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arcoarena's avatar

Where does jealously come from? How can you get over having a jealous nature?

Asked by arcoarena (692points) August 25th, 2008

Why is it that polyamorous relationships never seem to work? Why can’t we all just be happy and want others to be happy regardless of what that means, especially when it really doesn’t affect us, such as involving significant others or even ex-significant others being with someone else?

That being said, do you think it is possible to get over having a jealous nature and if it is, how would that be possible or what kind of steps would you take to discontinue that feeling?

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14 Answers

glitterrrrfish's avatar

I think of jealousy being a sin. So whenever I become jealous of someone or something I try to convince myself that I’m better or what I have is better. Example: I saw this girl had a real expensive louis vuitton purse while I had a huge coach bag, I was wishing I had bought one like that but then I started pointing out its flaws like its brown, it won’t match
my clothes, its too small. It really made me think twice.

eambos's avatar

not the best example

glitterrrrfish's avatar

Im sure you can use your brain to apply the concept to your own situation, eambos

augustlan's avatar

Jealousy is not such a terrible thing to experience, in a moderate amount. It can cause you to push yourself to be better, strive for more, treat your SO well, etc. It only becomes a problem when taken to an extreme. When it makes you or those around you miserable, when it controls your life, or you try to control your SO’s life it is time to get help. Therapy, therapy, therapy. It’s great for what ails ya’.

unacornea's avatar

i just saw on facebook that my ex is engaged and i felt jealous. and i already know that we didn’t work out. and i’m in a happy relationship that i’ve been in for three years.

hearkat's avatar

Jealousy usually is rooted in feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. If a person is not happy with themselves, they will always question how another person can possibly like/love them; they’ll wonder if the other person has some ulterior motive for being with them; and they suspect that the other person will eventually find someone “better”.

I could go on, but I must get ready for work… I’ll check back later!

wundayatta's avatar

Well, I think jealousy must confer a survival advantage, or it wouldn’t stick around. I can see how it would work in relationships. If a man wasn’t jealous about his partners other admirers, and didn’t try to get rid of them, than someone else would father that woman’s children. Similarly, on the woman’s side, if she weren’t guarding her partner jealously, he might wander off, and not be around to help bring up the kids.

But jealousy about possessions? I guess that might encourage you to acquire something better, or steal what the other person has, and if you are successful, then you are better off. So jealousy would encourage unethical behavior, and that’s why modernday humans try to temper the emotion. We also realize that if we are all stealing from each other, there can be no trust, and no society, and no mutual cooperation.

Yet, as a community, we can be jealous of other communities, and that gives us motivation to fight to get a better share from the communal pot (federal govt, e.g.). So jealousy could help by motivating people to attempt to acquire a bigger share of resources, thus enhancing chances of survival. Non-jealous people who didn’t care and were willing to share would probably not survive, or not reproduce, thus eliminating the non-caring, non-jealous genes from the gene pool.

Bri_L's avatar

I used to be insanely jealous. And on three occasions I was proven right. My take is on one of them I drove them to it. On the other two it was them.

I then decided that I would be much happier if I just trusted. and bam I did. When I got screwed over I was the one who was comforted and felt ok with myself

arcoarena's avatar

Yeah I agree that maybe at a modest degree jealously may not be such a bad thing, but I feel like it situations where there’s really nothing you can do about it, I should be able to just enjoy myself and not be jealous.

For example, I had sex with my ex-girlfriend twice in the last week and a half or so and both times all I could think about was other people doing what I was doing to her and thinking about her moaning to them doing it and it just disgusted me.

Wierd I know…but I couldn’t get it off my mind. So much that at first I couldn’t even get it up. But even after I did, it was significantly less enjoyable than usual because of my overactive mind and she kept asking what was wrong because it was obvious I wasn’t as into it as I usually am.

But I don’t understand why I couldn’t just be happy to be getting laid at all? Instead I was thinking about her and other guys.

augustlan's avatar

Most important question: Why are you sleeping with your ex? Sex with someone you care about is completely different than with some random lay. Emotions are involved, including jealousy, in this particular case. If she’s your ex, be done with it. Then you can move on.

arcoarena's avatar


because I have very little willpower and she called me drunk asking to hang out at like 1am. :\

not the best excuse, I know.

I really had been pretty good about it. but you are right that there are too many emotins involved with exgirlfriends rather than random hookups.

marinelife's avatar

@arcoarena What you are describing is not really jealousy, it is more like obsessional thoughts. If that level of feeling happens to you a lot or in several relationships, you need some professional help. In the interim, if you read this thread from someone with a similar problem, you may find some of the responses helpful.

@daloon Widen your world view a little. (Avoids ass joke, but narrowly.) Most of us have left the caves. Not all actions or feelings are directly attributable to survival traits. ;)

wundayatta's avatar

@Marina: I might suggest you do the same. Sure we’ve left the caves, but if you think chemicals aren’t having a much stronger impact on your behavior than you are aware of, you might do well to think again. It is quite surprising the impact that genes appear to have; certainly in terms of overall trends, but also in terms of specific emotions, which play a strong role in determining behavior.

As far as I can tell, most people assume they do everything because they consciously choose to. From the stuff I’ve read over the years, we are discovering more and more, that these choices are not as conscious as we think. Or, on a societal level, evolutionary biology is awful darn good at explaining behavior, even if it’s not so good at explaining the behavior of individuals.

I think morality is also a survival trait. However, it’s a pretty confused one. I also think it’s not very reliable to listen to what people say and use that as an indicator of what they do. People may claim to get over a jealous “nature.” But do they? I seriously doubt it. But hey. Perhaps you all are incredibly enlightened. If so, you must be laughing at me behind my back, and barely tolerating me. Wait! Hmmmmm. Perhaps that is what’s happening! :-)

marinelife's avatar

Ist paragraph Yes, I know, but that is what the conscious mind is for. We do not have to act on chemical urges.

2nd paragraph I am not most people. (Not sure I accept that premise about what “most people” assume, anyway.)

3rd paragraph Morality is a survival trait to the extent that sufficiently egregious behavior not accepted by the society earned shunning (banishment) which meant likely death. I don’t think it goes to the level of jealousy.

Personal stuff at the end of the post: “Perhaps you all are incredibly enlightened. If so, you must be laughing at me behind my back, and barely tolerating me. Wait! Hmmmmm. Perhaps that is what’s happening!” Huh?

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