Dr. Liz talks about how to manage and decrease jealous feelings.
(Envy is the episode before this one, episode HM268.)
About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
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Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
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Hey everyone. Dr. Liz here. We may hear a couple of things going on. It’s a busy household this morning. I’m actually recording this on Mother’s Day. The dog is eating some breakfast, pets are going in and out of the pet door obsessively, like they always do. You may hear some of that in the background. Then I have a tarp over the balcony that’s leaking into my daughter’s room, coming up almost on a year that hasn’t been fixed.
We went through one contractor who was completely I don’t know if I want to call him a pathological liar or gaslighter. One in the same right. It’s pretty much one in the same. I mean, I sort of consider it a form of lying when they’re trying to convince you of something that you know isn’t true. I mean technically that’s gaslighting. He’d say stuff like, oh, we’re going to get an approval tomorrow, when I knew the city was closed tomorrow, like there’s no way an approval could come in. The city is closed tomorrow, like crazy stuff. Anyway, he had to be fired and then a new one hired. So I am still staying hopeful that thing will get fixed. But the reason I bring it up is because there’s a tarp on it with a wind that blows the tarp in and out a little bit. So it’s this background noise that goes on. I actually don’t mind it and I’m pretty noise sensitive. If you hear it. That’s what’s there. I mean, a lot of my recording filters out background noise, but sometimes stuff gets through All right.
So I did an episode on envy very recently. I realized I didn’t really talk about jealousy. I mentioned it some. I said some of the same principles could apply. I didn’t really talk about it in depth. I thought, okay, let me do a brief episode about jealousy. Now I don’t know if a brief episode qualifies as quote unquote in depth. I mean, people have written books on jealousy. They have done, I’m sure, a much longer podcast about jealousy. A long podcast is not my goal today I’m actually trying to put out a few more episodes that are shorter for people, because I realized I haven’t been recording as often for various reasons, so I’m going for a briefer here and more frequent.
Jealousy used to be a huge problem for me. Let’s define it here, in case you haven’t heard that other episode. Envy is wanting what someone else has. Jealousy is wanting something that someone is giving to someone else that you think you should have, that you really believe is yours. Meaning, let’s say, your partner is giving attention or time or gifts to someone else and you feel like those belong to you. You should have those, so then you get jealous. Another way to put it is that you’re feeling threatened that someone might take what you already have, but in that definition, it’s really just the two of you If there’s no third party going on. That I put more into fear. I actually don’t put that in jealousy. Usually, jealousy comes out if there’s a third party involved, so someone who’s typically the target of that jealousy. Now that someone may be more theoretical, yes, and someone’s mind, like for someone who’s heterosexual, and there it’s a man married to a woman and he’s scared that other men might want her, regardless of fear based, whereas envy is typically not fear based.
Now they say that jealousy is actually driven by low self-esteem, not feeling secure in yourself, and I would say that’s often true. Yes, it can be true, but I don’t think it’s always true. I allow for the possibility that someone feels very secure in themselves, but let’s say they don’t trust other people due to past relationships they’ve had or circumstances, or they don’t have a sense of spiritual trust. Let’s call it that I don’t know how you want to call that, but this sense of I’m on a certain path right now. We’re on this path together with your partner, and we may or may not be on the same path in the future, but I trust that whatever happened will be for my highest good or I’ll be able to handle whatever happens.
Now, trust of a partner is not an either or. So sometimes people feel like it is like I either trust someone or I don’t. But really trust takes time to build, but it can break in a moment. So if something happens or someone does something that breaks the trust, it’s like boom, it can feel like it’s completely gone, or it can feel like, okay, i trust this person in certain areas, but not this area And maybe that’s the area where jealousy pops up. So let’s say, you trust someone financially, you trust that they’re going to help you around the house, you trust that they’re at work when they say they’re at work but you don’t trust that they make good decisions when they’re out having fun, right. It’s like that’s like several areas where you can trust them in one area where you can’t. So sometimes that happens too.
I also believe jealousy arises from a sense of lack. So that’s how I mentioned it in the other podcast about envy that envy and jealousy are really a poverty mindset, a sense of lack of like. I can’t have that. That’s envy. I’ll never have that. Or for jealousy this is the only person in the world. There’s not a whole lot of people in the world that I can match with. And hey, I don’t know you. That may be true. I’ve never really believed that there’s only one soulmate. I really believe that you can have multiple, that we do choose people to have relationships with in this life And in terms of romantic partners. That may be one person, that may be multiple people. I don’t know what decision you made before you decided to be born here. Who knows?
But when you’re on this planet. Sometimes people still have the sense of this is the only person I can be with, and most people who’ve been divorced will tell you that’s probably not true. Like you divorce, you recover and then you discover oh, there are other people who I can be happy with. So that’s more of an overall.
What do you do in the moment? Let’s look for a moment about what the positive of jealousy is. So sometimes, when these very scary and big feelings come up for us, a good way to look at them is say what knee do they meet? What good thing does that say about us? And for jealousy, it may be that I really love this person, I’m very attached to them, that I care deeply. That may be the positive side of jealousy.
You can look at your jealousy and ask is there something that I feel like I’m not getting or that I’m missing in this relationship? So perhaps when your partner talks to their friend and you’re jealous of that time that they’re spending with their friend, you look at that and check in. Well, do I feel like I’m getting enough of their attention and time myself? And for a moment, let’s assume you’re not narcissistic and it’s not all about you. Then you can check in with that and either express that need or reassure yourself. I really am getting enough time with them, so let me just leave them alone with their friend, like they need other things other than me.
Sometimes jealousy comes down to that feeling like you want to be the only important person in your partner’s life or that they should meet all of your needs and you should meet all of theirs. That’s one of the myths of marriages and committed relationship That you should be meeting all of your partner’s needs and your partner should be meeting all of your needs. That is impossible, people impossible. When they study marital values over decades that shifted and became very popular, like in the 2000s forward I say even a little bit earlier than that late 1990s, i would say to where it became. This concept of your partner should be everything to you versus before that was really like your partner meets certain needs. But we also have these other relationships in our lives that meet needs, like friends or community members, like a church, a church, a minister, the person you know down at the corner store that you interact with, your family members, like people, have different roles in your life and your partner was not expected to meet every single need you have for socialization and conversation and intimacy and feeling heard and seen.
So when this began to shift, the relationship experts who study all this stuff begin to really say, hey, this is not a good pattern. That’s happening. No one can meet every need that you have, and when you expect them to, then it creates two things not just jealousy, but also a feeling of dependence, like this person should meet all of my needs. So then why don’t they feel like I can meet all of their needs? and then boom, there’s the seed of jealousy.
Sometimes you have to look at your own dependency needs. Since I just mentioned, it Very, very common to have one partner that’s more social than the other, and then the partner doesn’t understand why does that person want to go out all the time? They can get into these cycles of thinking. Do they not want to be with me? Do they not enjoy my company? And then that leads to jealousy of people they are spending time with. So for that it’s like look at your own needs and also look at the needs of your partner.
So again it comes back to you can’t meet every single need that your partner has, nor should you try to or expect them to do that for you. So it may be looking at where the area is in my own self that I need to develop. Do I need to make some more friends? Do I try out different hobbies to see what’s a good fit for me? How do I make my own plans for a day? What feels good to me? Now I’m a big introvert and my husband’s an extrovert and we mostly work this out at the beginning of a relationship. Sometimes it still pops up for me.
Like I said in the other episode, decreasing jealousy and envy has been work that I’ve done my whole life And in that episode I talk about this flash of recognition that this came from my childhood, when I was talking to my sister one day and she expressed some jealousy And it was just the way she said it and how she said it that I was like wow, like this issue comes from my family. It’s deeper than my adult life. Back to my husband he does like to go out and he said pretty early anything I’m doing, you’re welcome to come along, which went a long way to create trust for me, because I have been in several relationships where I had been cheated on. In one relationship that the person cheated on me with like multiple people or talking like five ongoing, i love you type of relationships that this guy had going And I was just one of them, and then other women on top of that that he was trying to hook up with and fill up relationships with or just hook up with. And that is a relationship that led me to start to step foot into a 12th step program, the sex and love addiction program, because often if you’re in a relationship like that now obviously I didn’t know this was going on the whole time I did it. I finally discovered this at the end, but often sex and love addicts will partner with each other. So I had to look at my own stuff and 12th step has been truly transformational for me in my life, my work, my mothering truly transformational.
Back to what I’m talking about. my current husband knew that I had trust issues because who wouldn’t after that And so he offered that very early on. Now I don’t always want to go with him. In fact, mostly I don’t want to go with him because most of what he does involves golf, which I like golf. I like to ride along, worked on my short game now for a couple of years and I’m a good putter. But I’m not playing two rounds of golf every weekend or two days out of the weekend, certainly not. So anyway, it didn’t matter what he was doing. He said you’re welcome to come. A guy’s trip, I’m welcome to come along. Now, I’m not going on a guy’s trip, he’s no thanks, that’s a guy’s trip, you know. But there are certain actions that partners can do to help you establish trust and feel reassured. Now, just because a guy said, hey, this is a guy’s trip, I don’t want you coming along, doesn’t mean that he’s up to shenanigans.
I think that is actually a boundary issue that is perfectly fine to set. Like, I’m going on a vacation with my friends, basically, and we want to hang out and just be ourselves, and when partners come, that changes the dynamics.
You know, I was watching the Adam Sandler movie Grownups. It’s an older movie. I think it was put out in 2010. If you like Adam Sandler, it is a super funny movie because it’s like five guys in a vacation house with their spouses and kids. But then there are parts where it’s just the guys and the dynamic is different. Of course, it is because those are longtime friends versus all the dynamics that happen when partners are there or children. Children change those dynamics. So I’m not saying that my husband’s offer is a solution to trust or jealousy, but in our particular relationship, it went a long way that he would offer that to increase trust. And maybe he offered because he knew I’d never take him up on that. I don’t know. So there are certain ways that our partners can do that for us. I don’t see jealousy as just in a vacuum.
Jealousy often goes along with trust in whether you’re developing and making efforts to continue trust in your relationship.
Often jealousy is about a lack of control, like not feeling like you can control everything. So then the urge is to control your partner and what they do.
To me, it’s deeper about even control in life, and the opposite of that is trust. So trusting this is going back to the beginning. Trusting that whatever happens in my life is a journey that I need and I will be able to handle that. So if you have a lack of trust in that, then sometimes that spills over into your partner and you want to control them. I hope that makes sense. It’s like, hey, I don’t want my life to change, I like it how it is. So I’m going to try to control my partner so that nobody takes them away from me because I don’t think I can handle that Or that is for my greatest good in learning spiritually and practically. So instead I’m going to try to control them so that that never happens. All right, hope that makes it make sense a little bit more. Okay, I said a brief episode here, so I’m going to wrap this up. I hope some of these tips help you with jealousy, just here at the end.
I published a free hypnosis for romantic jealousy back in the early days of the podcast, episode 82. If you’re struggling and you want to give that a listen, you can go to drlizhypnosis.com/episode 82. And it will be there, or you could search it up on your podcast app. Alright everyone. I hope you’re happy, healthy and safe. Peace.