Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Jealousy Works

        Science | Emotions

Overcoming Jealousy

While it may never be possible to completely avoid having jealous feelings, experts do believe it is possible to control jealous behavior. For example, experts recommend that friends and lovers alike avoid the pitfalls of jealousy by being honest with each other to avoid a build-up of unspoken emotions. Negative feelings tend to ferment over time and present themselves in an unflatteringly jealous way. Keeping and maintaining trust is also a key ingredient to avoiding jealous situations. Lastly, sensitivity is vital to recognizing the cues that upset and worry other people.

The negative aspects of jealousy are obvious, but can it ever yield positive results? Thomas Jefferson, for one, believed that a truly free government must be founded in jealousy to protect it and help it thrive. Dr. Hupka notes that normal jealousy is a sign that one partner cares about the other and values the relationship. In short, when jealousy is kept in the bounds of normal behavior it can be a good thing. The minute someone’s pet bunny is threatened, however, take it as a sign that the green-eyed monster has gone too far.

For more information on jealousy and related topics, steal a glance at the links on the next page.