Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

According to Dr. Robin Stern, jealousy is an emotion a person feels when they are fearful of losing someone or a relationship that is important to them. When it comes to jealousy, the situation usually involves at least three main participants: 1. the person who is jealous, 2. the person or the thing they are afraid of losing, and 3. the person or persons they are jealous of because they represent a threat to whatever relationship is concerned. Jealousy is a negative emotion in and of itself, and it can easily snowball and lead to other negative emotions such as fear, distrust, or anger. Be vigilant.

What is it telling you?

Feeling jealous tells you that there is a part of you that requires your attention and some introspection. It’s also telling you that you need to work on a specific relationship or on some aspect of that relationship. Jealousy can also signal to you that you may be struggling with low self-esteem, feelings of insecurity, or with trust issues. No matter the situation, it should not be disregarded or ignored because, if left unaddressed, it can become toxic and breed fear of betrayal, distrust, and suspicion.  This can eventually cause irreparable damage to the most beautiful relationships.

How to manage it?
  • Be fully aware of your feelings, breathe deeply and don’t give in to the temptation of acting on them impulsively.
  • In the case of a love relationship, communicate with your partner. Be honest about your vulnerability and explain calmly and respectfully how you feel and why.
  • Strengthen your sense of self-esteem and address your wounds that may be causing you to feel insecure.
  • Trust your partner and, above all, trust and appreciate yourself and your unique value.