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jealousyJealousy

The Sunday News

Looking for something in the Sunday paper,
I flipped by accident through Local Weddings,
Yet missed the photograph until I saw
Your name among the headings.

And there you were, looking almost unchanged,
Your hair still long, though now long out of style,
And you still wore that stiff and serious look
You called a smile.

I felt as though we sat there face to face.
My stomach tightened. I read the item through.
It said too much about both families,
Too little about you.

Finished at last, I threw the paper down,
Stung by jealousy, my mind aflame,
Hating this man, this stranger whom you loved,
This printed name.

And yet I clipped it out to put away
Inside a book like something I might use,
A scrap I knew I wouldn't read again
Yet couldn't bear to lose.

-Dana Gioia


I want what you have.

Jealousy is such a powerful emotion you feel it in your head and in your body. Your chest tightens up, your stomach feels weird, and you may be so unhappy and out of control you can't even think straight.

More for You means Less for Me.

When you feel jealous you believe that someone is getting something that ought to be yours. We're talking about anything from an ice cream cone to a cool pair of shoes, an A on a test, or a word of praise from a teacher or a parent. On some level, we believe that someone getting "goodies" means there's less of them for us. If the "goodie" they got is attention from one of our special friends, then we might feel threatened, hurt, or angry. It's as if suddenly we feel less loved by that special person than we did before. It doesn't make a lot of sense when we really think about it, but that's the way we feel. And we can feel it very strongly.

Use your mind not your emotions.

Often when people are jealous it turns out that they totally misinterpreted a situation. Like what they thought was going on was not what was happening at all. One thing you can do to help you cope with those overwhelmingly yucky feelings of jealousy is to slow yourself down, breathe deeply and try to talk to yourself. Use your rational mind to guide you while your emotions take a break. For example, if your girlfriend or boyfriend seemed to be flirting with someone, don't jump to conclusions. Find out exactly what was going on. It could be that no one was flirting with anyone. Maybe your lover was just politely thanking this other person for answering a question about a homework assignment. Check out the facts first before you have a cow. That way you can save yourself from a major meltdown and know that you've handled the whole situation maturely.

But what if your jealousy is justified? Suppose your lover is fooling around behind your back? Then it's time for some honest communication and conflict resolution.

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