Saturday, April 5, 2008

Jealousy~

As with many of relationship topics, a certain amount of attention to what we mean by particular words is helpful and often necessary when discussing jealousy.

It is important to distinguish jealousy from envy. To oversimplify, jealousy is angry, envy is wistful. Jealousy is destructive, envy rarely is.

Insecurity, as used below, just means a lack of security. It does not imply that the insecure person is bad, or good. It does not imply that the insecurity is warranted or unwarranted. It simply means that the person is not secure, either in themselves, their relationship, or what have you.

Don't Deny Jealousy, Deal with It

Okay, let's say you've found that you are jealous. It's not going to be easy, but what can you do to solve it?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try and hide it (in the long term, that doesn't mean you have to display it at the moment you feel it.) Jealousy is usually a signal of something needing fixing, and ignoring that usually only makes things worse.

Instead, I would suggest asking yourself "What do I feel insecure about?" Do I feel unattractive or uninteresting myself? Do I doubt the other persons love for me? Their physical attraction? Do I doubt that I can have the type of relationship I want?

Once you've figured out what the core discomfort is, then it's appropriate to ask yourself if your fears are well-founded. If it is, perhaps talking to your partner about what you are afraid of and why you believe your fears are well-founded makes sense.

A different case is where you are pretty sure that your fears are unwarranted, but you just feel insecure (often about yourself more than the relationship) anyhow. That, in my experience, is a more difficult case, and it's hard to know precisely what to do about it, but I have been there, and part of what worked for me lies in the story behind the next item....

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