Author Publishing Tips

Jealousy in relationships and dealing with jealousy

Jealousy in relationships is to some degree a commonly felt experience, and is a universal trait seen in all cultures. Sociologists` claim that cultural beliefs and values play an important role in determining what triggers leave us feeling jealous, whilst biologists looking at the psychology of jealousy in relationships  have identified factors which may unconsciously influence the expression of extreme jealousy.

Does this mean therefore, that the human psyche has no control over the disagreeable feeling of jealousy? To some extent yes! Jealousy serves as an umbrella term for a wide range of emotions such as fear sadness or anger, which spring from the belief that we may lose the attentions, love or commitment of a person we value. This thread remains constant from the cradle to the grave.

The intense social behaviours of the human race constantly elicit feelings of jealously, whether we recognise or admit these emotions or not. So to the next question-is jealousy always bad?-Because if it cannot be controlled and is a purely negatively charged emotion, it makes for a risky and unhealthy mix.

“Her head is tilted, neck exposed, to court those lustful stares.

As dripping sex from every pore , she offers up her wares.

And in your mind you fancied thus, as cruel suspicion grew.

Some fleeting moment quickly planned and sealed betwixt the two.”

                                                                                                  from Thief Of Hearts by Stephan J Myers

Surprisingly psychologists Robert Bringle and Robert Rydell say no- the emotion of jealousy is not all bad! How so? Well, their stance is taken by recognising a difference between reactive and suspicious jealousy. But what is the difference?

Reactive jealousy is felt when an individual has an undeniable reason to experience the fear of loss- such as a betrayal of trust. Whereas suspicious jealousy occurs with no realistic indication of the withdrawal of attention, love or commitment. Instead it is tied up with the psyche of the jealous party about the quality of their relationship with another.

Dealing With Jealousy

Granted, relationships and dealing with jealousy will always be unpredictable-Not least because it does not lie with one person to control another. In fact relationships tend to be more satisfying when based on reciprocal trust. However, as philosophers such as Epicuras and Budda maintain, what we value in life is not guaranteed to last, and so at times can cause an uneasy fear that it may be lost. If this feeling is displayed in suspicious jealousy, it can lead to destructive and damaging behaviours such as domestic abuse. This is not necessarily a problem with having the feeling, but with what we may do with it.

However, we need not be victims of our own emotions. Reactive jealousy can be a wake-up call to the reality of threats to a relationship, motivating you to take practical steps the strengthen it, and to show how important your partner is to you. It rests with each one of us to use this emotion positively, rather than allowing it to damage our relationships.

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