10 Ways to Cope with Jealousy

1. Isolate and identify your emotions. When we feel ‘jealous,’ what we’re actually experiencing is a noxious mixture of anger, fear, and anxiety. What is it about your situation that angers you? What are you afraid of? Take some time to reflect on these feelings and identify the root causes of your jealousy.

2. Don’t jump to conclusions. When you feel angry at or threatened by another person, it’s all too easy to assume the worst about them. Making rash judgments and assumptions will only isolate you from others involved in the situation. A healthy dose of caution never hurt anyone, but you should make an effort to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove they don’t deserve it.

3. Be aware of the defense mechanisms in your arsenal. There are a lot of different ways of naturally coping with jealousy, but many of these can cause more harm than good. Before you demonize your partner/rival or attempt to interfere with their lives, assess the situation carefully. Discuss your reactionary behaviors and feelings with friends or family members who you trust.

4. Don’t slip into denial. Ignoring or avoiding the problem won’t make it go away, and lingering in a problematic situation will only make the resolution process more difficult. Denial often begins with an unwillingness to accept one’s own emotional pain – don’t be afraid to validate your own feelings and concerns. It’s okay to feel the way you feel.

5. Put your insecurities in the crosshairs. Everyone feels insecure about some aspects of themselves; don’t let these perceived deficits define you. Focus on tackling the issues that you feel are holding you back. Make new friends and take on new hobbies. Life is good! Positive self-regard is guaranteed to make you a more attractive person to everyone you encounter.

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6. Work on your relationships. Having strong, healthy relationships with other people will help you build a support system to help shoulder the weight of the emotional burdens in life. If you have neglected the friendships and family connections that are important to you, focus on rebuilding them. Even if your social life has gotten a bit rusty, don’t be scared to reach out for advice and support – your friends will appreciate knowing that you trust them for guidance.

7. See a counselor. Go by yourself or with your partner. Professionals in this field are trained to identify problematic attitudes and their roots without a personal bias. A good counselor will be able to work with you to come up with specific strategies to improve your ways of thinking and strengthen your interpersonal relationships.

8. Accept that risks are a part of life. The most beautiful aspects of life – trust, hope, and love – are inherently risky. If you have difficulty coming to terms with the risk involved, you’ll end up with a lot of unresolved anxiety. You may have faced a lot of hurt and disappointment in the past, but unfortunately, constant anxiety will only invite more of it.

9. Don’t become obsessed with control. As the popular prayer goes, “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You don’t have to be religious to see the advantages of a mindset like that! Accepting that there are many, many things that you can’t control will help you focus on the things that you can.

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10. You CAN cope. If you have to tattoo this to the inside of your eyelids, do it! You can work through your emotions, you can change the behaviors that are having a negative impact on your life, and you can have powerful, loving relationships. Sadly, good things often come and go; do not let the constant motion of life ruin your outlook on yourself.