A bit of jealousy now and then won’t hurt, but when it becomes too much, that’s where the problem starts. Jealousy is often considered an ugly monster that preys on every person on this planet at one point in their lives or another.
While it’s easy to assume that jealousy is just the same for everyone, it has several types. Learning these types and how to deal with them properly can make a big difference to your and the jealous person’s life.
What is Jealousy?
Jealousy can be defined as the imperfect combination of resentment, anger, disgust, and sadness. It’s been the culprit that destroyed even the most perfect relationships and brought about emotional distress not only to the jealous person but also to their family and friends.
Jealousy can even become extreme to the point that it leads to suicides and murders. It is among the most common human emotions that both genders experience. It is not specific to any culture and starts showing its presence as early as 6 months old onward.
You might have heard that if love is sharp, hate is sharper. However, jealousy happens to be the sharpest of them all because it’s hate and love at the same time. This emotion instills negativity and evokes feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and fear.
Jealousy can also be defined as the protective reaction to perceived threats to valued relationships. It arises from a situation where the involvement of a partner with another person or an activity is contrary to how the jealous person defines the relationship.
Envy and jealousy are often considered synonymous but if you care to look closely, you’’ soon realize that envy is just a subset of jealousy.
Now that you know what jealousy is, it’s time to learn its different types.
1. Intentional Jealousy
Intentional jealousy is one form of jealousy that one partner uses with a certain function, such as a certain tool against the partner or to achieve some sort of benefit.
Some of the most common signs of intentional jealousy include bringing up old love, talking about friends of the opposite sex, men paying attention to other ladies, flirting, and the like.
2. Irrational Jealousy
Irrational jealousy is a type of jealousy that creates a sense of anger and fear and usually leads to depression. Jealous people always act suspiciously.
3. Pathological Jealousy
Pathological jealousy is the abnormal type of jealousy that usually takes place as a symptom accompanied by several mental disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder. This jealousy reaches its peak or climax in a romantic relationship.
A person with pathological jealousy concludes that their partner is not faithful to them based on distorted comprehension of insignificant situations where they perceive various factors as threats to their romantic relationship.
Jealous person refuses to change their attitudes with the tendency to accuse their partner of being infidel with various people. Pathologically jealous individuals also think that they own their partner, or that they have the exclusive right to make decisions on their partner’s behalf.
They also believe that this kind of relationship is essential to maintain the love connection. A pathologically jealous person’s emotions are due to a lack of love, deep insecurity, and an anxious need for security and control.
Among the most common symptoms of pathological jealousy include:
- Accusations of paying attention to someone else
- Raising a series of questions about the behavior of the partner
- Checking the phone messages and calls of the partner
- Influencing the traits of the partner
- Lack of trust
- Reduced capacity to calm down
- Constant questioning with whom and where the partner spent their time
4. Rational Jealousy
Rational jealousy is not the same as other types of jealousy in this list. There is a reasonable and real doubt in the partner in this form of jealousy. The jealous partner acts to stop losing the loved one but in a way that is socially acceptable without threats, humiliation, intimidation, and other kinds of improper behavior.
5. Romantic Jealousy
Romantic jealousy is regarded as the usual kind of jealousy that involves a series of reactions, feelings, and thoughts brought about by the imagined or actual threat to the relationship. This type of jealousy doesn’t have anything to do with sexual and physical infidelity.
Instead, it has an emotional component. This is the kind of jealousy where the partner is jealous of their partner’s emotional affection towards someone else who is not always perceived realistically.
6. Sexual Jealousy
Sexual jealousy, as the name suggests, specifically revolves around the fear and insecurity related to sexual infidelity within a romantic relationship. It is characterized by concerns, doubts, and anxieties arising from the belief that one’s partner is engaging in sexual activities or desires with someone else.
This type of jealousy often triggers strong emotional reactions and can lead to intense feelings of betrayal, possessiveness, and a need to assert dominance or control over the partner’s sexual behavior. Managing sexual jealousy requires open communication, trust-building, and a mutual understanding of boundaries within the relationship.
How to Deal with the Different Types of Jealousy
It’s not always easy to determine how to deal with the six types of jealousy so it’s a must to regain some control and learn the best ways to stop yourself or the other person from being jealous. These include setting healthy expectations, practicing gratitude, or even seeking help from a therapist.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Discuss your feelings.
Having clear and open communication with your partner is one of the best ways to engage them in the discussion. Always speak with trust and compassion so that your partner will feel more comfortable sharing their feelings.
- Set and talk about expectations.
You have to keep in mind that reasons for being jealous tend to feel quite real for the jealous person despite the absence of evidence. To establish trust, make sure you set expectations in your relationship and agree upon some ground rules.
- Be mindful and grateful.
Engaging in mindfulness meditation and having a gratitude journal will help you center yourself so you can regain control over your emotions and prevent jealousy from taking over.
- Conquer your fears.
Jealous feelings are often the result of insecurity so always take your time to work through your securities. Doing so will benefit you in the long run. The moment you are aware of your insecurities and their root cause, it will be easier for you to learn how to deal with them.
- Talk to a therapist.
It’s perfectly fine to talk to a therapist to sort out your jealous feelings and have a better understanding of their cause and source.
Jealousy may be part of human nature but knowing how to prevent it from getting worse can make a big difference in your life and the lives of the people around you.