In their celebration the women sang, “Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands.”
Saul did not like this, and he became very angry.
He said, “For David they claim tens of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!”
And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.
1 Samuel 18:7-9
Jealousy. Such a complicated emotion. In the verse above, King Saul was jealous of David, a young and very successful leader of soldiers in battle. King Saul’s jealousy was triggered by the comparison of Saul to David, and the fear that Saul’s power would be taken over by David.
Some say that jealousy stems from insecurity. When people are insecure of themselves, or insecure of the love of their loved ones, it can cause be a source of jealousy.
Some say that jealousy is just normal. That it is a healthy indicator that people care for one another.
Some say that jealousy is primal. That it stems from a deep fundamental “radar”, an intuitive feeling that people have, an early warning that allows people to “defend” their relationship. Perhaps.
My Golly, Jealousy!
At the recent surprise birthday party for my wife, Rezza, our emcees made a game and asked both Rezza and myself: “In the past, to whom was Rezza jealous of?”
Now, jealousy can take many forms. For instance, I sometimes get jealous of a game. Yes, a game! While I’m driving, or while waiting for our order at a restaurant, or while waiting for the movie to start, my wife would spend every idle moment on this game called TribeZ.
“My golly, lagi nalang!? :D” (I love you hun bun!) I admit that I do get jealous of this game. I would rather have a meaningful conversation with Rezza than just being here (checking on MY facebook on my phone, haha!) and she being right next to me playing her game on her phone.
We do have many of our fun conversations. Like this one time on my recent birthday — everything she said, she was singing. I started requesting songs from her, saying: “Can you sing Happy Birthday to the tune of Voltes V?” and she’d whip out a song as if she were a jukebox.
I do respect her fondness for playing games (she’s been playing digital games even before she met me). So I try my hand in some of her games, I discover what is interesting in the game.
I digress… Jealousy. What do we do with jealousy?
There are four things to do when in a state of jealousy.
1. Examine Self
What am I feeling? Find the appropriate name for it (name it and you have more power over it). Is it jealousy? Is it anger (like King Saul)? Is it fear?
Why am I feeling this way? Is this because of a similar past experience, or because of a story I heard? Is this because of what I witnessed between my parents?
What can I change within me that can improve my feelings about this situation? (In my case, I got involve in Rezza’s game, discovered what was interesting about it).
An effective way to change our feelings about a situation is to put ourselves in the other persons shoes. (In NLP, this is what we call second-positioning).
When we see things from the other person’s perspective, we discover new ways of thinking and feeling about the situation.
2. Examine Trigger
What triggers these feelings?
Is it *really* the game? Or maybe it’s the way I want to spend time with my wife — in which case, I know better now how I can improve the situation (have more quality time, and make her game time “okay” out of respect for her).
Is it *really* the third party? Or maybe it’s the *comparison* of the third party to yourself (like how King Saul felt when compared to David).
Is it *really* jealousy of the new baby? (Some husbands get jealous of all the time spent by the wife with the baby). Oh … you’ll get over it! Man up!
When you understand better what *really* triggers the jealousy, then you can better identify what needs to be changed.
3. Examine Relationship
If you loved with all your heart and you were loved with all the heart of your loved one, would you think you’d still feel jealous?
I sincerely feel that jealousy has no place in a truly loving relationship. I do respect that there will be some instances of jealousy — I feel they need to be acknowledged as indicators of something that needs to be examined further between the two parties. Jealousy is *not* the real problem. Jealousy is a symptom of a disease.
4. Examine Motivation
I’ve shared this to many friends in the past. And it deserves an article of its own. Here’s an overview.
Fear or Love?
Amidst this feeling of jealousy, what is motivating you? What moves you?
Are you motivated by fear? fear of loss? fear of not being loved? fear of rejection? In the case of Saul, he feared that his power would be taken away from him. He tried (many times!!!) to kill David because of jealousy and fear.
Are you motivated by Love?
As a result of jealousy, are you striving to improve yourself, to be a better partner?As a result of jealousy, are you striving to understand your partner and why your partner is
(a) playing that video game (AGAIN!?)
(b) watching that TV show
(c) always out with friends
(d) always talking with an officemateAs a result of jealousy, are you striving to love your partner even more?
Jealousy is a signal (a symptom) that there’s something wrong.
Look within for healing.
I hope these reflections have been a source of new insights for you.
How do YOU handle jealousy? What do you think of it? Do share in the comments area below.
p.s. I’ve learned many very practical ways of thinking and doing through Bo Sanchez’s “The Feast”. It’s a Catholic gathering with Catholic mass (for Saturday/Sunday gatherings), awesome music, awesome praise and worship and very practical talks that will leave you empowered and inspired. There’s a Feast near you (all over Metro Manila, in key cities around the Philippines and the world). Join us at The Feast!