Many of us experience jealousy at some point or the other. In some cases, a little bit of jealousy is actually good as it leads to improvement. For example, a couple may be able to keep the spark alive in their relationship through a tiny bit of jealousy. It can also help prevent couples from taking each other for granted. Talking about feelings of jealousy and insecurity can help boost romance and can even help couples build trust. In other cases, jealousy can lead to breakup, distrust and even abuse. So let us take a look at some easy ways to not be jealous in a romantic relationship or at work or school:
1. Stop ‘checking’ behaviors
In order not to be jealous of an ex or even in a new relationship, one needs to trust completely and let go. Stop checking your partner’s phone. If it is your ex, delete him from your social media so you can avoid seeing what s/he is up to. ‘Checking behaviors’ are extremely detrimental to your health and to your relationship as well. They not only make you feel bad; they also make your partner lose trust in you. So each time you feel the need to check, stop. And every time you do stop from checking on your spouse/ex, you will feel more in ‘control’.
2. Focus on self improvement
When one is in a new relationship, they often make the mistake of clock-watching. They obsessively check on their partner’s activities or call them to find out where they are. This can be stifling to say the least and can end up making them feel ‘suffocated’. Instead give them freedom and show them that you trust them completely. Spend time on self love and self improvement.
3. Distract yourself
Snooping around on your partner’s whereabouts or on their phone can become addictive. If thoughts of jealousy about someone’s relationship of success strike, distract yourself. Instead of focusing on what will be, focus on the present moment. You can take up a task that brings your mind into the present moment. This includes meditating, watching TV, listening to music, working out, reading or studying. Remind yourself that your thoughts are just your thoughts and they need not necessarily be true. Challenge the negative thoughts just like a good friend would: for example, if your partner is late in coming home, s/he need not necessarily be cheating on you. Challenge the thought immediately by asking yourself: would s/he really do that? What would you say to console a friend who is undergoing what you are? Then say that thing that you would say to them.
4. Speak to someone you love and trust
In order to not be jealous of someone’s success or other woman or man, you must speak to someone you love and trust- a counselor if needed. They can help put a stop to your running thoughts and can even help you see a different perspective. It could be a friend, parent, sibling, or a colleague. You can also turn to a professional.
5. Give someone the benefit of doubt
There usually has to be a reason for jealousy especially when it comes to relationships. Is there a reason? Have you caught your partner cheating? Then you need to understand that if someone decides to have an affair, s/he will have it any way. So you have little or no control over it. Just understand that you can survive it. The Universe only gives you those situations that you are capable of handling. Sit down and think carefully if you want to stay or leave. If your partner comes clean and promises not to do it again, then give them the benefit of doubt. Understand that the more you ‘snoop’ on your partner to find out if he/she is still cheating; this behavior will drive them to do exactly what you don’t want them to do. Understand that if there’s no reason left for you to trust your partner, there’s no reason left for you to continue the relationship.
6. Start looking at the positives
An important way to stop being jealous and controlling is to build some emotional muscle. Jealousy is often a result of underlying insecurity. Why are you insecure? Is it because you feel the other person is better than you? Then it is time to seriously rethink your relationship with yourself. Pamper and love yourself so much that your partner has no choice left but to love you. Go to the gym; get a hobby, anything to make you look and feel good. When you do those things, you will automatically stop measuring yourself against your perceived/real rival. You must also look at the positives in the relationship: there’s no abuse, s/he makes you feel financially/emotionally complete, s/he is good to you, there are kids to think of etc.
7. Change your perspective
Try placing yourself in your partner’s shoes. Would you feel comfortable if s/he snooped around or kept tabs on you all the time? No one likes to be at the receiving end of distrust, suspicion and jealousy. Close your eyes and visualize the relationship you want. Isn’t a healthy relationship all about giving a bit of space, freedom and privacy? Remember the saying: give them wings to fly but roots to come back. If they are yours, they will come back, no matter what!
8. Never turn to substance abuse
Extreme thoughts of jealousy, mistrust etc can sometimes drive one to irrational thinking and behavior. Sometimes the mind blows things out of proportion and can cause one to abuse drugs or alcohol. If these thoughts drive you mad, talk to someone. You should keep in mind that these substances do more harm than good and can even lead to aggression and violence.
In order not to be jealous of the other woman or man in your partner’s life, you must have healthy communication with your partner. Try seeking counseling to determine what is lacking in the relationship. Sit down and have a talk about your fears. Tell your partner that you feel insecure when they do not call to check in with you if they are late. Understand that you should not be too controlling that you forbid them from going out completely. This will stifle them. Instead practice ways of doing it without pressurizing them. Discuss your concerns with a counselor and your partner as well.
10. Know when the relationship should end
Life happens. People fall in love but they can also fall out of love. Understand that a relationship can end but that does not mean that it is all your fault or that it is the end of life. Millions of people breakup/divorce and they all survive, move on and even thrive. Do not make your entire life about your partner. Focus on rebuilding your life. If your ex moves on, do not be jealous of that.Instead, you move on as well and you just might wish you had done it sooner!