Vanessa Hill explains where jealousy comes from and what we can do to work with this difficult emotion.
“It’s a constellation of emotions ranging from fear of loss and anxiety to anger, sadness, and humiliation, ” Hill says.
Jealousy can be genetic. One study from 2013 found that about a third of jealousy is determined by our genes. But personality factors, like having low self - esteem, can also determine whether we tend toward feelings of jealousy or not.
Jealousy’s Mind Traps
Hill says jealousy becomes problematic when it arises in imagined scenarios, which can cause us to make three major “cognitive mistakes” that lead us to misinterpret the truth:
1. Mind - reading: When you assume someone you care for, such as a spouse, is romantically interested in another person despite not having any reason for it.
2. Personalizing: When you interpret everything in relation to yourself. For example, you may assume a friend who cancels plans because they’re sick actually just doesn’t want to see you.
3. Fortune - telling: When you predict the future actions of a person, like assuming your boss will give your new coworker a promotion over you.
“It’s ok to feel jealous sometimes, but there’s a difference between controlling it and letting it control you, ” Hill says.
“It’s important to realize that jealousy itself is a normal reaction, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed about it, ” Hill says. “It’s a wakeup call that there’s danger, forcing us to take steps to preserve a valued relationship. ”
Doubts on this article