First and Foremost: If you’re worried for your well-being or the well-being of others, you may need to consider taking immediate steps toward safety. There are no words in this or any other website that can make you safer, cure someone else’s jealousy, or provide immediate protection for you or others. If you are in an unsafe situation, we recommend you contact helping authorities right now. That could mean dialing 911, or it might instead mean heading straight to places where you can say “I need help,” and the people there will respond with courtesy, concern, and skill: police and fire stations or hospital emergency rooms.

Should I be afraid of their jealousy?

If you’ve already read some of the other articles on this site (like Why Do Others Become So Jealous?), you may have noticed that jealousy is a complicated and common experience that involves feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Behavior might or might not be part of that experience.

It would be too simplistic to describe jealousy as only a feeling or a thought, or as always bad or negative. And it’s also not an either-or, off-or-on experience, usually. Like a lot of human responses to life, jealousy might be best described as a continuum, or a range of possibilities.

So answering a question like “Should I be afraid of their jealousy?” can only be answered well if the range of possibilities is taken into consideration.

So back to the question, which might come up even if things are fine now, but you’re worried that things might not be fine later. Again, there are no simple ways to tell you that you will be safe in the future, without knowing the details of the situation. The same is true about being unable to predict whether your relationship with the jealous person will continue or end.

And the most important question may not be “should you” be afraid, but “ARE you?”

However, there are some things to know that might help you decide whether you should feel afraid:

No one would recommend that feeling afraid of someone is a good thing. Fear between people is corrosive and does not lead to healthy, fulfilling relationships, whether the romantic kind or otherwise. If this is a relationship that you value having in your life, think twice about the impact of fear on how you communicate and interact.

Almost every human being will experience jealous feelings or thoughts at some time in their life. But not everyone who feels jealousy or has jealous thoughts will actually do or even say anything about it. Maybe they’re able to cause their own jealousy to diminish. That’s healthy!

Or maybe they hold on to the jealousy and keep quiet about it. That can be damaging, both to the individual’s emotional (and physical) health, and to their relationships.

Some people believe that jealousy and love always go hand-in-hand. Whether they learned it through watching adults as a child, or from movies and other stories, such thoughts go something like this:

“If I feel jealous and let my partner know, they’ll feel flattered and desired.”

And there’s a flipside thought:

“If I don’t feel jealous, then maybe I don’t really care about my partner.”

Jealousy can be expressed with words or actions. Remembering again that jealousy is a continuum, think about the following words or actions.

Wonder about where you would place each on a scale of 1 to 10. This is not a test. It is merely a way for you to think about the levels of jealousy that you are comfortable with experiencing:

1 = No jealousy at all ………………………… 10 = Highest jealousy levels all the time

  1. Your partner tells you that watching someone else flirt with you at a party made them uncomfortable.
  • They tell you with a voice that is quiet to moderate in level, in a private setting.
  • They tell you with anger in their voice, in the car while driving.
  • They yell it at you in a public setting.

Notice how the feeling and thought was the same,

but the way the message was delivered makes a difference in how you respond to it.

  1.  You find out your partner has snooped in your social media contacts when you left your phone or computer open and connected. You express to them how you feel about it.
  • They tell you they’re sorry, acknowledge that they should not have done it, and tell you they never will again, no matter how jealous they feel in the future.
  • They apologize for snooping and add that if you hadn’t left your devices unattended, it never would have happened.
  • They tell you that’s the only way they can think of to find out the truth, and besides, if you’re not doing anything to deceive them, then you should be fine with that level of openness.

Notice that not all apologies are the same. Recent research on the act of apologizing concluded that the two most important components of an effective, well-received apology are admitting responsibility for doing wrong and offering to make things better.

Thinking back to our scale of 1 to 10, where might you place the jealous person in each of the above scenarios?

1 = No jealousy at all ………………………… 10 = Highest jealousy levels all the time

Now, where might you place your level of comfort in each of those situations, on this 1 to 10 scale?

1 = Completely comfortable & content ……………………… 10 = Afraid for your life

This exercise merely gives you an idea of how you might get in touch with your own feelings in the jealousy experience. Once you have a more clear idea about how you feel in such situations, then you can start looking at the interactions you’re having with a jealous person and decide about your actual comfort levels in real-life.

If fear is arising in you, that might be your own inner wisdom calling out for your attention.

Or it could be that you are experiencing reverberation (a kind of echo) from things that you’ve experienced in the past, perhaps even with someone else different.

Either way, at least listen to your fear. It might help you to talk to someone who doesn’t know either you or the jealous person, like a professional counselor, who can help you sort out what your fear is telling you.

Then you can make a choice about what action you might need to take.