The Nature of Jealousy
Jealousy is something which can break down relationships and become a dangerous obsession for some people. This month I felt that it was useful to diuscuss the nature of jealousy and, more importantly of course, how to deal with it successfully.
When someone becomes jealous, they do so by thinking about what another person has or seems to have or be, They then compare that with what they themselves have and they feel inadequate. Although this generalisation is not always true, it certainly explains quite a lot of jealousy out their. Like any intangible noun, jealousy is actually referring to a process. This process is the art of ‘jealousising’. You see what’s crucial to remember is that when you think of things as the processes that they are, you develop control over them.
We ‘jealous ourselves’ when we think of other people and compare them to ourselves. Jealousy manifests itself in a bad feeling, usually of a mixture of longing, disappointment, frustration and inadequacy. It also sometimes leads people to engaging in bad behaviors. Although we rarely admit it, often in relationships the goal will be to make sure that your partner becomes jealous of you talking with other people. It is often construed as demonstrating that they love you. In relationships which are not very mature, the process of making their partner jealous is a deliberate ploy used to attempt to get their interest.
So, there are a number of factors wrapped up with the nature of jealousy. In the modern world, many people seem to have been caught up in a constant search for fulfillment in which nothing ever seems to be good enough. They see what others have and they want it, expecting that it will make them satisfied. Instead it simply creates a new desire for something else. No matter what they do, they cannot satisfy the craving because the craving is a continuous strategy that they run inside their head.
This then can become jealousy as they see others having what they perceive they want. Often, they feel annoyed by this and feel the need to downgrade them and talk badly of them to attempt to ‘put them in their place’. This becomes jealousy manifested in begrudging or belittling. So, these are some suggestions as to the nature of jealousy. But what is the most effective way to deal with it in yourself and in other people?
People who are not jealous focus instead of how well they themselves are doing and they have a contented way of thinking about what they have and do not have. When they think of the things they want that other people have such as a wonderful relationship or career or wealth, they remind themselves that it is almost certainly nowhere near as good in real life as it is in their imagination. They also remind themselves that they would have to give up certain things they take for granted in their own life in order to get them.
They also learn from those who have what they have. They figure out the strategies that others used, they read books that the others had read and they take the same steps that the other person had taken. That way, they focus their time on learning from the other people instead of begrudging them. When doing this it’s also important to remember the various options for comparing yourself with others. You can compare yourself to others who you feel are better than you which feels bad, compare yourself to others who you feel are worse than you which feel better to a degree or you can do what’s most useful: compare yourself with yourself and ask ‘How much better are you doing?’
Jealousy can only exist if you get jealous. You can only get jealous if you think thoughts of other people having what you want and that being unfair. Sometimes people don’t have what they deserve and sometimes they have more than they deserve. The key is to focus on improving your own life so you have what you want regardless of who else has it or doesn’t have it. It comes back to the old adage: Live and let live.
When other people are jealous of you, the best way to deal with that is to remember that no matter how much they begrudge you or insult you… it is a sign that you are succeeding. Every snipe, insult or criticism is most probably layered in with a great desire to have achieved what you have achieved or be who you are. When you remember this, you’ll feel a lot better.
Although I am very proud of what I achieved I know many people out there who have achieved more than me and are more successful. The reason why I am not jealous of them is because I am happy with my own life. When you can wake up every morning and know you are doing the right thing then regardless of how well others do, you can have the most wonderful feeling of simply being content with what you have and you can learn from others to achieve more at the same time.
In terms of relationships, if you have gotten jealous unnecessarily when your partner talks to other people then they key is to find out if you have a reason to worry about them being unfaithful. If you don’t then become aware of the thoughts that make you feel bad when they are talking to other people. What kinds of images do you make of them? Stop making the images of them that make you feel bad and simply see the interactions for what they are… innocent interactions.
Overall, jealousy can be dealt with by focusing on it as a process and being developed from an attitude. It’s essential to change your attitude and once you do, you will no longer be tortured by your own insecurities. Instead you will feel more secure in yourself and feel less needy. Learn to walk through the world as a learning machine… learning from others rather than envying them. Some people do seem to be lucky, but in so many cases you have to make yourself available for luck by making opportunities for yourself. What seems to be perfect never is when you have it because perfection doesn’t exist. That’s why it’s essential to feel more grateful for what you have in your life and appreciate all that’s wonderful in every moment. If you are struggling with jealousy, do not be ashamed, God already knows. Take it to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you to over come it. When you feel that strong emotion of jealousy coming over you about a person when you see them, begin to compliment them and edify them. This will kill it quickly, the Bible says that perfect love cast out fear, find yourself trying to help others, especially other women. Because jealousy is really steeped in insecurity and low self- esteem. But if you find yourself constantly edifying other women it makes it easier to combat this ugly Spirit. Father, I pray in Jesus name, that you deliver whoever that may be reading this who struggles with it, let it liberate them, help them, use it God to show them themselves and bring a change in their lives through the power of your Spirit and deliverance, this I believe and pray in Jesus Mighty name, Amen!