As people, I think it’s always hard to understand emotions. I personally don’t deal well with them, I tend to shut them all out; positive or negative. But one feeling in particular really perplexes me. Jealousy can come across as a number of feelings. Many that I have experienced have focused around insecurity and trust, but there can be anger and pain. Jealousy can affect both men and women when another person comes across as threatening and normally tends to hinder relationships more than it aids them.
I find it hard to distinguish between my paranoia and jealousy. Honestly, I am a very reserved person who trusts few and guards herself against all. My paranoia is like another person living inside my head who is constantly trying to interfere with my daily life. There is a deep fear within some of us of being inadequate and that people are only out there for themselves; letting someone in appears to be a terrible idea.
I believe that deep down, I am quite a jealous person. But, with that held in a small cage, encapsulated inside my brain, I am trying hard to understand what jealousy is all about. Psychologists suggest that there are two types of jealousy; simple and complex. They argue that simple jealousy motivates reward or affection seeking behaviour that receives a positive response in order to diminish the discomforting feeling inside you. Complex jealousy is argued to motivate either overt or mental attack. It has the potential to make you devalue and control others. Simple jealousy should regulate distance between people, whereas complex jealousy will further the distance created.
However, I think it’s quite within our capacity to entwine the two. That small discomfort that starts in the pit of your stomach when you see the person most important to you go out at night, that then develops into the ridiculous obsessions where you start to distort reality. Are they enjoying someone else more than they enjoy you? Heaven forbid that we may replace the word “enjoy” with the word “love”. What have we done? Suddenly we have all these poisonous thoughts floating around our heads and we’re hurting ourselves. It may not be visible to the eye, but it still hurts. We feel inadequate and we diminish what worth we thought we had.
But maybe, in that moment where we feel small and broken, we should turn ourselves and say: “I am enough”.
I know it’s easier said than done, but finding positives in yourself is fundamental to letting someone in. Do it together; whether it be your significant other, a family member or your best friend. Find the positives in each other to highlight that as a human, a living entity who has the gift of life, you are enough. And of course, keep in mind that these feelings are OK.
I’ll be entirely honest, I’m still working on it. I’m still trying to find the positives, trying to let people in and trying to calm the green eyed monster. I think a little jealousy is healthy, helps regulate social relationships.
But we shouldn’t let it control us.