Is Jealousy Always a Negative Emotion?

19 Jul

We all know the feeling of romantic jealousy, but is it always a negative thing? And can this strong emotions actually lead to relationship and personal growth?


When asked the question “What is jealousy like?”, many people would respond describing emotions such as rage, frustration, envy, uncertainty and possibly humiliation.  All these emotions convey a negative impression, developing the sense that jealousy is just this ugly emotion with only bad intentions.  

Of course, we all understand that jealousy isn’t the most pleasant emotion, but how would you feel if I was to say you can turn this distressing feeling into something positive?  

Jealousy is only a natural, adaptive emotion there to help you preserve key relationships. A spark of jealousy can actually trigger you to become more self- aware and uncover your values when it comes to both personal and relationship development.  

Here is some advice on how to turn this strong emotion into something positive.

Step One: Change your mindset! Is jealousy always a negative thing?  

Your immediate reaction may be “Of course it is. It has ruined so many of my relationships”.  

But jealousy actually is a very useful emotion that has many positive sides. By sitting with your jealousy, as if it were a good friend, you can soon learn that the feeling of jealousy is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and your relationship expectations.  

It is a sign that something might be amiss in your relationship, or that you and your partner are on the wrong page. Also, these feelings shows that you care! It may be there to reflect your high levels of honesty, sincerity, love, monogamy and commitment.   

Understanding jealously isn’t all bad, is the first step to making use of it to enhance your personal and relationship development. 

 Step Two: Understand where the jealousy is coming from  

By unpacking your feelings and figuring out where your emotions reside, you can not only develop your relationship but also your personal development. Whether jealousy stems from your upbringing or past toxic relationships, understanding why you feel this way can prevent the emotion overwhelming you and potentially destructing your relationship.

Step Three: It signals you need to communicate with your partner

Communication is a crucial aspect that develops relationship growth, and when it comes to jealousy, this is no exception. When jealousy arises, it is a signal you need to talk to your partner about their beliefs and expectations of the relationship – by doing so, you can soon discover if you are on the same page or not, and in turn avoid any sudden ‘shocking’ behaviour that could fire up jealousy.  

Also, there is no harm in confessing your jealousy to your partner, for many it can be quite flattering as it shows that you care.

 Step Four: Separate your jealous feelings from your jealous actions (Learn not to act on it)  

We are all guilty of letting our feelings overwhelm us and trigger that ‘inner psycho’. When you have the urge to act with your jealousy, it is vital that you master self- control and how to ‘tame the beast’.  

Jealousy is a test of self- control, and actions such as continual accusations or demanding reassurance can not only showcase signs of low self-esteem to your partner but also be highly jeopardizing to your relationship growth.  

The right mentality is “I know I am jealous, but I don’t have to act on it”. This shows self-assurance, self- awareness and control – all signs that will keep you to continually grow in both in your relationship and personally.

 Step Five: Practice in-the-moment coping techniques

We all know jealousy can suddenly creep up on us and it’s hard to cope with it when in the moment. However, these techniques are here to help you and turn these feelings into a reflective and calming situation – it’s the little things that make a big difference:  

  1. Write everything down  
  2. Take a walk and get some fresh air  
  3. Give yourself some space away from the situation   
  4. Meditate  

By learning to cope and control your levels of jealousy, you will be able to react better to the situation as a whole. These feelings will then be less of a daunting emotion, and by adopting these techniques you can prevent any potential relationship damage that jealousy could cause, and in result, master your self- control, which is crucial for personal growth. 

If you (and/or your partner) would like to learn more about how jealousy can help lead to personal and relationship growth, feel free to contact us. With our relationship experts and coaches, we can provide coaching sessions that can help you navigate these feelings.

by Lynsey Wilson

Director of Client Services

Lynsey was born and raised in Scotland, graduating from The University of Aberdeen with an MA in Psychology in 2009. For just over a decade, Lynsey worked in social research within either an academic or non profit context. Throughout her career, her main drive and passion has been working with people and gaining an understanding of what drives them. This, along with her friendly and open nature, makes Lynsey a natural Matchmaker. Lynsey is based in the London office and primarily works with both London and European based clients.More by this author

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