Because I find that there are almost only bad photos on the subject of jealousy, you better get a nice photo from my current stay in Colombia. ————–
As you know, I’ve been jealous for a long time. It is important to me to write appreciatively about it and also in my workshops I follow an Embracing jealousy approach. After each workshop I go home with new insights and ideas and get to know new ideas and methods for dealing with jealousy. In the following article I would like to share some of my favourite tips with you, as I don’t want to be the only one who benefits from it.
Breathe and admit
Jealousy is a complex network of emotions. On the one hand this makes it difficult to understand where the feeling has its origin and on the other hand it is rarely a great help to come up with the apparently most conclusive and convincing arguments. Why? Because the emotions that come out with jealousy are there whether you want them or not. Like all the other things we feel, they have a justification for existence and therefore cannot be put aside for argumentation. I find it especially hard to admit to myself that I am jealous sometimes. For a while I even thought that my goal should be to “rid myself of my jealousy”. I wanted to embrace it and understand it as a part of myself. I think that I could only understand and get to know my jealousy when I once (probably 100 times) breathed deeply and admitted to myself that I was jealous.
Feel comfortable when I feel uncomfortable
I like to compare this point with a jellyfish. The sea in which they are located can change at any time. Sometimes it can be rough, stormy, unpredictable or unpredictable and sometimes quiet. The situation is similar with jealousy. Sometimes it happens that so many stressful situations in my life occur at once and I react much more to frightening moments of jealousy than I am used to. Then it is particularly important for me that I have different limits and needs in such moments than I would have at a time in my life when everything would be relaxed and calm. Just because I feel comfortable with something doesn’t mean that I will always do it at any time. I think it is perfectly okay that everything does not always have to be open in open relationships at any time. This means for me that I always ask myself what I need to feel comfortable when I feel uncomfortable.
For some people, including me, it can totally help to do something with the accumulated energies. Sometimes I feel sadness, anger or annoyance bursting. For example, it helps me to write and let my thoughts flow, it’s like a vehicle for my feelings. Jealousy is often also something very physical, so it can also help to shake, scream or do any other physical activity to get away from the possible feeling of powerlessness.
A question of structure
For people who like to structure things, and again I feel very much addressed ), it can be helpful to understand emotions on a scale. For example, many situations related to jealousy can start with an initial irritation or feeling of confusion. If you imagine a scale now, my next example would be frustration or anger. Somewhere in the middle there would be anger and at the end anger, because I understand anger as something long-lasting and longer-term as anger.
So it can be helpful to orientate yourself along your own emotions and ask yourself: In which direction do I want to move?
Which feeling is weaker or stronger for me than anger, irritation or rage? And very important: Is it okay if I “only” get angry? and because I can’t say it often enough, again here: don’t judge yourself too hard.
Transferring Methods from Other Areas
There are a multitude of methods from other areas that can be wonderfully applied to jealousy. There is the area of phobias, where people often try to approach fear step by step. In the context of jealousy, this can mean that if someone is afraid that the relationship person is staying overnight with a lover, for example, a slow approach to the situation can help. This can mean, for example, that you first arrange to meet at a time when the relationship person comes home or to a meeting point and let the other person feel that they want to take their feelings into consideration. In the next step, the time could be shifted backwards or become flexible, etc. I think it is very important not to forget that in such situations everyone involved can usually compromise in some way and the situation can be tense or sensitive. Another method can be the four phases of Verena Kast’s mourning. For me, jealousy often has to do with letting go of existing patterns and embracing new things. That means that sometimes it takes me a while to mourn the past.
Get to know your Metamour
One of my first positive experiences with jealousy had to do with a meeting with two other people. It was the first time that I had an actual encounter with the feared lover of my partner. I hadn’t really understood two things before. First, that this person is not a magic unicorn and is just as little perfect as I am. Second, that I could actually find these person very sympathetic and nice. This very first meeting made me enormously relieved and it de-mystified a lot for me. I thought I was meeting someone about magical, but the person was just as nervous and insecure as I was. We got along quite well and afterwards it was much easier for me to deal with the situation. I think the fact that this person was no longer a figment of my imagination, to whom I could imply all sorts of qualities and malevolence, made it easier. I also realized that I myself made the decision to let this person into my life. It no longer felt so forced and determined from the outside, but rather self-determined.
The wonderful Elisabeth Sheff introduced the three D’s on psychology today some time ago. These are made up of discuss (= talking to each other and trying to find out what caused the jealousy. it can help to sit back to back to talk. This makes you physically close and at the same time it can be easier to talk and listen to each other. Besides, you don’t immediately see the sad, angry or injured face of the other person and can better get involved in what has been said), distract (= this is basically about selfcare. I don’t have to sit at home and try to deal with jealousy alone while my relationship person is on an exciting date. Jealousy is not an exam, it’s really okay to get support if it helps you:)), do (= doing nice and meaningful things together, making plans and planning little adventures together. When I am envious and jealous that my relationship person has an exciting date, it sometimes helps me to know that we have something nice planned together next weekend or in the near future. Elisabeth Sheff writes at this point only about sex or physical closeness in general, but I like to extend it to quality time.
Fancying other people together
A little tip at the end. I have noticed that I really enjoy talking to my relationships about little flirts or moments of attraction. For one thing, because I won’t fall out of all clouds when I realize again that of course I’m not the only person who my partners find interesting on this planet. Secondly, because these moments of attraction are usually so short and brief that they represent a platform for small thought experiments. So I can sometimes imagine what it would do to me if more would come out of it. That brings jealousy and the emotions associated with it closer to me.