Being human sometimes means dealing with negative feelings we wish we didn’t have. I can’t think of a single person who absolutely adores feeling jealous or loves waking up to start the day with insecurities. But these feelings can and do happen—in some cases, they’re a sign of an underlying issue, and other times, mismanagement of these emotions can cripple an otherwise healthy relationship.
That’s because these are powerful feelings, ones that are hard to keep just to ourselves. We can project these feelings onto the ones we love in the form of anger, sadness, or resentment. It can make our partners feel guilty for no reason, which may influence how they feel about us…and the cycle continues.
So, how can you manage feelings of jealousy and insecurity without invalidating them?
Here are some action steps you can start taking today:
Be Honest About Your Feelings
Many of us are reluctant to admit when we’re feeling jealous or insecure, but doing so can help us start to move forward. Be honest with yourself about your feelings. Try to be as objective as possible so you can advocate for yourself with a clear head.
One of my goals is to empower people to recognize and manage these common emotions while normalizing them altogether. It’s natural to feel jealous or insecure. It’s also natural to want to suppress bad feelings, but the real magic happens when we face and work through them. Taking ownership in your own happiness starts with validation and confrontation, and you’d be surprised at how resilient you can be when you do!
Identify Where These Feelings Come From
Our experiences condition us to feel certain ways in certain situations. Can you think of what might be triggering your jealousy or insecurity? Maybe you’ve been betrayed in the past and find it hard to trust people. Or maybe a former significant other cheated on you, so you feel uncomfortable when your partner is talking to the opposite sex. Tracing your feelings to the root cause can help you look at each situation objectively.
Remember, every person feels jealous and insecure from time to time. It’s what we do with these feelings that matters. Think of each emotion, positive and negative, as individual puzzle pieces that collectively make up a bigger picture—you.
Can we use our insecurities as a road map to where we should focus self care? Can we use jealousy as an indicator that we have something we really value that we don’t want to lose? When we reframe bad feelings from being scary to being “tools,” we unlock the door to growth, acceptance and self-awareness!
Decide Whether These Feelings are True
After you’ve identified where the feelings are coming from, decide whether there’s a real cause to feel jealous or insecure in a situation or if your emotions are getting the best of you.
If you’ve concluded that these feelings are more than just a reminder of a past situation, give yourself time to process, then gather a game plan to face these emotions. If jealousy or insecurity are taking over your life, or if you feel that they may be a warning sign into a deeper issue in your relationship, lean into your intuition and get serious about digging into these signs. This might mean reaching out to a professional relationship coach for guidance, or confronting your partner to voice your concerns.
However if you recognize that your feelings of jealousy or insecurity are being projected into an imagined or hypothetical problem instead of being a real threat, remember that you don’t have to act on these emotions. Sometimes we simply need to take a deep breath and recenter ourselves in order to let go and move on. That may sound woo-woo, but with a consistent mindfulness practice, you can learn to release unnecessary negative emotions without letting them get the best of you.
Share Your Concerns
A good partnership is one where you’re able to share your concerns with each other. If your partner has done something to bring out your feelings of jealousy or insecurity, share your concerns about it. Chances are, your partner doesn’t know how you feel until you tell them.
If you’re having a hard time bringing these feelings to a partner, seeking help from a relationship coach can help you prepare for difficult conversations beforehand and enter them feeling clear headed and confident. Often, coaches will help clients decipher what issues are their own and what issues might be from a lack of communication with a partner.
The bottom line:
Getting over insecurity and jealousy in a relationship has less to do with your partner and everything to do with you. You need to be honest with yourself, validate your feelings, and find healthy ways to work through them. When you can trust and love yourself, you stand to attract more of the same.