How to stop being jealous in a relationship: 11 steps
According to licensed mental health counselor Nicole Ellen, LCMHC, some people may be more prone to jealousy than others. “Psychological factors that can lead to jealous reactions can include low self-esteem, anxiety, moodiness, depression, feelings of ownership, fear of abandonment, codependency and anxious attachment,” she says. If you are sensitive to betrayal, rejection, or dealing with trust issues, jealousy can also increase.
According to A 2022 studies1 in Frontiers in psychology, both personality and attachment styles are important predictors of jealousy. High neuroticism, for example, one of the Big Five personality traits, is consistently associated with increased jealousy, and anxious attachment, which can include insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of abandonment, can also contribute.
Licensed counselor Greg Cheney, Ph.D., says past life experiences also matter. “Those who have experienced important relationships as unreliable and unreliable may feel insecure about their relationships,” he explains. Example, research shows1 that people who have experienced sexual infidelity from a current or past partner report higher levels of jealousy.
Jealousy can also sometimes be a sign that your needs or wants aren’t being met, according to California-licensed marriage and family therapist Kailyn Zabienski, LMFT. “I teach my clients that jealousy is an indicator of what’s missing in your life…something you deeply desire,” she says. “For example, if you’re jealous that your partner spends too much time with their friends, you may not feel like you’re getting enough of the attention or connection you want in your relationship.” Or if you’re envious of someone’s fancy house or car, you may feel insecure about your finances in some way.