Jealousy is a natural emotion we all feel and some jealousy is a sign we really care about someone but too much can ruin a relationship (a daily dose of Jeremy Kyle will show you this!) Jealousy is a complex emotion that can hold so many different kinds of feelings that range from fear to rage to humiliation. Jealousy starts when we perceive a third-party threat to a valued relationship, it can be a problem among siblings and its starts really young too, or envy for a more successful friend. Jealousy is a necessary emotion because it preserves social bonds. But too much jealously usually does more harm than good to relationships, and can create relationships with conflict and even violence.
Jealousy is often part of our childhood traumas and we are often reacting as a child would to a situation so obviously people who are insecure or dependent feel jealousy more than others. But this complex emotion goes back even further than that, in our past when we lived in tribes we needed to keep our mate close and jealousy got rid of our competitors while ensuring we left behind the less stable potential mates who would leave us.
When we feel jealous, we feel someone or a situation is threatening something that we value and if this our relationship we feel really threatened. We can react to feeling jealous in so many ways, by being angry, worried, threatened, hyper vigilant, possessive, scared, depressed and vengeful. It is very rare we will admit we feel jealous because it takes us so long to identify the emotion.
If you suffer from jealousy on a regular basis it maybe destroying your closest relationships, so it may be time to take a look at why you’re feeling jealous. Is it about reliving past hurts or breaches of trust that you are bringing into this relationship? Do you feel insecure or vulnerable or so scared of being abandoned? Once you know what situation makes you jealous and why you can start to undo the damage.
Then it’s time to look at the people on the receiving end of your jealousy, put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if someone did this to you? It can be easy to justify your jealousy by looking at their reactions but is it worth wondering if you are causing their reactions not a guilty conscience?
Once you have pondered on these issues its time to start to stop! When you feel jealous try to stop and think before you react, ask why, what and who is making you feel that way? Ask what are you feeling threatened by? And most important what is your fantasy about what will happen if you don’t react now?
Check out that fantasy, what is it based on? Do you believe ‘everyone will leave me?’ or ‘all women are lairs? Or ‘everyone is out to get money from me? It’s really hard to change those beliefs but it’s time for a reality check for you – are any of these really true? Overtime if you confront them you can change them and they in turn can change your behaviour.
Finally let the people know that you are working on jealousy and you are sorry for how you have behaved in the past. Ask them to point out to you when you are going back to your old ways so you can change your behaviour, tell them how you feel honestly and calmly when situations arise and overall keep trying it won’t be easy to start with.
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