My jealousy is really ugly. Not a bit ugly, like unpleasant to look at, but really disgustingly ugly. It is dangerous too. It is covered in a contagious chemical that you can’t smell, taste, feel, see nor touch. It contaminates anyone that comes close to it by making small, insidious remarks about anyone it is jealous of. And sure enough, those around it start to look a little less positive on that person.
True, I have more unpleasant feelings. Like anger, rage, sadness, loneliness, shame. But they all try to support a beautiful, precious, human need. Not always so skillful, and still: a beautiful, precious need. My anger and rage help me to take a stand for myself, to make sure I get respect. My sadness helps me to grief and to make positive changes in my life. Loneliness wants me to find connection, community, closeness. Shame, my dear friend shame, longs for acceptance, love, belonging. And Jealousy? Jealousy just wants to destroy, slash out, get rid of those people who get the resources I want, who get the care and appreciation I long for. The people who matter to my loved ones.
Wait a minute?
My jealousy actually tries to support a precious need? My need for care? For appreciation? To matter?
I could actually work with my jealousy, instead of against it? I could listen to it? I could try to understand the pain behind the jealousy? Maybe, baby, I could even ask it to help me formulate a request to relieve some of my suffering and meet my needs?
“Those with a coaching philosophy accept the expression of all feelings – including anger, sadness, and fear. In emotional situations, these family members often help one another solve problems and cope with difficult feelings.” (Gottman, J, The Relationship Cure, 2001, p. 145)
What if I take an emotion-coaching strategy with my Jealousy and empathize with it? Wouldn’t that change the whole situation?
You want to learn to coach your own unpleasant feelings? Contact me 512-589-0482 for a free discovery session to see how I can help.