7 Tips on How to Manage Jealousy

How to manage jealousy

Jealousy isn’t an easy state of mind. In fact admitting one is jealous is hard to do. Often times we are not aware that we are jealous and are thus oblivious as to how it is guiding our decision making and interpersonal skills. But the fact is, is that people get jealous. Here are 7 tips on how to manage jealousy:

1. Jelousy is rooted in insecurity. Jealousy and anxieties surrounding abandonment and failure go hand in hand. Typically when we feel jealous it’s because we don’t feel like we are as good as another person and so we are replaceable. The less secure we feel in a relationship the more prone we are to jealousy.

2. Jelousy is rooted in distortions. 99% of the time what we are jealous about is based upon something we created rather than actual reality. “They are prettier than me so happier”, or “They are more successful than me so are better at what they do”, are beliefs not based in reality. The fact is, is there are lots of angles to a person and their situation. It takes a long relationship with a person to understand their full story.  One strength doesn’t mean someone’s whole life/career/relationship is better than yours.

3. Jealousy is a form of idealization. Most of the times when  we are jealous of someone we are idealizing them. Recognizing our idealization and bringing human qualities back into the person can help us to manage our insecurities.  No one is perfect, by nature being a human means there are struggles.

4.  Understanding your sibling dynamics can help you manage your jealousy. While having a sibling can be great, research shows us that it’s also hard. When someone has a sibling they have someone to compare themselves too. Jealousy is a natural part of a sibling relationship since both people are competing for their parents attention and affection. Understanding what your sibling triggers in you will help you understand what things you find most vulnerable.

5. Accept your limitations. As Americans it is very hard to accept we have limitations. But in doing so, you can save yourself agonizing moments of being jealous. You can’t do, be, or become everything. You have limitations, and that’s fine.

6. Try your hardest to be who you are rather than who you think you “should” be. If the “should” is hard to shake get professional help. The sooner you do, the more secure you will feel.

7. Stop leveling the playing field. Many people desperately try to keep things equal in their relationships. They bring themselves down when they notice they have a strength someone else is lacking or are extra hard on themselves when someone else is better at something. Try to be more okay with moments where things feel uneven.

Jealousy is very painful because it is frequently connected to shame we feel about ourselves. But by admitting you have it and being aware of it, you can feel more in control.

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Patricia O’Laughlin, licensed therapist and Art Therapist, providing EMDR and therapy to individuals, couples, teens, and adults. Silver Lake/Los Feliz, Los Angeles. therapy@patriciaolaughlin.com or (323)761-2221.