Welcome to the life of an American female. Aimlessly wandering the road of youth and adulthood, she shares her tales of growing pains, discoveries and ideas. There might also be a pinch of happiness, a dash of light, and a micro-amount of wisdom within. The author is not liable for any psychological damages you may incur while reading this blog.

The author put it best when she said, "My humor is like a good martini - extra dry and sometimes served dirty."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On Jealousy and Insecurity

Admit it. At some point, you've let your insecurities get the best of you and succumbed to that ugly green monster known as jealousy.

Whether it's over looks, attention, or possessions, jealousy is never a pretty thing. It also won't get you what you want. On the contrary, it's likely to make you lose what you already have. Jealousy is like always looking back - you'll miss out on all the great moments you could have been enjoying.

Hey, keep on fussing that your brother got a bigger burger than you.
This dog will eat them all, no questions asked.
The world won't end if you find yourself feeling the twinges of jealousy one day. (Seriously, it's ok.) We all feel a little jealous about one thing or another at some point in our lives. What really matters is what you DO with those feelings. If you let them consume you, you will become paranoid and bitter...if not downright spiteful. You'll spiral down deeper and deeper, and, before you know it, your world is no longer just green with jealousy, it's empty. That's right. Empty. That's because no one wants to hang with an overly jealous person. They're a drag. I know, because I've both been one and hung with a few.


The good news is that jealousy can be managed better with maturity, which typically comes with age. It's not uncommon to have direct battles with jealousy in your teens. If you're still facing the same battles in your thirties and using the same management techniques as when you're a teen (which usually equals none), well friend, you're in trouble. Get a grip on that. Like, now.

That's so not cute.

In my particular case, my jealousy wasn't over someone else's possessions. My issues were, like many women's, mostly centered around my boyfriend at the time. I was young (16) when we started dating. My boyfriend's way of avoiding conflict or even remotely difficult questions was to not divulge any information and more or less just lie. 

For example, he was invited to a graduation party by a girl that was part of his (supposed) old circle of friends. I told him I wasn't comfortable with it, and it almost turned into an argument because he felt I was making something of nothing. He claimed they had always been just friends and there was no reason he couldn't have female friends. Of course, his tune changed later when I happened over a giant bundle of notes he had saved from her, one of which detailed a pregnancy scare she had had after having sex with him. Just friends? Um, no. Needless to say, omissions like this created deep trust issues that seriously delayed my battle with common teenage jealousy issues. 

"What? She just needed a place to crash. It's not like we're naked."
That boyfriend has since became my husband and we're expecting our first baby together. Clearly, we worked through our communication and jealousy issues and built a stronger bond, rather than letting the little things tear us apart. When it comes to jealousy in a relationship, it's important to remember that communication is key...and communication is a two-way street. If you don't voice your concerns, you can't expect to be heard or have your feelings considered. (Note that it's not just speaking up, it's what you say and how you say it!) When you feel jealous, it's important to stop and ask yourself exactly what it is that is making you feel that way. Nine times out of ten, it's rooted somewhere in your own insecurities. If you can isolate what is making you feel jealous, you can make the conscious decision to change your behavior. Whatever you do, don't undervalue your feelings. You're having them for a reason, whether it's due to your own insecurities or something else entirely (like poor communication). 

Yep. Get to know that person in the mirror. 

I think jealousy is a pretty natural human behavior, it's just one of many behaviors you have to learn to manage appropriately. Unbridled jealousy can wreak havoc on relationships and your own sanity. Identify it, own it, overcome it. :) 

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