Feature by Nikita Fernandes
Image via Vecteezy
The illustrator and author Mari Andrew wrote a beautiful piece titled "On Being an Extremely Jealous Person," in which she shares that the hardest part of jealousy is the shame we feel around it, thinking we should be better. Experiencing jealousy is a human reaction. It can be uncomfortable to feel but as human beings, we deal with jealousy during different stages of our lives. People might feel jealous in their interpersonal relationships. For example, an individual might feel jealous when they see their partner flirting with someone else. People also experience jealousy in platonic relationships like friendships and family. Now that we've acknowledged that jealousy is universal, let's explore how to cope with it.
People experiencing jealousy can gently remind themselves that feelings are not permanent. As human beings, we are constantly moving in and out of different feelings. Trainer & Certified Sex Therapist Molly Adler suggests that people should work with jealousy versus against it. For instance, naming the emotions and paying attention to how it feels in our body can be a way to work with this emotion. Therapies such as rational emotive behavior therapy or cognitive reframing can help people restructure their thoughts and feelings around jealousy. Molly Adler also mentions that our attachment style impacts our feelings of jealousy. Thus, people with highly anxious attachment styles might increase the jealousy that people experience in relationships. It is also helpful to ask ourselves: What emotions are under the jealousy? For example, someone might feel jealous of a friend's boyfriend because the person feels brushed aside in their friendship. This can cause an attachment wound that shows up as jealousy.
Adler shared the following ways to navigate jealousy: