As we’ve mentioned on other pages (like “What is Jealousy?”) experiencing jealousy is a human thing. Sure, there are people who seem to or say that they never experience jealousy — and a few of them may be right. But for most people, jealousy comes up somewhere in their lives.
And in “Why Do I Feel So Jealous?,” we offered ideas on the things that might cause jealousy to arise.
Now, let’s look quickly at what it means to “feel guilty”…
If you just do a fast Internet search for “what does feeling guilty mean?” — similar to our searches for information on jealousy — you’ll find several versions from different sources. All will likely agree that guilt is very uncomfortable.
In general, guilty thoughts or feelings might serve a purpose in our lives.
Guilt can redirect us away from our own actions which we don’t believe represent “who we really are”; likewise, guilt might redirect us toward actions that are more congruent with what we believe our true nature to be.
Guilty feelings or thoughts can also be destructive, especially when we consider the concept of an “Inner Critic” as mentioned in “Why Do I Feel So Jealous?” If we feel guilt that is misplaced (like, feeling guilty about something for which you are truly not responsible), or if the feelings and thoughts of guilt are overwhelming and paralyze us from making choices, then this is not health-promoting, purposeful guilt.
Now, back to jealousy and feeling guilty about it…
The difference (between guilt with a constructive purpose or guilt that is destructive) may be found in your own answers to the question “Why Do I Feel So Jealous?”
Explore the reasons for your own jealousy experience.
Then explore your own sense of guilt:
Could it be that your jealousy experience seems to run counter to how you think you should be? Did you always imagine yourself as “not the ‘jealous type’”?
Does it help diminish your feelings of guilt to learn that virtually all people experience jealousy at some point in their lives?
Besides feeling jealous, have you taken actions — said or done some things because of jealousy — that have hurt someone else or yourself?
Maybe the crux of your guilt is more about what you’ve done or said, and not so much about feeling jealous.
Feeling both jealous and guilty can seem like a hurricane of emotions.
Listen to the messages that guilt is sending you. How is it trying to direct you?
Then, decide if you want to move in the direction that guilt seems to be guiding you toward, or rather, away from.
For more ideas on how to move in the directions you want, and to explore more ideas about the jealousy experience, feel free to also see:
Should I Be Worried About My Jealousy?
Should I See a Professional?
Helping Yourself Without a Professional