Jealousy: Where Does it Come From & 5 Ways You Can Overcome it

By Krista


Last Updated: December 15, 2022

Jealousy is usually linked with the idea of toxicity in relationships, whether they are romantic or not.

And it’s true: Jealousy can become destructive, and it can destroy relationships.

However, jealousy can also have some underlining meanings that you might be missing. On top of this, it can further be dealt with a constructive and healthy way, ensuring your relationships don’t suffer.

So, let’s dig a bit deeper here.

  • What does your jealousy mean?
  • Why do you feel jealous anyway?
  • And how can you overcome it and move forward?



What Does Jealousy Mean?

Jealousy usually means you harbor resentment or bitterness toward someone. This is often because they may have something we want or desire or we fear of something we hold dear being taken away. And it can really have a bad look to it. So, why does this happen?


What Are the Main Causes of Jealousy?

Jealousy is frequently caused by an internal aspect, such as feeling inadequate.

Often, we feel jealous when we feel insecure, lacking confidence, have a poor self-image, or have beliefs around being unlovable. Additionally, jealousy may arise from a mismatch of expectations where yours were higher than what you achieved or what occurred. 

Luckily, recognizing that you’re feeling jealous is the first step toward solving this problem and preventing it from turning ugly. 



How to Overcome Jealousy

Jealousy doesn’t have to become you by any means.

In fact, it’s a tough and not ideal face to wear. Yet, it happens. Feeling jealous is an emotion you can accept and overcome. Here’s how!


Step 1: Examine Your Internal Feelings 

Jealousy usually says more about us than it does anyone else.

For instance, if you’re feeling jealousy about your best friend’s new job, it might be more about the fact that you can’t get your dream job than anything else. Identifying your own insecurities can help you understand the root of your jealousy. 

Sometimes, this may mean working with a therapist or doing some self-reflection in the form of journaling or meditating.

Related Article: 10 Tips for a Strong Mind That Anyone Can Achieve


Step 2: Let Other People Know Your Concerns

This doesn’t mean bombarding your partner with blame or getting mad at your best friend about their job.

Instead, it’s about letting them know what’s going on with your internal dialogue. Choose a time where you’re not limited by work or social constraints so you won’t have to be running off somewhere.

Discuss ways you can overcome it and why you feel insecure. Together, you can come up with ways to figure it out. At the very least, you’ll understand each other better which can help quell those jealous feelings.

It can further be helpful to view your jealous feelings as something that your body or mind is trying to tell. What do you need to work on? 


Step 3: Zoom Out

Was your partner just being nice by talking with your beautiful coworker?

Probably. Was your best friend so excited about their new promotion or job that they hadn’t considered how you feel? Likely. 

Plus, comparing ourselves to others never gets us closer to where we want to be. Instead, practice being grateful for what you have in your life. Examine what you offer in your skills and personal life. These can all help propel you forward, leaving jealousy in your past.


Step 4: Find Ways to Cope in the Moment

If you notice feelings of intense jealousy, it can help to find coping mechanisms that help in the moment and prevent poor behavior.

For example, maybe taking a walk or finding a quiet spot to write down how you feel helps you sort out your feelings. Or perhaps doing something calming for a few minutes then coming back to the situation can help you keep a level-head. 


Step 5: Dig Deeper and Put In Work

While examining your internal feelings regarding jealousy can help, it’s important to continually put in the work down the road.

For instance, feelings of inadequacy can be worked on on a personal development level, such as with a therapist. You can also do things to work on your confidence, such as learning new skills or getting out of your comfort zone.

Related Article: 10 Powerful Ways You Can Start to Overcome Self-Doubt



Jealousy Can Actually Make Your Relationships Stronger!

Seriously. By sharing your insecurities and vulnerabilities, you will bond with your friends and partner.

Plus, true friends will help you find ways to overcome them. When we are vulnerable, we can understand each other better. 

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.” — Brene Brown

Read Next: 5 Ways to Develop and Maintain a Positive Relationship With Your Body

Photo by ArtHouse Studio


8 comments on “Jealousy: Where Does it Come From & 5 Ways You Can Overcome it”

  1. tips for overcoming jealousy is very practical.iam confident that realising and owning my darkness and embracing it with grace will lead me to be a content and free person.

    1. Thanks Ligi, you're right, once we own our darkness or pain, we can move forward as stronger people, whatever that looks like. It's when we avoid traits we don't like that we can get into trouble. Wishing you well, thanks for your comments!

  2. You conflate Jealousy with Envy which are two different feelings - close to each other but different. Both have inadequacy as a core but envy tends to also come from a mindset that there is not enough in the world so that if someone gets something I want there is none left for me. To combat envy one needs to develop an abundance mindset . Jealousy is more related to "emotional' relationships (love and fear of losing love). It is important to differentiate the two

  3. Steven, I have to disagree. I think the article is spot on. I am currently dealing with a brother who is very jealous of me & reading this article helped me see things so clearly. Unfortunately to move forward my brother is the one who needs to read it & act on it ….. but reading it helped me understand him & stop taking his nastiness personally. Great article.

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