Oct. 8th, 2014

hoveringsombrero: (Default)
A secret little (mostly naughty) group on fb had a discussion post regarding jealousy today, as in how do you deal with it. I put a lot of thought into my replies and thought that they needed to be saved in journal.

Though I have opined at length on this subject before, I don't believe I have written out the exact steps I use to deal, and sometimes I ignore the process and just be a dramaball and start a fight. So this will also serve as a good reminder to self.

My first comment:

I had serious jealousy issues when I was younger (17-25), and at the same time that I was attempting my beginning foray into responsible non-monogamy. I decided jealousy was a character flaw that I just needed to be stronger than, or tough guy it out. Which made things fester, which made me feel worse, which contributed to the erosion of more than one relationship.

As I aged I came to realise that when these feelings were felt I needed to confront and dissect them. And discovered (for me at least) that jealousy is always creative excuses for insecurity (excepting when it turned out not to be jealousy at all but me sub-consciously noticing something was going pear shaped).

So by most outward appearances I haven't a shred of jealousy about me. However, the reality is that I've just gotten good at acknowledging/confronting the feels and finding what insecurity is spawning it and address that.

tl;dr: Early 20s me thought that If I ignored it long enough it'd go away, older me has accepted it as being human and developed ways to address it.

And then ...

Rereading my own comment I also notice that my summation makes it sound as thought it was easy. It wasn't; it isn't. It's never easy or comfortable to grab a bit of your own insecurity and interrogate it. Though many people have told me that they believe I'm a master of this skill, it's probably an ongoing process. Maintaining self-awareness requires work and uncomfortable realisations.

The above applies to a lot of things; it has recently been a bit of a topic of discussion with some friends about being objective regarding political or ethical/moral issues. I am guilty of sometimes scoffing and those unable to see multiple sides of an issue or put themselves in another's shoes; forgetting that this is a hard learned skill that requires constant maintenance. And which also involves a lot of uncomfortable self-confrontation.

And finally, I wrote out my steps:

My personal process:

1. Admit what I'm feeling, stop ignoring it because it's uncomfortable and I think it's silly. This is the worst part for me, like purposely poking an open wound, every instinct wants me to just shy away from it, avert my eyes.

2. Identify the incident or action from which this feeling spawned and determine whether the source is external or internal. As in was there an actual slight that occurred, or did my insecurities translate something benign into an issue? Possibly because it was similar to a real issue in the past and insecure brain likes to wildly jump to conclusions.

3. Based on conclusions above, TALK TO SOMEONE. If there was at least a slight external factor then talk to the person with which I'm involved. Tell them, "When you did this/when this happened, I felt this." Acknowledge that while the bulk of the responsibility is on me to decide how I react to a thing, I'm not the only one in the *ship, other person likely cares that I am hurt, even if irrational.

If it's absolute, complete crazy brain, possibly still tell other party "I'm having an insecure moment, can I have a hug?" and then find unrelated close friend to vent to.

When it's something that is entirely my fault, like I reacted to a completely innocuous thing, I feel like it's counterproductive to tell the other party "I felt like an ugly, ignored cow because you used the word 'the' to someone other than me!" Because how are they going to stop saying "the"? That's preposterous and MY issue. But I find it still incredibly helpful to express the "I felt like ___ because ___" to someone because it completes the process which began in #1. These are my feels, though they may be crazy and illogical, they're MY feels, I felt them, I can't unfeel them, I have to deal with this now.

I should possibly print and laminate these steps and keep them in my wallet to remind myself, maybe.


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