How to Stop Being Jealous

Three Parts:Identifying Jealous FeelingsTackling Jealousy from WithinLearning to Trust and Let Go

Feeling jealous is pretty natural, but it's only dragging you down. Jealousy can drive a large wedge between you and your loved one, and can cause you to do regrettable things you wouldn't otherwise. Curbing these emotions can be difficult, but is often necessary in order to move forward and secure your relationship. This can be as easy as simply distracting yourself, or as serious as tackling the underlying causes of your insecurity.

Part 1
Identifying Jealous Feelings

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    Identify the situation that's triggering your feelings of jealousy. You may feel jealous when:
    • The guy or girl you like is hanging out with other people, leaving you feeling neglected.
    • Your best friend seems to prefer spending time with other people.
    • One of your parents starts spending time with a new partner.
    • One of your kids seems to prefer being with the other parent instead of with you.
    • Someone else gets the recognition that you deserve at work or gets credit for something that you did in a school club.

Part 2
Tackling Jealousy from Within

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    Build your self-confidence. Jealousy is usually a by-product of insecurity and low self-worth. You may have fears of being abandoned or rejected by someone close to you. Or, you could be pouring your whole identity into just one obsession or passion, so that when it doesn't go your way, the loss of control or unwanted outcome really shakes your confidence.
    • The best way to build your self-esteem is to act the way that a confident person would act. Make decisions as though you have all of the confidence in the world. Eventually, your feelings will catch up with your actions.
    • When confident people get abandoned or ridiculed, it doesn't break them. They know that people are short-sighted sometimes, and they don't blame themselves.
    • You are good enough. Even if you've messed up, you just need to look at it as a chance to learn something new. That's what confident people do best. Nothing stops them.
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    Avoid comparing yourself to other people. Make friends with someone who you think has it all, and you'll discover that even this person has his or her own hidden struggles.
    • Even famous and beautiful celebrities have struggles that you can't see. They may get passed over for movie roles that they want, they may lose a big game or they may struggle with drugs and alcohol. Just because someone looks great on the outside doesn't mean that things are going great on the inside.
    • Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, think about the positive qualities, skills and character traits that you bring to the table. It all goes back to becoming more confident. You have so many great qualities and physical attributes that no one can take away from you.
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    Do the opposite of what a jealous person would do. When you feel jealousy taking over, don't react in a destructive way by making accusations, giving someone the silent treatment or dropping little sarcastic hints. Instead, try to do what a trusting person would do in your place.
    • If a friend is going to spend time with someone else, for example, recommend a good movie or restaurant.
    • If the guy or girl you like is talking to someone else, join the conversation in a friendly way.
    • When someone else gets the job that you want, be nice instead of being sneaky or trying to undermine the other person. Instead, congratulate the person and offer to help them be successful.
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    Recognize the paranoia that is a part of jealousy. Jealousy causes you to react to a fantasy scenario that's all in your mind. In reality, the bad things that you're imagining may never happen at all. And if they do, you're strong enough to get through them. You have other people that you can count on in your life, and you'll move on to become a better person.
    • Your boyfriend or girlfriend may call an ex to express condolences when something awful happens, like the person's mother dies. Don't go crazy about it. First of all, the person that you love isn't necessarily hung up on an ex. Second of all, your boyfriend or girlfriend is being nice and considerate, and that's 1 of the reasons that you love him or her so much.
    • Your child may form nurturing relationships with other adults. You may think that your child loves someone more than you, but that suspicion is probably untrue. It takes a village to raise a child, and your child deserves love from as many good people as possible.

Part 3
Learning to Trust and Let Go

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    Be trusting. This is a lot easier said than done. If you get jealous easily, you've probably had your trust broken in the past. You have to stop thinking about the past and put yourself in the present. Look at the person who's making you jealous. Has this person ever given you a reason not to trust him/her?
    • If the person has never disappointed you, then you need to assume the best about the person, not the worst. A good friend will try to support your lack of trust, but only for so long. You're probably transferring your own fears about someone else onto a perfectly good person. And trust is a risk. You have to accept the risk of being wrong to get the benefits that come with trust when you're right.
    • If someone repeatedly hurts you, then you have to steer clear of the relationship. In this case, you have a really good reason not to trust the person. Move on! You deserve better.
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    Listen to your feelings without blowing things out of proportion. Your feelings are telling you something valuable. If you're feeling jealous, your emotions are telling you that something is happening that you don't like. They may or may not be accurate (you'll learn to assess this by being open to exploring the feelings) but sometimes, your gut reaction is warning you that there is something you need to be observant about.
    • For example: Your boyfriend or girlfriend may be more flirtatious with other people than you would like. Rather than assuming the worse, realize that your partner may not even realize that their behavior bothers you. Nevertheless, boundaries need to be set so you both know what's appropriate and what's not in terms of interacting with other people. Ask your partner where he or she draws the line (Flirting? Kiss on the cheek? Peck on the lips? Shoulder massage? Dancing?). See if your partner's boundaries match up with your preferences. Together you can then work through the issues. Talk it over until you can find common ground. Once it's established, trust your partner and don't let jealousy get the best of you.
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    Have reasonable expectations about how much time someone can devote to you. If your child or partner isn't spending any time with you, then you may have valid concerns. But if someone spends a good deal of time with you, and you never feel like it's enough, then you're demanding too much.
    • Look at yourself. What's making you so needy that you can't be happy unless this other person is around?
    • Branch out and spend more time with other people, or find an activity that makes you happy. Sometimes, all you need to do is to take better care of yourself instead of focusing all of your energy on someone else.
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    Develop an optimistic view of people. Ultimately, jealousy is a fear-based behavior. You're spending a lot of time worrying about something bad that hasn't happened yet, and might not happen at all. Unfortunately, you're creating a situation where bad things could happen because of all of your negative feelings. Ironic, isn't it? It's called a "self-fulfilling prophecy." If you believe in someone, believe in them completely. Good people deserve the benefit of the doubt.


  • Remember that feeling like you're not good enough for someone can make you project your fears onto people you care about, which can cause jealousy. Focus instead on what is good about you, and try not to compare yourself to others.
  • Believe that you are good enough and unique enough. When you do that, it may help you calm down and relax. If you are feeling really jealous and can't take it anymore, take a deep breath and think a good thought. Try going for a walk, meditating, doing something good for yourself.
  • Refocus yourself by working on some personal projects.
  • Find a positive way to deal with the hand you are dealt. You may have to admit that the person who earned the promotion at work performed better than you did, but that does not mean that you have nothing to offer. Learn from your mistakes, and remember that everyone is at a different place in life - focus on what you need to work on. You'll have the next promotion in the bag.
  • Sometimes even telling that person can help. You might be able to find a way to set helpful boundaries and work through it together.
  • If you don't have anyone you can trust, try writing down your feelings in a journal or notebook.


  • Never let your feelings of jealousy push you to abuse someone, verbally or physically. If you can't control your anger, then you need to get some help.
  • You can ask your friends that you can trust or someone who knows how to keep your anger away.

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