1. Understand what jealousy is. It’s a mixture of fear and anger – usually the fear of losing someone who’s important to you, and anger at the person who is “taking over”. Recognise that it’s a destructive and negative emotion – and often nothing good comes out of it.
2. Try and figure out why you’re feeling jealous. Is it related to some past failure that is undermining your ability to trust? Are you feeling anxious and insecure? Do you suffer from low self-esteem, or fear of abandonment?
3. Be honest with yourself about how your jealousy affects other people. Do friends or partners always have to justify their actions and thoughts, or always report on where they were, or who they were with? That kind of pressure is destructive in the end, and puts a strain on relationships.
4. Find the courage to tackle your feelings. Decide to question your jealousy every time it surfaces. That will enable you to take positive steps to manage your feelings in a healthier and more constructive way. Some possible questions to ask yourself include: “Why am I jealous about this?”; “What exactly is making me feel jealous?”; “What or who am I afraid of losing?”; “Why do I feel so threatened?”
5. Work on changing any false beliefs that might be fueling your jealousy. Start this process by identifying the underlying belief, for example “If X leaves me, then I won’t have any friends”; “If Y doesn’t love me then no-one will ever want or love me”. Understand, that beliefs are often false – and that they can be changed through choice. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel.
6. Learn from your jealousy. Jealousy can help understand ourselves better – and teach us important lessons. For example, it’s natural to feel frightened when a relationship is new, and you don’t yet feel secure. This is normal and commonplace! Also, some people DO have a roving eye, and they may lack commitment in the longer term. Better you know that now, than later on.
7. Work on accepting and trusting yourself. That makes it easier to trust others, too, and lessens our tendency to feel jealous of others.