In many relationships, regardless of if they’re romantic or friendly, jealousy can be a huge burden. Learning how to deal with jealousy the healthy way is crucial for any successful relationship. Here our the do’s and don’ts of jealousy.
Jealousy can kill even the strongest of relationships. It is the total burden for not only the jealous person, but also the recipient of the jealousy. There are many reasons for jealousy to occur in a relationship. Perhaps you or the other person has trust issues from past relationships. It shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker but it can definitely cause problems.
There are levels to jealousy, they range from healthy to toxic. Healthy jealousy is when you or someone is uses jealousy to better themselves. For example, if you’re friend gets a promotion and it prompts feelings of jealousy, you use it as motivation to get into a better position yourself. Unhealthy and toxic jealousy is when someone becomes aggressive, controlling or even tries to retaliate.
The do’s and don’ts will allow you to navigate and find solid ground in a jealous relationship. There are many things you can do to give reassurance and even create a closer bond. However, there are several things that need to be avoided when dealing with jealousy.
How To deal with jealousy – The Do’s & Dont’s
When jealousy enters a relationship, things can start to get tricky. If you are determined to make the relationship work there are several things you can DO. However, there are several things to NOT DO. In order to be your best self and in a healthy relationship, you need to work hard. Not only work on your own personal wellbeing but also be able to provide reassurance and relief for the other person.
DO: Ask Your Partner or Friend What Their Anxieties And Insecurities Are
If your partner or friends jealousy is negatively affecting the relationship, a sit down conversation might be in order. Ask them what’s going on, ask them questions about what they’re worried about. Make sure you are listening to their answers as well! Express how their actions make you feel but be sure you aren’t attacking, belittling or threatening them when they confide in you. Show them compassion and give them your undivided attention.
DON’T: Get Defensive About Your Behavior
If your friend or partner becomes jealous and accuses you of something, DON’T get defensive. Take a few deep breaths, take a step back and evaluate the situations. Becoming defensive will most likely be misinterpreted or even cause a mirror effect. This means that the jealous person will get defensive in reaction to you becoming defensive. This in turn will start a heated argument. Instead of getting fired up, speak calmly, rationally and stick to a solution oriented approach. Jealousy can be a symptom of anxiety which can cause someone to spiral and have repetitive thoughts. Going back and forth or around in circles will only further the anxiety for both of you.
DO: Create Boundaries
Creating boundaries is important in all relationships. It is necessary for taking care of yourself and ensuring your needs are met. In jealous relationships we can find ourselves exhausted, depleted and even taken advantage of. Setting boundaries gives us permission to say no and focus on our wellbeing. When having a conversation with your partner, be clear about you and your partners needs. Be direct, move forward and stick to your guns.
DON’T: Try To Make Them Jealous
Whether you are the recipient or are the jealous person, in order to overcome jealousy, don’t create more jealousy. Sit down and deal with the problem head on. If you need a break to recharge, clearly state that. If you suspect your partner of something, don’t go and commit the behavior you’re jealous of. This goes both ways, if you’re accused of something, don’t go out and actually do it.
DO: Be Available And Responsive
Despite whoever the jealous person is and it being an issue that needs to be fixed independently, being available and responsive is helpful. It provides reassurance that you care about their needs. This can require a lot of effort, however, if it doesn’t go unnoticed, it means that the trust between you has grown stronger.
DONT: Play Games
There is many ways to play games either as the jealous person or as the recipient. It will only make things worse for the both of you, and may lead to ruining the relationship. One common game is blocking the jealous persons phone number or social media after an argument. This only prolongs the problem and makes them feel more insecure or anxious.
DO: Revisit The Issue And Be Patient
There is no quick fix to jealousy, it takes time, patience and work. Sometimes there may even be periods where no jealousness arises and then it pops up again. Be willing to work through the problem together, especially if the relationship is important to you. Celebrate small victories, make them feel included and appreciated. Take it one day at time!
DON’T: Take The Internet Too Seriously
Instagram and other social media apps can have huge impacts on our mental health. It can turn seemingly healthy people anxious and obsessive. Additionally, social media has a huge impact on relationships. Try not to take it so seriously. If you or your partner is jealous over social media habits, either work to change them or remove yourself from the online world. At the end of the day, likes don’t mean anything.
When Is It Time To End A Jealous Relationship
Only you will know when you can no longer deal with jealousy. You’ll reach a point where it won’t be something you want to work through anymore. However, sometimes a break can be beneficial and an efficient way to recharge. Before you rush into the decision to end the relationship, take some time to reevaluate. A break should last anywhere from a week to a month, any longer and it is a break up. This is a period of self-care, personal work and reflection.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I love them?
- How long have you been with them?
- Do you have children with them?
- Have they every crossed the line?
- Do they have a point?
If your relationship becomes aggressive, violent or unsafe, you need to ask for help and find a way to get out. Look for domestic abuse hotlines, crisis support or talk to a friend/family member you trust.
Bottom line of how to deal with jealousy
Dealing with jealousy is a common struggle for many relationships. Understanding the do’s and don’ts is necessary for success. It is a spectrum where some people can use to motivate themselves, while others let it take over. Whether you are the jealous person or it’s your partner, there are ways you can help or make it worse.
Take the time to communicate and understand where both of your anxieties and insecurities come from. If the relationship is worth it, learning how to deal with jealousy is a priority. Finding common ground and developing healthy coping mechanisms is crucial. Otherwise it could end badly!