The Green Eyed Monster
I often wonder why jealousy exists. It is such a strange emotion and complex to say the least. My reason to explore this is because one of my best male friends was recently consumed with jealousy. It was triggered when we were down on the beach and he noticed how many couples there were in a state of loved-up bliss. He had recently split up with his ex who had pretty quickly moved on to his friend. Not surprisingly he was a little raw. He then sat and openly admitted he was jealous of all the happy couples. He then said, ‘do you think they are really happy?’
I was a little perplexed to say the least. Just because he did not have the perfect relationship he began to undermine other people’s appearance of happiness. My response was ‘I hope they all are happy because that means that I can have that too. Their happiness or lack of happiness is nothing to do with me.’ In that moment my friend had a terrible ‘shattering’ realisation. ‘I’m bitter aren’t I?’
‘You are still healing after a break-up.’
He looked mortified and then confessed that he gets jealous about a lot of things:
People who have it easy.
People who don’t have to work.
People in effortless relationships.
People with huge houses.
The list went on. This jealousy thing sat with me for a while and I asked my work colleagues about the different kinds of jealousy they experience. There was plenty of it in relation to pay packets, hierarchy, promotions and when others succeed. In truth, I don’t really have that emotion, or so I thought. I then saw my ex with a really hot woman who had similar attributes to me – but she was ten years younger and I had a pang. So there it was – jealousy – he had moved on and I considered myself ‘free’. Yet something had triggered in my heart. This then got me thinking. What was it that triggered the jealousy and what is it that stops a feeling of jealousy?
For me, jealousy is based on either a fear or a comparison. Think about how siblings become jealous when one is shown more attention or given something that the other has not received. Some of my female friends become jealous when another friend attracts a high class man or receives a gift. My male friends have pointed out that they feel jealous when another chap buys a nice car or house. Others become jealous over how much time friends spend with each other. Others became jealous when their spouses or other halves flirted or just talked with other women or men. I also had a number of accounts of how jealousy destroyed relationships. When the green eyed monster reared its head, it resulted in controlling behaviour and emotional outbursts. After a while the partner could not tolerate the controlling tantrums anymore. This then led me to think that jealousy comes from the fear of loss or a sense of lack of power. It also comes from a lack of self-esteem. If the individual felt good enough, then surely they would be so content in themselves that they would not need to grow jealous. So the question is how can it be overcome?
This is what I came up with and I hope it will help.
Before going any further it is worth looking at one’s self-esteem and working on that first. The book Self-esteem by Caroline Myss is amazing!
1) Recognise when you feel jealous. What is the specific aspect that triggered it? What are you actually jealous of?
2) Are you comparing yourself? Do you fear the loss of something?
3) If you were completely empowered and were in your best self what would you say to yourself?
4) What is the core belief? Is it – I can’t have… I am not good enough to… I fear the loss of…
5) Identify that core belief and write it down. Now, and this might make you feel sick, affirm the opposite. So for example I am jealous because I haven’t met my perfect partner can be transformed to ‘I am lovable and I effortless attract my perfect partner…’ According to EFT, you are able to cancel out the negative with the positive. It does not mean that your ideal partner will miraculously appear, however, it will adjust your belief to make it possible.
6) Become aware that the trigger of jealousy is clever because it makes you aware of what you really want.
7) Pay attention to similar feelings of jealousy and record the details of the jealousy and affirm the opposite until you feel free of that belief.
After sitting with this jealousy for a few weeks and paying attention, I came to the conclusion that there is a benefit to jealousy if it can be viewed objectively. It is a trigger to recognise what you really want. It also reveals when you are not in your ‘best state’ because ultimately if you were feeling wonderful about life and yourself then you would not see or notice anything that would make you jealous. Your mental focus would be noticing positive situations.