Managing your jealousy is a bit like raising a puppy. When it’s small, it’s harmless — sometimes it’ll bite you in the ass, but for the most part it isn’t a bother to manage. If you don’t tame it before it grows too large, however, controlling it becomes a near impossibility. There are people who think that jealousy, like an untrained puppy, can be “cute,” that your boyfriend being hyper-protective is a flattering prospect. After all, he just wants to defend you, right?
As it turns out, your boyfriend’s jealousy has almost nothing to do with you and almost everything to do with his own insecurities. It’s a major challenge to manage your emotions when you don’t know what causes them, and so telling your angry boyfriend to “calm down” is a surefire way not to solve the problem. Before we can go about fixing those jealous urges, we have to first answer a couple questions. How exactly can we define jealousy? And where do jealous urges sprout from?
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Jealousy is the uncomfortable feeling that you’re in danger of losing something. It resides in the shadowed and sticky corners of your subconscious mind, rearing its head when you’re at your most vulnerable. It feeds on your insecurities, on flaws you exaggerate in your own head. If you don’t immediately leash it, jealousy quickly becomes a ravenous creature of malcontent, capable of turning you into the kind of person who resorts to snooping through text messages and emails.
You might not know that pretty girl who lives in the neighboring dorm. But you do know that she was talking to your boyfriend yesterday — and just like that, the two of you are enemies. Chances are she’s done nothing to you directly, and yet you can’t prevent the knots you get in your stomach when you see her face.
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When you project your insecurities onto someone else, that person becomes the fantasy villain of your own mind, imbued with all sorts of unrealistic characteristics. I guarantee that your perfect so-called rival has her own mess of problems. If you had just a smidge more confidence, if you were just a tad more emotionally mature, you wouldn’t perceive her as a threat. After all, whose boyfriend is going to leave them when they’re hot shit? Recognizing that is the first step to getting over your petty jealousy.
Drop the Baggage
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Most of us are average — and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t need to place yourself on a pedestal to overcome your insecurities. All that self-criticism is just preventing your true personality from rising to the surface. Appreciate what you have and what you are, and don’t focus so much on what everyone else is doing. If you’re emotionally self-aware, you’ll feel comfortable in your own skin and will find other people far less intimidating.
Trust is a Must
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You’ll need a strong dose of trust. Jealous people will intrude into their partner’s private decisions because they’re afraid of what might happen when they’re not looking. Ironically, that’s a perfect way to get dumped. The key is letting go. Trusting your partner not to betray you shouldn’t be a struggle. If you don’t have that trust in the first place, then you’re building a relationship on sand, and the smallest wave will wash it away.
Your Dark Imagination
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Most of the anxiety that jealousy causes is a direct result of the awful ideas your imagination constructs. Just because your girlfriend isn’t answering your texts doesn’t mean she’s tongue deep down another guy’s throat. Instead of automatically anticipating the worst case scenario, be realistic with your expectations. Your apprehension will melt away if you force yourself not to worry, and you’ll find that the weight sitting on your chest will become significantly lighter.
All in all, remember that you shouldn’t criminalize your partner’s behavior without any proof. Don’t be that clichéd couple constantly arguing over who’s talking to their ex. Don’t allow negativity and pessimism to permeate your relationship. And whatever you do, don’t try to dictate who your partner can and can’t speak to, because the control freak’s path is a lonely one.
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