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How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

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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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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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