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Understanding the Green-Eyed Monster by Alice Inoue, Founder of Happiness U

Understanding the Green-Eyed Monster by Alice Inoue, Founder of Happiness U


It’s not my usual topic, but I thought maybe someone who is the “jealous-type” can benefit from knowing more about jealousy, because feeling jealous is not only excruciatingly uncomfortable and will drive you crazy if you dwell on what’s making you feel that way, it can ruin a relationship if you don’t control it. Let me help you understand it a little bit more and how to deal with it if you get affected by this emotion from time to time.

Jealousy is a coping strategy we use and at its core, jealously is simply the fear of loss. The more we fear losing the person, the more jealous we feel, and the more we focus on the negative. We look at whatever the person is doing and view it as a loss to us as we think of them moving into something “better” than us. It leads us to see every action they do as against us, and we start creating stories in our heads that we use to torture ourselves with. Our imagination becomes extremely destructive once we are triggered.

So, what do you do? First of all, when you are triggered, and start feeling the anger and anxiety rise up, recognize that it’s not about them and what they are doing, it’s about you. Sit with your emotion for a bit. Refrain from using sarcasm, withdrawal, or incessant questioning about their desire for you. It’ll only make things worse.

Stop making up stories and believing them. Just because a fiction writer has a good imagination and can make up interesting content for the story line, the writer doesn’t believe it is real just because he or she imagined it. So, stop trusting your imagination. Don’t jump to conclusions with no evidence. You’ll regain more control when you realize your emotions are based on imagination, not on fact. Your brain will lie to you. Don’t believe everything you think.

Remember – it’s all tied into a fear of loss. If you can lessen your fear, you can lessen your jealously. So in order to lessen your fear, you must be prepared to lose the very person that you fear losing. I know it sounds strange, but if you are going to use your imagination to fantasize about the negative, you may as well also balance it out by fantasizing about how much benefit you would have in your life if they were not in it.

Think of ten positive ways you would respond if they were not in your life, and how you would build your life up even BETTER than it is now. Really take the time to imagine how you would, if you absolutely had to, live without this person in your life. By doing this, you will lessen your fear. If you lessen your fear, you will lessen that horrible feeling of jealousy.

One more thing, remember that in the same way you might feel angry but not act on it, so also you can feel jealous and not act on it. Ask yourself what choice will be best for the relationship (the very thing you don’t want to lose) – and that probably is not to react. Acting on your jealousy will never make your relationship better, but practicing how you react will make a HUGE difference. Hope this helps someone!

Alice Inoue

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happiness University. She is an expert life guide, and author of five nationally award-winning books on life wisdom, self-growth and happiness. She has two columns, one in MidWeek titled “A Mindful Moment,” and an award-winning column in the Sunday Star-Advertiser called “Go Ask Alice” that offers pertinent life guidance. Through Happiness U, she helps both companies and individuals develop positive mindsets in order to live more inspired in both their professional and private lives.

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