Two University of Delaware professors tested the effect jealousy can have on women. The result? You truly can be blinded by jealousy.
Heterosexual couples were asked to sit at separate computers, and rate the attractiveness of pictures of landscapes. Halfway through the experiment, it was announced that the men were going to be rating the attractiveness of single women. The professors found that the women who felt the most jealous by their partner’s new task became so distracted that they were unable to spot and report on targets right in front of their eyes. The study authors say these findings demonstrate that social emotions can literally affect what people see.
This can explain that dizzying wave of distraction that has a tendency to wash over us when someone we are dating, or interested in, ogles an attractive woman on the street, and why jealousy is responsible for the demise of so many relationships. The truth is, while some jealousy is normal, there is very little room for excessive envy in a healthy relationship. This is especially true when you are just beginning to date someone. Premature jealousy can put the brakes on an up and coming relationship, and can be a high-flying red flag for many men. Additionally, jealousy isn’t the most pleasant emotion to experience, and can blind you to how great your man may be.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep the green-eyed monster under wraps:
1. I know it’s cliche, but you really have to love yourself. Insecurity breeds jealousy. If you are insecure with yourself, or your value, it’s important to take the appropriate steps towards raising your self esteem. Dating With Dignity offers a number of ways you can take care of yourself, and raise your self-confidence.
2. Make sure you aren’t bringing past negative experiences into the present. For example: An ex-boyfriend might have cheated on you, causing you to feel jealousy more quickly than is appropriate. When jealous emotions surface, make sure you are living in the present, and responding–not reacting–to your current situation.
3. When you feel the blinding jealousy about to take over your consciousness, stop it in it’s tracks. Ask yourself if what you are feeling is TRUE of this moment, or if you are responding to something else (for example, insecurity). Remember that jealousy is most often a triggered response, and easily talked down once you figure out its source.
The above tips are a starting point on which to begin to get your jealousy under control, and prevent it from blinding you to reality. They may seem hard, but with practice you will be well on your way to seeing things clearly, and living in confidence.