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Taming the green-eyed monster

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JealousyThe green-eyed monster as it is often referred to is often held responsible for causing problems in many a marital relationship. But, a closer look at the origin of this emotion will reveal that it is deep-rooted in human nature and if managed well it can be quite harmless.

According to sociologists, this emotion was born out of the innate need to protect one’s relationships. In pre-historic times when the number of people inhabiting the earth was much lesser than the number of people that inhabit it today it was imperative to build relationships and protect and preserve them.

Because, very often it meant the difference between survival and death. If you look at a scenario where the much dreaded jealousy is making an appearance you will notice that the feeling is almost accompanied by a feeling of possession - this person belongs to me and fear of rejection or abandonment.

Though we have come a long way since those primeval times our instincts have been trained to react to any kind of threat that we may feel to our relationship. In other words, it is alright to experience a few pangs of jealousy now and then. But, the trouble starts when it is a lingering feeling.

If your relationship is one where there is a constant feeling of jealousy then it is time to take stock. Ask yourself two pertinent questions- 1. Is the source of this emotion your reaction to what might be an instinct rooted in your subconscious mind?
2. Or is stemming from some legitimate fear which is generated by hard evidence? If your answer to either of these questions is in the affirmative it is time for you to take steps to cure the situation.

  • The first thing to do is to be aware when the monster raises its head or take note of the time when jealousy attacks.
  • The next step is to spot what triggers the feeling.
  • Next, try to identify why you react the way you do to those particular triggers. It could be that you are enacting the once bitten, twice shy maxim. But it could also be that you are suffering from low self-esteem. For instance- Reema was always jealous of Neeta her friend. Though apparently it seemed that this was because Neeta seemed to be the obvious choice of the opposite sex. But on deeper analysis you will see it is because Reema thought that this happened because Neeta was “better than her”.
  • The next step is to talk about your feelings to your partner. Here is a word of caution. Most of these “supposed to be communication exercises end up in being communication deadlocks because it begins with “you statements’ rather than “I statements”. For instance a spouse would say something like, “you are always flirting with that girl.” This makes the other partner go on the defensive as he/ she thinks that he is blamed. Whereas, something like, “I feel terrible every time I see you flirting with that girl” makes room for discussion.
  • If you feel that none of the positive steps taken by you are helping to resolve the issue seek the help of a professional. A psychologist or a family counselor can help you to handle the issue.

Now go ahead and tame the green eyed monster, if you’ve already been attacked. And the rest can be on the look out. Cause if you are not aware it might just play havoc with your relationship.

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