How “Instant Jealousy” Works

How “how to stop being jealousHave you ever experienced this?

You’re with your guy in a public place. A restaurant or the mall. A woman walks by. Before you even glance at his reaction, you’re seething. She’s gorgeous. A part of you is immediately jealous.

Then you see your guy’s face. His eyes are locked on her. Now you feel even worse.

That seed of jealousy sprouts to a full-grown emotion in a heartbeat.

Jealousy doesn’t usually work this way.  It’s usually a suspicion or slight uneasiness that takes weeks or months before it gets labeled as a problem situation.

But “instant jealousy” is a gut feeling. It’s something that springs up out of nowhere when you don’t expect it.

Feeling instant jealousy doesn’t mean you’re a jealous person. It just means you’re normal. Anyone can empathize.

The problem with instant jealousy isn’t that it happens. It’s that it catches you off guard.  So, you might react before you think.

For some women, that means calling their guy out. “I saw you looking at her!” Others might turn passive aggressive, refusing to say why they’re upset but making it clear they aren’t happy. Still others will pout, feeling defeated by the fear that their man will chase after some random eye candy.

But here’s the thing about instant jealousy. Studies tell us it rarely leads to accurate conclusions.[i]

When you get a spontaneous gut feeling that your guy might be into someone else, the last thing you should do is trust that gut feeling. It’s almost never right.

But because those feelings are strong, you need a strong strategy to fight back. Here are three things you can do to stop instant jealousy in its tracks.

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Discover What Jealousy Can Teach You

learning from jealousyImagine:

The world has blown up. There are only two people left on Earth:

You … and Mr. Dreamy.

There’s no one else left. No rivals. No one thinner, prettier, or sexier. No one who’ll steal him from you.

Do you fall in love and live happily ever after?

It’s tempting to think that’s what it would take.

To get the attention of a Mr. Dreamy, you’d have to rid the world of other women. Other women are the problem. They’re the reason men look the other way.

Sounds a bit extreme!

But have you ever had thoughts like:

If only she wasn’t here, he’d pay attention to me.
She stole him from me, even though she knew I was interested in him.
I can’t compete with her. I’m no swimsuit model.

Jealousy makes a lot of sense when you operate from a “scarcity” mindset.

Scarcity is the idea that the dating pool is limited and there aren’t enough guys to go around. You have to fight to get in front, and then you have to fight to keep your man.

You’ll find a lot of support for that belief. It’s a popular one.

But if you stretch that belief to its logical conclusion—that the best way to snag a man is to get rid of the competition—you realize there’s a problem with scarcity thinking.

If the world blew up tomorrow, leaving only you and your ideal man, would you be happy?

Maybe you would. Maybe love is all you need. Maybe you don’t need other people.

But maybe Mr. Dreamy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. You’d be left until the end of time with no one but a man for company. Might get boring. You might end up wishing for another woman to talk to.

To be happy, we need more than love. We need our social network around us.

Without friends, who would we vent about our other half to? You can love someone to the moon and back, but still need your friends for heart-to-hearts.

As long as there are other women in the world, there’s a chance your dream man might shift his attention away from you. And that’s a chance worth taking.

Instead of eliminating the competition, a better strategy is to look at what you do when you start feeling jealous.

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