Top
Moment Of Clarity

Dealing with Jealousy

Credit: Thinkstock

Jealousy is a powerful emotion. While it is natural to feel jealous of someone and their situation from time to time, it can be quite dangerous and destructive if unchecked.

To begin, let’s talk about what jealousy is. Like anger, love or happiness, jealousy is a feeling and is made up of a set of negative thoughts that lead to intense feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and hate.

Where does jealousy come from? FEAR.

Fear is a powerful, primal emotion that tells us that a danger or threat exists to ourselves, people we love, or the things we possess (or not). It is our fear of losing something to someone else that causes jealousy to rear its head.

Let’s take a universal example of sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry has been around since ancient civilizations with Cain and Abel serving as the prime example of how intense jealousy can be. When we look at sibling rivalry, one of the children is afraid of losing the love or affection of one or both parents. It can also be that one of the children does not feel he or she receives the same love or affection as a sibling; in turn, he or she hates the other sibling.

Although jealousy is a common emotion, it is important to manage it so it does not get out of control and consume you.  So, here are some ideas on how to deal whether you are the giver, or recipient, of the hate.

If you are the one who feels jealous, try the following:

1)   Own it. Acknowledge that you are jealous of a person and be as specific as possible. If you’re unsure whether or not you are jealous, ask yourself this: Do I dislike them because they have something that I don’t? (e.g. they are always happy, they are smarter than me, they have nice things, they are pretty, people like them more than they like me). If the answer is yes, then you are jealous of them.

2)   Be curious about it. Jealousy is a powerful teacher because it reflects back the loving parts of you as well as those parts of you that need healing. For example, does it reflect back your insecurity, feelings of worthlessness, or something else? Often times, the lesson comes through facing the pain of our past or fear of losing something that is important to us. If you allow yourself to be curious, you will discover that jealousy usually teaches us love, perspective, forgiveness, patience, faith, trust, and compassion.

3)   Heal. Discover what you really need and do the work to develop it. Remember that your jealousy is an opportunity for you to learn and grow in healthy ways. This is a great opportunity to take back your power. If you want to be loved, identify what is blocking the love so you can let it go. This is where a seasoned therapist can be of significant help.

If you are the target of someone’s jealousy, try the following:

1)   Understand that they see something in you.  When people are jealous, they either a) want, but do not possess, something you have or are b) afraid of losing something they already possess.  Since it’s really not about you but what you remind them of, don’t take it personally. This will help you create space between you both so you can respond to them with compassion and forgive easily.

2)   Mirror the good in them. Let them know that you see the same good things in them – intelligence, beauty, love, etc.

3)   Be gracious. Sometimes people are not ready to heal and that’s OK. Remember, each of you are on a different journey. Taking the high road and being compassionate and disconnected from their jealousy will make it easier for them to get ready to heal.

As always, I hope this was helpful. With love and light I wish you all pleasant journeys.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!