Angle.
And on the flipside, did you know there are even people who seem to like it when someone else experiences jealousy in their relationship?