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Jealousy image
(Prawny, Morguefile)

  • Easy way to remember Jealousy: Jealousy is the emotion when you fear you may be replaced in the affection of someone you love or desire. (Diffen, undated, accessed 16 April 2016)
  • Feeling of inadequacy to a known or unknown competitor. (Paul Solomon)
  • Jealousy may indicate insecurity, fear of loss of control, the prospect of being wounded again. Jealousy is trying to protect you from something. It may be time to: make peace with the old wound; have fun with the current situation (see David DeAngelo); or discuss the boundaries of the relationship; or practise indifference or detachment; or move away from the current situation; or move the love to a higher level (see O.M. Aïvanhov)?
  • Questions to self: Is it time for Self-Love? Or to let it pass? Or talk? Or move on? Or move higher?
  • Similar emotions: Envy.
  • Opposite emotions: .
The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is the emotion of coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else. (Diffen, undated, accessed 16 April 2016)

Jealousy image
  • Bach Flower Remedies: Holly [feeling left out, unloved], Rock Rose [extreme upset].
  • California Flower Essences: Fairy Lantern [neediness, wussiness].

Many people have assumed that jealousy is a social construction of human beings - or that it's an emotion specifically tied to sexual and romantic relationships. Our results challenge these ideas, showing that animals besides ourselves display strong distress whenever a rival usurps a loved one's affection.
(Professor Christine Harris cited at BBC, posted and accessed 24 July 2014)

Human jealousy is a complicated emotion, requiring a "social triangle" and usually arising when an interloper threatens an important relationship. It is said to be the third leading cause of non-accidental homicide across cultures.
(BBC, posted and accessed 24 July 2014)

It must be remembered, however, that jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening. (Maya Angelou)

There is a positive side to mild mutual flirting. It can increase confidence, elevate mood and keep the twinkle in your eye. Studies have shown that if a man becomes aware that he has a rival in the vicinity, his sperm count goes up - so there may even be a natural, procreative benefit and reason for extra-marital attractions.
(Dr Pamela Connolly, 'Talking Flirty' in Psychologies magazine January 2009 p.45)

David DeAngelo advice for men and jealousy felt when dating includes:-
  • ‘If you focus on the competition it will only distract you and cause you problems. Forget other guys and what they're doing. Just focus on what you're doing and your own success. It's very natural to let competition upset you... and jealousy is a very real emotion. But remember, it isn't going to help you in most cases. Just do your best, keep using the techniques, and stick to your methods. Chances are that any other guys involved will screw it up at some point, and you will be the one left with the prize. Note: In situations like this one, us guys often start to put too much value on getting the girl BECAUSE there are other guys involved. We think to ourselves "Well, this other guy likes her, so she must be something REALLY special. Even more than I thought." This leads to making all kinds of mistakes, being a wuss, acting clingy, etc. Don't fall into this trap.’
  • He suggests men prepare for jealousy by developing Inner Game and Outer Game. When out on a date, he says: (1) Expect other guys to hit on your date; (2) Learn how to have fun with it (as most men are poor at pick-up; so, watch, then discuss with her afterwards); (3) Suggest that she date the guy. One of his favourite things to do is say, "Hey, you guys would make a cute couple... I think you should go for him." Of course, this is all said in a light, fun way. (4) If you suspect she’s trying to make you jealous, go and talk to other women (also, consider that she may not be ideal for you). Let her come and find you.
  • ‘The point I'm making is that you MUST get over that fear/insecurity/jealousy issue, and realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. The only power that other guys will have with your date is the power that you GIVE them... so don't give them any power by acting like a WUSS. Keep your power for yourself. The main reason that other guys try to hit on your girl is because they don't have one themselves.’
Jealousy – the feeling men and women experience when they sense that the person they wish to keep exclusively for themselves is slipping away from them – is always a source of great suffering, and even despite much effort, it is very difficult to overcome. The only effective method is to learn to move your love to a higher level. Would a woman who loves a man because of his spirit, his heart and his knowledge, not wish for as many people as possible to recognize him, appreciate him and want to meet him? If her love focuses on this man’s intellectual, moral and spiritual qualities, she does not hold on to him, to his physical presence, for what she loves in him is something subtle, intangible, that nothing and no one can take away from her. And the same goes for a man with regard to a woman. Do you want to escape the clutches of jealousy? Train your love; lift it to a higher level. Jealousy is inextricably bound up with sensual love. So long as you are physically attached to someone, you will want them to belong to you alone. But if you love them spiritually, you will want to introduce them to other people so that they too can appreciate their qualities and benefit from them. (O.M. Aïvanhov)


This is part of a series on Emotion

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Page last updated: 24 April 2022.