If you’re starting to wonder whether it’s time to worry about your own jealousy experience, you might find some answers by talking with trusted friends whose viewpoints you respect. Or you may want to do a little more research on your own and communicate with the real expert on your life: yourself.
Here are some questions that might resonate with you, and a few responses that might help:
“Does everyone else feel this way? Or is there something wrong with me?”
Jealousy is something that virtually every human has experienced at least once and, more likely, a few times. So if you’re worried that you’re abnormal for being jealous, fear not.
However, if you find that you are unhappy with your own jealousy experiences, you can take steps to diminish or alleviate the experience.
“How can I feel good about myself when I’m jealous?”
Since part of the jealousy experience is a feeling of insecurity, it can really make your own Inner Critic ring loud and clear (and you can find out more about that in Why Do I Feel So Jealous?). And it’s a little like the whole “chicken or egg” question (you know — which came first?) It doesn’t really matter whether you first felt insecure and then jealous or jealous and then insecure; either way you’re going through some serious emotional discomfort.
Maybe the first thing you could do is give yourself a break for being human. Even if you decide that you want to do things differently and feel differently, beating up on yourself is not a good starting point.
On the flipside, as discussed in I Feel Guilty For Being So Jealous, we might think of feelings like guilt and humiliation as having a purpose. Maybe they’re pointing out the path to feeling better about yourself.
“I’ve never felt this angry about anything. How could being jealous make me so mad?”
Jealousy and anger often go hand-in-hand. Knowing that doesn’t help, though. If anything, it can feel like an endless cycle of emotions you don’t want to feel. Chances are good that if you could simply stop feeling jealous — turn it off like a light-switch — you would!
Did you know that a key ingredient to jealousy is fear of loss? You could be afraid of losing a relationship or a special person or an important work assignment. This fear of loss connects with the insecurity mentioned above and can add up to overwhelming feelings of defensiveness and frantic anxiety. This is your survival instinct kicking in, big time.
In cooler moments, you might reflect back on some of the thoughts you’ve had when this survival instinct is flaring up. Do these thoughts seem out of character to you?
The thing about our survival instincts is that they’re sometimes flaring up when our lives (or our relationships) aren’t really in danger. Our bodies and minds may feel like there’s a steep cliff up ahead, even when there’s not.
Have you read Why Do I Feel So Jealous? on this site yet? It may give you some insight into the roots of jealousy. For many people, those roots are there — and this is important — regardless of what the other people in their relationships are doing.
For some people, the same could be said of anger, in general: Their feelings of anger seem to spring out of nowhere, unexpectedly, and in unpredictable situations; or they seem to feel anger virtually every day and about everything. In these cases, there are often root causes of their anger, causes that have little or nothing to do with what they’re feeling angry about right now.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not your jealousy is at some sort of “problem level,” all you really need to know is the answer to this question:
Are you content with having your jealousy experience?
If you aren’t, then take a look at How To Deal with Jealousy in Yourself, From Every Angle for some ideas that might help you lessen your anxiety, diminish your insecurity, calm your anger, and, maybe, dissolve your jealousy.