Nobody likes a jealous person, but they’re everywhere. Identify its source and learn how to deal with jealousy like a pro!
Dealing with jealousy is an interactive process. One’s actions influence the other person’s jealousy, and vice versa.
To effectively deal with jealousy you need to make the jealous person feel understood and respected. How do you then deal with the different types of jealousy?
How to Deal With Jealousy At Work
If you never had a jealous co-worker, let me assure you it can be a very tense, stressful situation.
Unfortunately, they will have it out for you, your every move is being closely monitored, as they lustily wait for your next mistake so they can pounce on it and turn you into the boss.
As if your work stresses weren’t enough, you got this colleague who’s jealous of you, acting all weird around you, talking bad about your performance and your personality.
The first thing you need to know is that jealous people are often so because of their own personal insecurities and/or lack of self-esteem.
It is highly likely that the envious colleague is insecure, or angry about his own poor performance at work, so he projects this insecurity on you through jealousy. You might be flattered someone thinks so highly of you, but the truth is, jealousy has never benefited anyone.
This is by no means 100% applicable, but more often than not their jealousy springs from envy. They’re resentful that you have something they don’t, or because you’re something they will never be.
Handle Jealousy With Care:
If you care enough for this colleague, take the initiative and start a conversation, ask them why they are jealous. If, on the other hand you couldn’t care less, just ignore them. Be prepared though that this might make their jealousy even stronger. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Identify How Dangerous Their Jealousy Is and Act Accordingly:
You need to identify what makes them jealous. Of course you’re no psychologist, but it doesn’t really take a degree to tell why someone is acting all jealous.
- Start monitoring their behavior around you and how that changes around others.
- Look for signs of awkwardness, uneasiness and frustration.
- Watch their body language and of course their actual language when the address you or refer to you.
These would give you enough clues as to why they might be jealous. Now you know how to proceed; if its anger you need to work it out, if it’s a fragile self-esteem you need to boost it, if its unreasonable jealousy, just walk away!
How to Deal With Jealousy In a Relationship
I’ll say it because, no one seems to admit to it. It feels great having a (mildly) jealous boyfriend. There I said it.
Before raising your eyebrow in disbelief, hear me out. For anyone who ever had a jealous girlfriend/boyfriend, they can attest to how them being jealous of you, not only boosts your self-esteem, but also makes you feel well, significant. And it’s a nice feeling, knowing how your actions influences how the other person’s day will go like.
Why Do People Get Jealous In Relationships?
There are several reasons why people get jealous. Mostly, it is because of previous unpleasant relationships ending badly. Think of cheating boyfriends and indifferent ones (that couldn’t care less if you lived or died).
If your lover had an unpleasant experience in their past relationship then it is almost certain that they will take it all out on you wittingly or not.
Signs of jealousy are not to be taken lightly or worse, ignored. Give them proper attention before things escalate (because they will, they always do).
What jealousy might mean in a relationship:
- Jealous of your lively past relationships and hard-to-beat-beautiful ex girlfriends/boyfriends.
- Feeling inadequate for you, insecurity can be a real bitch, guys.
- Frustration of keeping up with your lifestyle, or even actual dislike towards it.
- Fear of a potential betrayal, feeling threatened or completely ignored.
- You’re not treating them as they (think they) deserve being treated. Feeling lonely and unloved.
- They’re just obsessed with being jealous and can’t shake it off.
- Jealous lovers can be extremely defensive when they feel they’re threatened, insulted, or being “under repair”.
Because they don’t feel like there’s something wrong with them. On the contrary, they firmly and irreversibly believe that it’s your attitude that needs to be changed, and that it is something you do that’s causing their jealousy. Yes, the blame is never attributed to them.
- If you’re lucky and your lover wants to talk about it, then talk it out.
- Let them paint a picture of their world and how jealousy might be their only tool for coping with other negative feelings they bottle up inside. You might end up psychoanalyzing them, but it’s always fun unearthing suppressing childhood stories!
- Don’t tell them they’re wrong, misguided, or being paranoid.
- Do, tell them you understand their situation. They need it more than you can imagine.
- Make it very obvious that you are with them in this, and not against them.
- Give them support, don’t be condescending. Support is never enough.
- Agree on working towards eradicating jealousy from your relationship. Together.
- Avoid doing things that upset them, or exacerbate their jealousy.
- Be understanding, but not too lenient. You want to pull out the jealousy fire, not to aggravate it.
How to Deal With The Jealousy of An Ex
Dealing with a jealous ex is a tricky situation. We’ve all seen how madly jealous your ex-girlfriend can be of (pretty much all) your future girlfriends. How an otherwise calm woman can in a blink of an eye turn into the ugly green-headed MONSTAR.
You don’t want that anyway near your new girlfriend; it could drive her off before you’ve had a chance to really get to know and enjoy one another.
Jealous exes are often jealous because they never really came to terms with your breakup—even if it happened 2 years, 4 months and 18 days ago (But who’s counting. I bet she is!). In their mind you two belong together, so anything and anyone disrupting that dream constitutes a hindrance that has to be exterminated.
Expect late night ranting calls, threatening messages to your new lover, stalking, overall, the life of a very, very miserable person. The only way to effectively deal with jealousy is to help them realize why you two can’t be together anymore.
- Give them time.
- Be patient and don’t ignore their feelings, or look down on their jealousy.
- Relationships are hard to get over.For jealous people, it is twice as hard.
- Be firm but gentle, you want to help them move on, not further sink into jealousy.
If all else fails, consider the possibility of moving to another state. Or continent. Or perhaps, planet, depending on their jealousy. Of course, this is usually a last resort, or not even an option at all, but it’s nice to fantasize.
How to Deal With Jealousy in Friendships
Oh, the joys of friendship! Jealousy is definitely not one of them. Jealous friends can be clingy, and tirelessly demanding, and who has time for that?
These are some signs your friend is walking down the Jealousy Road:
- They keep criticizing and belittling your achievements. You finally got pregnant, she’s the first you call to tell her about it. She responds with: “Good, so you know, thousands of children die daily in Africa.”
- Doesn’t support you when you need it the most. From picking a first-date outfit, to real life crisis, she never seems to have the time for you, (or your drama).
- Hurts you more often than she helps you. If this doesn’t convince you, only a stab in the heart will.
- She/he is never eager to truly be happy with your happiness, but he/she is generous with discouragement, offering it daily.
If your friend’s jealousy is a new thing, try tracing the situation, or object that sparked the jealousy in the first place. It could be anything, a job promotion, a new flirt, that designer bag you finally got.
- Promote honesty and talk sincerely with one another. It is easier and less painful to discuss it rather than waiting for it to just go away. Don’t pretend it doesn’t bother you. It will only get worse.
- Ensure that you approach them with compassion and a good mood.
- Make them feel good about themselves and their own accomplishments. Tell them you are proud of them.
- However, don’t let them steal away your happiness and pride. If you’re proud of your job promotion, chances are you deserved it. Don’t let this toxic friend tell you otherwise.
- Be careful not to give them the power to control you with their jealousy outbreaks.
- Given the right attitude, you can help your friend overcome their jealousy and be happy with what they are and what they have.
- Finally, let them know comparisons are hurtful and futile.
How to Deal With Jealousy In Children
Of all the situations mentioned above, dealing with children’s jealousy is the most problematic.
How can you reason with a 4-year-old who stubbornly refuses to let go of his mum, or who bites his father each time he is just looking at his own mother? You just can’t.
Identify the Trigger of Their Jealousy:
- Do they feel threatened by their siblings? Are they being taken advantage by an older brother?
- Is there an obvious liking towards one sibling over the other? Kids can sense unfairness.
- Could it be bullying? Within or from outside your family circle?
- Is one parent treating them differently than the other parent is? Contrasting attitudes get children confused?
- Look for uncalled for attitudes; like getting suddenly angry, using physical violence, or self-harm, too much showing-off. These are possible telltale signs of a jealous child seeking attention.
Before actually discussing it, it is best that you first talk through actions-
- Show affection and interest in their stories and little achievements.
- Think twice before scolding them. Verbal abuse only serves to break a child down and destroy their self esteem.
- Express your pride and happiness for them.
- Incorporate them in your life, don’t ignore them because they’re young.
- Encourage communication, through play. Meaningful interaction is not just in words, it can be found in play too. Let them know they matter.
Dealing with other people’s jealousy is a demanding, delicate subject. In our materialistic world, there are so many things we could be jealous of.
Don’t let jealousy strangle your happiness. Stop trying to fix your friend, your colleague, your kid. Show them you understand them and that you’re with, and not against them. If this doesn’t help their jealousy to subside, nothing will.