Navigating the “Green Monster”
Jealousy – also known as the dreaded Green Monster – is a feeling most people have felt and been on the receiving end of at some point in their life. Jealousy is usually aroused by low self-esteem, mood swings, feelings of insecurity, co-dependency, fearing you are not good enough, and anxious attachment. These factors that relate to jealousy are about the insecurities of the jealous people.
You should realize that a person’s jealousy isn’t about you, it’s about them. Although their responses and behaviors affect you, it reflects their own life struggles.
How should you deal with jealousy if you’re the one acting jealous? Several actions can help you cope:
- Avoid situations that are likely to arouse assumptions and comparisons with other people. Snooping on social media increases worry, leading to even more spying, and creating a vicious cycle of increased monitoring and jealousy. Social media is one dimensional and does not tell the complete story. As a culture we use social media to brag which often makes others feel inadequate.
- Avoid making assumptions about people or feeding into gossip. Reflect on how your behavior and attitude are setting you up to judge people and compare yourself to others.
- Work on yourself. By building confidence, you will feel more secure in your own skin and relationships.
- Communicate with people around you. If you are experiencing jealousy, calmly explain your feelings and discuss how to find a solution. This reduces anxiety and lets people understand your behaviors. Taking ownership for your behaviors will likely bring out positive responses, instead of expecting everyone else to meet your needs.
Sometimes jealousy is justified especially in an intimate relationship. Sometimes your jealous feelings may be a good reason to leave the relationship and seek someone whose relationship goals are more compatible with yours. But, when you get jealous over “stupid things,” you’re not showing love- you’re revealing your own insecurities.