jealousyOvercoming Jealousy

There is often confusion between the definitions of jealousy and envy – they are both negative emotions and they often cross over in situations. Wiki separates the two as following:

The common experience of jealousy for many people may involve:

  • Fear of loss
  • Suspicion of or anger about a perceived betrayal
  • Low self-esteem and sadness over a perceived loss
  • Uncertainty and loneliness
  • Fear of losing an important person to another
  • Distrust

Jealousy can be an emotion passed down by generation. As you grow and learn how people interact, then if you have at least one jealous parent, then you are much more likely to experience jealousy yourself.

The experience of envy involves:

  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Longing
  • Resentment of circumstances
  • Ill will towards an envied person is often accompanied by guilt about these feelings
  • Motivation to improve
  • The desire to possess the attractive rival’s qualities

From a therapist’s point of view, clients are often puzzled as to why they have these feelings and realise they are childish and stupid but feel totally compelled to keep up their unhelpful behaviours.

You often find unhealthy jealousy when a threat is posed by a third person in a relationship with someone important to you. It’s a very primal instinct and when you consider it in terms of our survival, it often highlights what we perceive as threats. The threat of a rival in love can highlight that your love object is either not trustworthy or you have low levels of self-confidence. The threat of a new stepmother or father can mean a reduction in contact with your blood relative. A new sibling means that mother or father are spending time with the newborn and the firstborn is suddenly thrown into a situation it would rather do without – think of the song “Oh what a Lonely Boy”.


You can be envious of someone else without a third party being involved. A promotion at work, earning more money when doing the same job or getting a new car for example.

At the heart of jealousy is a mix of self-esteem, lack of trust, anxiety, anger, self-doubt and fixed ideas. These lead to setting traps, placing restrictions on your partner, constantly checking where they are, snooping, spying and mental bullying. At its extreme, it can lead to not only domestic violence but also murder.

Dangerous emotions

I have known 2 women who were victims of extreme jealousy. One was locked in a cupboard for hours and the other was murdered after she had split with her partner. Because of his jealousy, he asked her to meet up to talk. They met in a barn close to where she lived. He took out a gun, shot her and then himself. At no point was anyone aware that his controlling behaviour would lead to such tragic circumstances. Luckily for my friend who had been locked in the cupboard, she managed to placate her partner. Then when he was out, she packed a bag, escaped through a window and hitchhiked all the way from Cornwall up to Bristol. She then had a court order placed on him.

In one case I saw, it started off as my client wishing to stop feeling jealous about what her husband was doing when socialising with friends. She had severe anxiety about having a baby. The anxiety manifested as jealousy because if he was off the scene she couldn’t get pregnant. Consequently, she felt feelings of low self-worth. Her anxiety caused her to focus only on herself and she considered herself extremely selfish.

Self-confidence and self-esteem and how Hypnotherapy helps

So jealousy is also about self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and not being able to deal with loss. Solution-focused hypnotherapy can help unravel what may be causing these feelings. It helps build up the confidence to cope better in the future. To allow their partners the freedom to lead normal lives and become self-actualizing. To lead more fulfilled lives where you’re not relying on someone else to provide happiness. Happiness comes from within, security comes from within.

If you feel your jealousy is affecting your relationship then Solution-focused hypnotherapy can help. Call for more details. Please don’t wait until it gets so bad that your partner has already left. Tackling these feelings early will mean less heartache down the line.

Human Givens can work in the same way. If you’re a man consumed by jealousy, why not give Ricard a call on 07447 809153 and see how the therapy could work for you.

Case Study 1 – jealousy of partners son

Robin was referred to me because he desperately wanted his relationship to succeed. He had left his partner once before at Christmas because she doted on her son Shaun. He thought that at his age he should be independent and out of her hair. As we worked each week on a different aspect of the relationship, I asked Robin how he had been brought up. He told me how his mother had been a wonderful mother until his younger brother was born. He was always ill and required hospital treatment. Robin felt sidelined and unimportant. We talked about how his responses about his needs not being met were out of date. His jealousy was the result of his younger brother, not Shaun. Once he realised this, we worked on how our experiences and values colour how we get on with people.

I helped him identify areas of both of their lives that they could share and make better. All three of them enjoyed playing board games, and so he made sure that when Shaun was back from university he had strategies in place and playing board games was a great outlet for his competitive streak.


Case Study 2 – Parting of the ways using the Human Givens approach

Stuart and Louise had been married for 28 years and had 3 children, two of whom had left home, and the third had just moved back from university. Louise had completed a degree and had moved out of their family home into an annexe. Stuart was sad at the breakdown of the relationship and blamed himself for much of the problem. They maintained this stalemate for around 2 years until Louise started to date another man.

Stuart couldn’t control his response to this new situation. He felt that he could win Louise back at some time when she’d found herself. He hadn’t imagined another man coming into his life.

Using the principles of Human Givens, we went over our basic needs and why we feel jealous when someone significant has this effect on our emotional state. We went through the tools to help calm him down and went through various visualisations of dealing with his interactions with his ex-wife and her new partner, in an adult and controlled way.

Stuart learned that he still felt protective towards Louise and that would never change, but he didn’t need to vet her choice of partner. Over a few weeks he made great improvements and finally plucked up the courage to join a gym, seek out conversations with other women and start dating again.

Case Study 3 – How jealousy led to a court case

Guy completely lost the plot when his girlfriend Genevieve told him she was leaving. He was demanding and was stopping her from seeing friends. To stop her, he barricaded the door and when she tried to struggle past he lunged for her throat. She managed to get away and the next thing he knew the police were there.

Guy acknowledged he had a problem. Part of getting over that was dealing with his jealousy. Going through the Human Givens approach to our needs, Guy realised that his family had a totally different value and belief system to hers.

He had come from a poor working class family and she had gone to public school and attained a degree. He realised that he was always comparing himself against her and that put him in a permanently negative mood. Once he started to focus on what he truly wanted and creating the steps to move forward, he was able to see how his behaviour impacted other people. He was able to look for a relationship which was more compatible with his own way of thinking.