A reader asked about an “elaboration” on jealousy: How it generates, how it works and how to get rid of it.
The sharing offered comes out of observing that emotion in motion…
Why do I feel jealous?
Because there is a separation between me and another.
That separation brings a feeling of “competing” with another, rivalry to a person or a need to posses a person. The need to dominate.
You cannot be jealous of things.
When we feel that someone is not part of our “group” or does not belong to our “circle” and we consider that person a rival, then there is jealousy when something “good” has happened to the perceived “rival.”
Observe how you separate from a person. Observe the feeling of competition coming in you. Observe how that rivalry takes over which will not allow you to enjoy their advancements.
For this type of jealousy to occur, there has to be comparison going on in our minds. That comparison brings the feeling that we need to “keep up,” that we need to be “better,” we need to “dominate.”
This type of jealousy is observed everywhere: at work, in the religious group, among relatives, friends, etc.
Ralph is a computer geek. He boasts about his computer knowledge with everyone and that is how he maintains a “status” as an “expert” at work. Ralph challenges his supervisor constantly. Ralph is jealous because Ralph believes that his supervisor does not have the knowledge that he has, but yet he is supervising him. Ralph is not willing to follow his supervisor’s directions and becomes confrontational.
Eve and Joyce belong to a religious group. Eve has always admired Joyce’s way of speaking and addressing the public in her religious talks. Eve wants to be as popular as Joyce, but her gift of public speaking is not as efficient. Eve feels jealous every time someone from the public congratulates Joyce.
The teacher said in the classroom. “I want to congratulate Carl, today. He is the only one who has scored 100 in the test. The rest of you have the possibility to become like him. Just study harder to keep up with him.”
The teacher unwillingly has set up the right environment for jealousy if Carl has any “competitors” there.
This type of jealousy can advance into cowardice. Once a jealous individual acknowledges that he/she cannot keep up with his/her rival, then “back stabbing” will be used as a way of dealing with his own jealousy.
There is jealousy in “loving” relationships as well.
Sandra is “in love” with Mark. One day, Tracy comes in and Mark makes a comment about her beautiful watch. Sandra is present and she starts feeling jealous. Sandra has not gotten such a compliment from him. The word “beautiful” towards another woman, even though it was about a watch, is something that Sandra cannot take very well.
Sandra cannot stand the thought that Mark could express something nice about another woman. Sandra has to be his “everything.”
When there is no complete possession, because of a rival, there is jealousy.
Thus, how do we get rid of that jealousy?
Simply by recognizing that it is there when it appears. Simply by recognizing that “rivalry” has arrived.
When we are aware of its presence and just observe it; that sensation will go away by itself. Normally, what we do is we react immediately with pain and suffering or we think about it and give “life” to that sensation. “How is it possible for Mark to say that about Tracy? I feel disappointed. Mark is not loyal with me… etc.” Greater quantity of thoughts means grater fire to ignite dormant emotions.
Thus, the main problem is not feeling jealous, but the sense of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth which is expressed every time we compare to another.
Once those hidden emotions are understood through looking in our lives those episodes where those emotions were triggered, then we are making the necessary steps to understand the self.
For example, the sense of insecurity may have come to Sandra when she was left by her father, when Sandra was a 7-year-old kid. Sandra felt that she could not rely on people anymore. Therefore, when Sandra finds someone like Mark and feels that now Mark is all for “her,” Sandra is covering that insecurity with someone. When that someone does not meet her “criteria,” then Sandra feels disappointed, then that evolves into anger for she feels betrayed even though it is an insignificant thing for a grown up… however for Sandra’s inner child, it is not. 🙂
The above is just an example of the type of work that we need to be willing to do to understand ourselves.
Once we recognize that the source of jealousy is not really jealousy in itself caused by “others,” we can see that we need to find out the cause of that jealousy in ourselves.
“We” are the problem and the solution.