Jealousy and anger are frequent issues in intimate relationships. Often these emotions are difficult to control and seem to have a life of their own. You can effectively control feelings of anger and jealousy by learning what is going on behind the scenes in your mind. With this knowledge and the use of several self-check techniques, you can stay in complete control or your emotions and not risk damaging the most important relationships in your life.
What is Jealousy?
Jealously is an emotion based on fear. It’s assumed that jealousy is a negative emotion, but that is only true if it’s not dealt with in a productive manner. Jealously is a perfectly natural reaction to the fear of losing someone important to you. If you didn’t feel some jealousy at some point in your intimate relationships, that would be highly unusual. Discussing your feeling with your partner can lead to positive changes and a more satisfying relationship for both parties.
How does it become a problem?
It’s crucial to recognize your feelings of jealousy and talk to your partner about them as soon as it’s reasonably possible. Get the answers from the source before your mind has time to make up its own answers. When your mind is left to deal with feelings of jealousy, it often goes back to past experiences and relationships or comes to conclusions that are typically not based entirely on the reality of the situation.
Remember, jealousy is fear based and when our brains process fear, emotions can spiral out of control. As emotions take hold, jealousy can quickly lead to anger. The longer you obsess about being jealous, the more the anger builds until all logic and reason is clouded and retribution and revenge seem like the only solution. Of course, this jealous rage is the extreme end of the spectrum but you can see where it can lead and how important it is to recognize the process of escalation before you’re in the midst it.
What can I do about my anger?
There are several self-talk techniques you can use to help you manage anger and jealousy. You can do them anywhere and it only takes a few moments. As an easy way to remember them when you’re angry, just think of the word “bite” as an acronym. To take the “bite” out of anger, follow these steps;
Breathe – When you feel overwhelming anger, you need to stop and remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes. Then focus on nothing but one breath in and one breath out. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this a few times until you feel like you can move on to the next step.
Inform – Take this time to let your brain know who the boss is. Remind your brain that you are not your emotions and that you are not going to be ruled by them. Your emotions are simply feelings that come and go and do not tell the whole story. Tell your brain you are going to look at all the information and come to a rational conclusion.
Test – Ask yourself some crucial questions to test your thoughts, such as: Am I sure I’m right? Could there be another explanation? Do I have all the information? Automatic thoughts are often wrong when challenged and usually do not stand up to rational scrutiny.
Exhaust – Let the anger go. It doesn’t serve you here, whether you are right or wrong. Letting it go doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it means moving beyond it. Go back to the beginning, take a deep breath in though your nose and out through your mouth and visualize this as toxic exhaust leaving your body. Repeat each step as needed until you feel your anger has subsided.
Learning to recognize jealousy as a normal emotion and handling it before it turns to anger is possible and successful with enough practice. Follow the steps outlined above and you can have relationships free from the negative effects of jealousy and anger.