In my previous post I talked about jealousy in general and showed how I came to conclusion that it doesn’t depend on the external factors as much as we think. In this post I will discuss how our belief systems can make us prone to unhealthy jealousy.
A person who is prone to excessive jealousy has 3 specific core beliefs, which are tied together and lead to jealous and controlling behavior.
Belief 1: My happiness depends on other people
This is a very complex belief that has a few vital parts. This kind of people doesn’t believe that they can be happy on their own, without a person/object or any other stimuli from outside. They seek happiness in the external world and think that it is other people/objects that GIVE them happiness. The opposite and much healthier belief to it is that we create happiness ourselves, in response to the people/objects outside.
The difference between these 2 types of thinking is huge. The first one presumes “my happiness is dependent on others and I don’t have control other it”. The second one implies “I create my own happiness and it is me who chooses how to react to others”.
The person who has the 1st type of belief shifts all responsibility for their feelings to the outside world and then raises his hands, playing victim of circumstances. So what do you do if you think that your happiness depends on others? The only option you see is manipulating and trying to control other people and outside world in general, to squeeze out of them as much joy and pleasure as possible.
Belief 2: I can’t trust other people
And here comes an issue of trust. A jealous person knows by experience that people are not as concerned about his happiness, as he is. He sees people lying, cheating and doing many other things, which are in their own interests, rather than in his.
So he faces a difficult situation – his happiness depends on other people, but he can’t trust them making him happy, because they’re busy trying to get their own happiness. As a result, his relationships become full of fear, because any moment the fatal blow to his well-being can come and crush him.
Belief 3: I can control other people
Now you can understand why a jealous person acts unreasonably as it may seem – he falsely believes that his happiness depends on what others do. But most importantly he believes that he can control others’ actions, by talking, shouting, becoming upset or even threatening, because at some point in his life it worked… once, or maybe even twice.
Unfortunately, excessively jealous people fail to realize that this strategy will never work 100%, that nobody can control what others are doing. All of us have control only of ourselves, of our own actions and feelings and while we can’t control circumstances, we always have full power of controlling what we think and feel about them. And if we don’t give up this power to others, if we keep it to ourselves, nobody can cause us any pain – it remains our choice to feel it or not.
All 3 of these beliefs cause immense pain to the jealous person and are interconnected to each other, making it hard to break the system. But in order to heal, one must question his core beliefs.
There are always people with a healthier belief-system around us, we just have to look carefully and ask them about it. There are people whose core belief is that happiness comes from inside, from yourself and does not depend on anything external. There are people who see good reasons to trust the world around them and see no point in trying to control other people. So, it is possible to think differently and be happier too. We just have to become aware of it.