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Narcissists & Jealousy: Working With Difficult Emotions

It's okay and normal to feel jealous after someone triangulates, compares, and replaces you with other partners

  1. Peace
    The first and most important thing to know about jealousy after these relationships: it's okay and normal to feel jealous after someone triangulates, compares, and replaces you with other partners. Jealousy may be a completely foreign emotion to you (it was for me), and therefore your initial reaction might be to judge yourself for feeling jealous. Please don't do this. You are allowed to have this emotion, and you don't need to deny it because it feels "bad" or "wrong". You may feel bursts of jealousy just from seeing someone who looks similar, or from being in a situation that reminds you of the cheating. That's fine. Allow it.

    Once you've decided to allow this emotion, watch where your thoughts go. Don't identify with these thoughts, just watch them, as if you're an observer. You'll likely see yourself screaming about the unfairness of it all, screaming about the bad qualities of your ex or their new partner, screaming about how they were doing this when you trusted them, screaming about whose fault it is, screaming about how the other person is getting better treatment, screaming about how they got away with it, etc.

    Just keep watching these thoughts and offer words of comfort, like you might to an upset child. Truly, genuinely sympathize with the unfairness of it all. It might help to imagine yourself embracing the screaming thoughts. These actions of self-compassion will slowly help to transform your overwhelming feelings into something softer.

    The next step is to ask yourself: "What would I really have to feel, if everyone else was out of the picture?". For example, imagine if the other man/woman left, and your ex was single for the rest of their life and everyone knew the truth about them. Or just imagine they all got teleported to Pluto. I want you to imagine this, because I guarantee that invented reality would not cure the jealousy. I know it might seem like it would, but it wouldn't.

    That's because jealousy is the external manifestation of an internal unmet need. Yes, there absolutely were external factors and people that created this jealousy. Cheating, lying, triangulating, replacing - it's enough to consume anyone with jealousy. But focusing on those things will never resolve the internal unmet need, and therefore never resolve the jealousy.

    Here are some internal needs that you might resonate with: the need to feel loveable, appreciated, and adequate.

    These are valid, basic human needs. Intentional remorseless cheating stomps all over those needs, and focusing externally will never help you meet them.

    So the final step would be to offer comfort to yourself again. But this time, instead of comforting the screaming mind, try comforting the heart that feels unloveable, unappreciated, and inadequate. That vulnerability is real, and it needs you. The more time you spend with this vulnerable place, the more compassionate you'll become with yourself. Again, imagine if a child said to you, "I feel unloveable" and burst into tears. You would immediately rush to offer love, comfort, and reassurance. Why wouldn't you do the same for yourself?

    Somewhere along the line, through behaviors and/or words, someone instilled this belief in your heart: "You are not enough". You must sit with this vulnerability, over and over again, until you become the loving presence that knows: "You are more than enough". We simply can't do this when we're busy focusing on other people.

    And ironically, once you've done enough of this work, you'll discover that the other person's behavior had literally nothing to do with you or your worthiness.

    This process helps to take the focus away from external factors (which we have zero control over), and into our own hands. It allows us to transform jealousy into self-love. It may take weeks or months, but the more time you spend with your vulnerability, the less you'll ever care about the external factors. You'll realize the simple truth: that you deserve better, and you've already found it in yourself.

    I've written a new book about long-term healing. Whole Again is now published! If you would like to be notified about future books, you can enter your email address below. This is not a mailing list. Just a one-time notification:

Article Author: Peace