What? How do you use jealousy for your advantage? Doesn’t it always end up ruining everything that lands in its spate? Aren’t we always trying our best to fight it? Well, here’s a secret: you can use this negative emotion to your advantage. But first, you need to understand a very important difference – between envy and jealousy.
Jealousy says: “You’re trying to take away what’s mine and I’ll destroy you”
Envy, on the other hand, says: “I like what you have. I want it and I’ll work for it.”
Get the difference? One pushes you toward improvement, the other toward destruction. You can turn tables in your favour by identifying your feelings more accurately.
Related Reading: Emotional Baggage – What It Means And How To Get Rid Of It
How Do You Use Jealousy To Your Advantage?
Jealousy has been widely recognised as a negative, destructive emotion. That assessment is as on point as it gets. Yet, it’s possible to transform this malicious feeling into a benign, even productive, force. It’s all about channelling jealousy in the right direction.
The key is to let it fuel hope. Instead of allowing this emotion to eat away at you and turn you bitter, one must focus on ways to use jealousy as motivation. These insights on how to use jealousy to your advantage will help you do just that:
1. Use it to figure out what you want
When we get jealous of something, we assume that it’s because we want the same thing in our relationship or our lives. So if you feel the stirrings of jealousy, take a step back and see what’s making you jealous.
Is it because that thing is lacking in your life right now? Is it something you once had and lost? Or maybe it’s something new that didn’t realise was missing all along. Channelling jealousy to understand what you want can help realign your focus and motivate you to work toward these new goals or desires.
2. Take positive steps to use jealousy to your advantage
Jealousy is considered to be one of the primary emotions programmed into us for something called ‘mate retention’ because stability was important for survival. So when you feel jealous, it’s your subconscious telling you that you value your partner and would fight for them.
But remember, jealousy without corrective action just makes things bitter.
If you’d like to protect your partner and relationship, take positive steps. Use jealousy as motivation to improve the quality of your relationship and strengthen your bond with your significant other. This will have far productive outcomes than letting jealousy turn you into an insecure, temperamental or overbearing partner.
Related Reading: Find Out Your Jealousy Quotient!
3. Use jealousy as a channel of communication
Usually, when we feel jealous we distance ourselves and close up or retaliate with anger. When, in fact, you should treat it as a signal to initiate a conversation with your partner. Maybe these emotions of jealousy are signalling to an underlying issue that has been ignored for too long. Perhaps it’s telling you to dig deeper into your relationship or open up more.
This emotion is often a symptom rather than a problem unto itself. When you learn to uncover the triggers, you have learnt how to use jealousy in a positive way.
4. Use it to reignite the passion
Often in a long-term relationship, the physical passion takes a backseat and things get mundane. In this scenario, if a cause for jealousy happens to enter the scene in the form of an attractive colleague, a chat buddy, an old friend, then if not tackled properly it can seriously damage the relationship.
Doubts of infidelity are much stronger in the absence of physical intimacy. Understand how to use jealousy in a positive way and channelize it into some raging “reclamation” sex.
Reclamation is when you know or suspect that your partner has been with someone else and you try to “reclaim” them by establishing your sexual intimacy.
I had a young couple once confide in me that things had started to cool down between them but one night they started talking about a new guy friend in her life and he confessed he was feeling jealous. Then she, in turn, talked about a female friend in his circle who made her jealous.
They started teasing each other in anger about how hot the other person was. One thing led to another and they ended up having the hottest sex of their lives! And from then on, they have always been able to openly communicate about any such feelings because they secretly know it can lead to something hot.
Related Reading: Is Your Jealous Boyfriend Being Possessive And Controlling?
5. Use it for self-reflection.
If something is making you jealous, you first need to make sure it is not a projection of your insecurities or perceived shortcomings. Your partner might be talking to an attractive colleague but not doing anything that qualifies as jealousy-inducing.
However, if you secretly think the colleague is more attractive than you, smarter than you, and you feel less of a person because of who them, then chances are that you will lash out at your partner and blame them.
The right approach here is channelling jealousy to come to terms with your complex with regards to that person. This self-reflection can put you in touch with your deep-seated insecurities, without it hampering your relationship.
So you see, you can turn even a destructive emotion like jealousy to a constructive one. All you need is a little perspective, a little focus and faith in yourself!
Prachi Vaish, a clinical psychologist and couple therapist with over 15 years of experience in the field, is on our panel of consulting counsellors. If you or someone close to you is struggling with processing complex emotions, know that help is only a click away.