Be prepared to lose them: People with quite high self-esteem can experience intense jealousy if they tend to feel they themselves must always be the centre of things. People like this tend to look at other people as material property. And maybe they just don’t want to share that ‘property’, even as far as letting their partner innocently smile or socialise with another person. But people are not objects or toys to be constantly guarded. To love someone properly, we need to be prepared to lose them. Anger, fear, and jealousy drive out love; and love needs a strong dash of fearlessness to flourish.
Don’t play games: People sometimes try to make themselves feel better by trying to get their partner jealous. Don’t do this. Flirting with other men or women all the time in front of your partner; constantly saying how attractive, fun, and witty someone you work with is; and going out of your way to talk about past lovers just demeans you and won’t make either of you feel better in the long run. Keep your dignity long-term and ditch the game playing.
Differentiate between make-believe with reality: Jealousy, like many psychological problems is driven by the destructive use of the imagination. The imagination is great…if you use it for your own benefit, not if it messes with your mind. Stop trusting your imagination so much. Think about it:
Your partner is home later than you thought they were going to be.
You start to imagine them having an intimate drink with that handsome guy you saw working in her office or that luscious sister of his new gym partner you happened to see one time.
You become angry, upset, frightened – without having any evidence that what you imagined is real.
They come home and you react ‘weirdly’ by being very cold or you have an outburst of anger toward them.
They become defensive and angry back in turn.
Make yourself feel better, not worse
Try this exercise: Close your eyes and relax. Now think about the type of scenario that makes you the most jealous. Is it knowing your partner is out and you imagining them with someone else? Is it seeing them talking and laughing with someone else?
Now, breathing deeply and focusing on relaxing different parts of your body in turn, just imagine seeing yourself looking calm, relaxed, even disinterested in that type of situation. Because ultimately in life we only have ourselves to answer to, and you can only truly control yourself. Visualize your partner doing all the things that made you feel jealous and see yourself not responding with jealousy, but rather with calm detachment. The more you can do this, the less jealousy will be able to mess with you.