Is Jealousy Bad?

Jealousy generally refers to thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, and concern over a relative lack of possession or safety. Jealousy can consist of one or more emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness, or disgust. Sometimes jealousy is confused with envy but there’s a big difference between the two. Jealousy has to do with the fear of someone taking what’s yours. Envy is a feeling of discontent or resent aroused by something that belongs to someone else..

It’s okay to feel jealous. The issue lies in your behavior when you feel jealous.

“It is not love that is blind, it is jealousy”

1. Recognize

The first step is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Oftentimes, we begin to react before we even know what has led us to this moment to begin with. Being able to pause in any situation to identify what you are feeling is a skill in itself that will help you avoid many pointless arguments. 


2. Process

Once you have identified that you are indeed feeling jealousy, ask yourself what outside stimulus is causing you to feel that way. Assess the situation beyond first appearances (that smile you saw your partner give could mean anything from afar). Then ask yourself some questions. Am I feeling this way because something inappropriate is actually happening or because of an insecurity being triggered within myself?


3. Respond

Now that you have really taken stock of the situation, you can decide how you want to respond. This may be as simple as being able to let it go once you’ve thought clearly about it or as extreme as making some changes in your relationship status. The important thing is to be sure that however you decide is best to respond, it was a decision not an emotional reaction to be regretted later. 


These three steps should help you process your feelings in a way that can have a positive outcome. When you feel jealous in a relationship, it’s crucial to understand the root cause and communicate with your partner. Recognize that jealousy is a signal, not necessarily an accurate reflection of reality. When addressing the issue that caused you to feel jealous, focus on open communication rather than trying to control your partner. If you have solid evidence of deception, don’t ignore it, but seek professional help like couples therapy to work through the challenges.

Eboni Harris is a relationship therapist in Houston, Texas, and host of Room for Relations: Sex and Relationship Podcast. She is also co-founder of Melanin and Mental Health™. She does individual and couples therapy in Texas and specializes in helping couples improve communication skills and intimacy.

Follow Eboni across social media @eboniharrisma

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