The most common question that people ask me about polyamory is: How do you handle jealousy?
So, I made a brief video blog while traveling Europe with my poly lovers. (Yes, I am human and wrestle with jealousy a lot!) That’s why I offer a whole list of ways that I deal with jealousy–the green eyed beast!
Jealousy can be a confusing storm of emotions. Our core believes and stories can trigger a painful concoction of brain chemistry which can result in feelings of hurt, anger, insecurity, betrayal, irritation, hopelessness, paranoia, depression, frustration, loneliness, envy, blame, and powerlessness…
The trick is to identify the exact mix of feelings that make up your unique experience jealousy, and then go deeper by understanding your underlying needs. What are the primary needs that are driving your jealousy? These are often issues that started in childhood such as the need for attention, inclusion, consideration reassurance, control, safety, clarity, priority and of course the need to be special.
Emotional maturity and the ability to anticipate each others needs are important qualities for the success of any open relationship. When jealousy arises in polyamory, I recommend you not blame or shame anyone as the cause of your emotions and take time to get in touch with your feelings and needs before discussing your relationship agreements and strategies. Consider the wise words of Albert Einstein:
Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
In order to elevate our thinking, I’ve made a cheat sheet with a wide range of coping strategies. Remember, there is no one way to handle jealousy. If one of these suggestions doesn’t work…try something else on the list until it does. The goal is to return to unconditional love and “compersion”…where you are happy for your partner’s happiness. Here’s a whole Tool Box for handling Jealousy:
1) We must nurture ourselves. Keep your love levels high so we don’t get jealous int he first place. Sleep well, eat well and be kind to yourself.
2) Self Inquiry. Learn what works best for you. Which is your best coping strategy: Raise your vibration, Personal Growth, movement, touch therapy, distraction, feel it, sooth yourself, art therapy, and or ritual.
3) Consult your Jealousy Cheat sheet and Take ACTION!
PRACTICES TO RAISE YOUR VIBRATION
Go for a drive
Go for a swim
Walk your pets
Walk on the beach
Work out a the gym
Hands on healing
Have sex (bonobo style)
See a play
Go to Work
Sleep it off
Help someone in need
Play with kids or animals
Clean your house/car/desk
Shopping at container store
Go to the local coffee shoppe
Donate to charity (you’ll feel better)
Get a mani-pedi at the local nail salon
Go to a travel agency to plan a vacation
Schedule another time and date to deal with it
Take a bath
Call a friend
Scream into a pillow
Tell everyone on Facebook
Go to zoo and watch the primates
Talk to the mirror
Make it a spa day
Get a bowl of soup (comfort foods)
Throw a pitty and pout party (with Ben and Jerry’s)
Go to a cofe shoppe and alter your chemistry
Blog about it
Write a poem
Write a love letter
Play an instrument
Sing along with radio
Tinker with photo shop
Record yourself on webcam
Sit with your Jealousy
Mind Map/Heart Map
Analyse your underlying needs
Communicate with I statements
Watch motivational YouTube videos
Write a letter to the person who hurt you
practice compassionate communication NVC
Judge your neighbor worksheet (Byron Katie)
Cast a spell
Consult the stars
Call in 4 directions
Read your Tartot cards
Watch the sunset/sunrise
Reading spiritual texts
Conversation with god
REMEMBER– WHEN JEALOUSY IS ACTIVE– DO NOT:
Get a tattoo
Yell at anyone
Resort to physical abuse
Blame others for your feelings
Make any life changing decisions
Please comment below and let us know how it works for you, or if you have other favorite actions that help you wrestle with jealousy and win!
Ultimately, Jealousy is like an illness that temporarily takes over the mind and body. Judging yourself doesn’t help you get better, any more than judging the flu. The trick is to slow down and practice self love. If your reserves run down, even the strongest immune system can get overrun. Careful, these pseudo-solutions, offer sweet relief but the only true antidote is… unconditional love.