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The Act of Jealousy

By Senna Rogoyski

Highlights

  • Jealousy is a common emotion that revolves around negative emotions such as anger and bitterness.

  • Typically this emotion is caused because of the way someone else acts or gets treated.

  • Like other emotions there are several ways to stop feeling this emotion

What does feeling jealous even mean?


Jealousy is a complex and complicated emotion that develops and revolves around feelings such as resentment, bitterness, hostility, and etc. In studies taken, it was proven that around 80% of the participants have felt jealous at least once in their life, showing how jealousy is a very common and normal emotion. Typically, this feeling is experienced in a relationship, however it can also be felt during times when another person receives a special “thing” such as an award or treatment that the other person wanted but could not receive. As they are filled with anger and a feeling of unfairness, they begin to feel the emotion of jealousy. Jealousy can also stem from one having low self-esteem where they always compare themselves and insecurities. With this in mind, there are many levels of jealousy where the intensity can differ. When the feeling becomes too severe, it can be unhealthy and dangerous for the person, as this can cause them to start acting on their emotions/impulses rather than thinking about their decisions. This being said, irrational jealousy can lead to paranoia, delusions, complete distrust, insanity, and even physical violence.


The most common example to understand jealousy is by comparing it to any relationship. Often when people like someone, that someone may already have a crush on a third person. This ends up filling the person with negative emotions leading them to ask themselves questions like “What’s so good about them?”, “Why can’t they like me back instead?”, and such, causing the person to feel jealous.


How to Treat it


Evolutionary psychologists explain how this emotion is better to be faced head on rather than hidden and kept inside. They suggested that this emotion is rather a wake up call and a red flag signal that conversations and actions must occur. Like any negative emotion, there is no instant cure, however there are many ways to “fix” and treat this feeling. Here are some of the steps and methods:

  • Here are a series of steps one can take when they feel jealous regarding relationships(liking/loving someone):

    1. Recognize the emotion and no matter how hard it may be, understand that it’s completely normal to feel that way

    2. Reflect as to what caused you to feel this way and why it made you feel this way

    3. Know that only you can change the way you feel and nothing will change unless you take action

    4. Communicate and talk with whoever is involved as to how they made you feel this way or what they can do to stop making you feel that way

*Additionally, if it’s about a loved one, it's important to focus on the present rather than the past because interrogating and becoming more infatuated with the situation may increase jealousy.

  • Learning to accept your emotion and challenging it.

  • For example, if you feel jealous that someone received an award and you didn't: Tell yourself that there is always more opportunities and ask yourself

“What can I do next time to achieve what I want”

  • Mindfulness such as yoga and taking deep breaths can be a simple, yet effective way to calm yourself and the emotions you feel allowing you to look at your situation with a more calm and mature perspective.


References

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