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Last Updated on September 9, 2020

How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

Have you ever wondered if your partner was lying to you about where they were going? Maybe Facebook crept your spouse’s ex? Or ruined a perfectly good evening by accusing your partner of something you’re pretty sure they didn’t even do?

If so, welcome to the jealousy club.

The bottom line is that there is nothing fun about jealousy. It ruins relationships, makes you feel crazy, and gives birth to a hurtful bulb of suspicion that lives inside your heart.[1]

But trying to overcome jealousy can sometimes feel like you’re trying to control a tidal wave. You don’t mean to break the dam, but you can’t help your jealous water from gushing forth.

Nobody wants to be jealous. Jealousy can ruin an otherwise great relationship. It feeds mistrust, damages self-esteem, and rarely does any good. Yet, so many of us are powerless to stop it from overwhelming our thoughts, actions, and speech.

So, what can we do about it? How can you overcome jealousy?

Here are 8 tips for overcoming jealousy in your relationship.

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1. Count to Ten

There is nothing fun about catching your partner sending a flirty winky text to someone else or listening to them crush over some hot celeb, but are these things really worth getting upset about?

Whenever your jealousy starts to make you feel angry, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and count to ten. After ten seconds is over, ask yourself if what you’re upset about is really worth ruining your day over.

If you must bring it up, do so calmly. Instead of yelling at your partner or belittling them, simply say, “It makes me a little uncomfortable when you do ___.”

2. Trust Your Instincts

The above tip was designed for people who are dealing with unnecessary jealousy, not for those who have legitimate reasons for being suspicious of their spouse (like partners openly flirting with others, having secret friendships, or lying to you).

How do you know if your partner is being faithful? The bottom line is this: trust your instincts.

Odds are you know if you are overreacting to something silly, but if your gut is telling you that something feels off in your relationship, you’re probably right!

Talk to your partner about how you feel in a way that is calm and respectful, and get to the bottom of what’s eating your relationship.

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3. Work on Building Trust

Trust is an essential aspect of a healthy, happy, satisfying relationship. Overcoming jealousy involves having a healthy level of trust.[2]

You build trust as a couple when you:

  • Don’t lie to each other
  • Are accountable for your actions
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Express your feelings
  • Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your spouse to do
  • Show that you are reliable

By doing these things, you and your spouse will build healthy trust that will make you feel safe and loved in your relationship.

Just remember that nobody is perfect, and there will be times when you and your spouse unintentionally hurt each other – so it won’t hurt either of you to let some things slide every now and again.

4. Boost Self-Love

Jealousy often stems from self-esteem issues. You may not feel worthy of having someone’s unconditional affection or perhaps someone has betrayed your trust in the past and it has left you feeling uncomfortable giving your heart away.

Whatever the case, a healthy relationship stems from healthy levels of self-love. Boosting self-love also helps in overcoming jealousy. You can practice boosting the love and respect you have for yourself by spending time alone and learning to appreciate your own company, treating your body well, and working on self-expansion.

5. Communicate Your Feelings

What you and your partner deem appropriate relationship behavior may be completely different, which is why it’s so important to communicate your feelings openly.

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Communicating your feelings well is an important step in overcoming jealousy. Being aware of what actions and behaviors will hurt your partner and vice versa will help you and your spouse build a healthy relationship based on respect.

6. Consider Counseling

Is your jealousy getting the better of your relationship?

Most times jealousy stems from something that happened to you in the past. Perhaps you had a traumatic childhood or someone you trusted emotionally, verbally, or physically hurt you. Whatever the case, therapy can help: What Is Marriage Counseling and How It Helps Relationships

Talking to a professional in-person, via Zoom/Skype, or in a chatroom can help you get to the root of what’s causing you to act out in jealousy.

A therapist can also give you coping mechanisms to deal with anger or jealousy in the future – or they may even validate your feelings and let you know that you may have a legitimate reason for being jealous.[3]

If your partner has done something to make you suspicious of their motives, perhaps having been unfaithful in the past, it may be worth checking out some couples counseling or an online marriage course.

7. Adjust Your Relationship Expectations

One tip for overcoming jealousy is to readjust your expectations for your relationship. Find out here some unrealistic expectations people often have for relationships.

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Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you’ve lost your ability to find someone else attractive. Noticing someone outside of your current romance doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your relationship or that you’re not committed to your partner.

So long as your partner is not acting on their attraction to someone else, this is nothing to worry about.

Note that adjusting your expectations does not mean lowering your standards. You should not be with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

8. Express Jealousy in a Healthy Way

It’s important to remember that, when expressed in the right away, jealousy doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Jealousy can actually help couples to:

  • Show more appreciation for one another / not take each other for granted
  • Increase love and affection
  • Promote self-improvement
  • Work hard to make each other happy
  • Act as a messenger when things don’t seem right

But again, how you express jealousy is going to be the determining factor in how well it helps in your life. If you lash out and yell at your partner, odds are this is not going to improve your relationship. But if you respectfully express your concerns, you and your partner can use jealousy as an opportunity to learn and grow as a couple.

Final Thoughts

Jealousy doesn’t always have to be a bad thing – but if it is, you need to reign it in! You can overcome jealousy in a relationship by working on self-love, communicating respectfully with your spouse, and adjusting your expectations. These will contribute to a happy, healthy relationship.

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More Tips on Improving Relationships

Featured photo credit: Chermiti Mohamed via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other How to Leave a Toxic Relationship When You Still Love Your Partner How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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