Is Jealousy Good or Bad for Relationships?

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Jealousy is the most mystical of all human emotions. If jealousy was personified it would perhaps be the hybrid of an angel and a demon which is why it is so difficult to conclusively say that jealousy is good or bad in any relationship. What we can positively confirm is that jealousy in different measures is present in any loving relationship but it takes some exploring of the human psyche to understand when jealousy crosses the threshold of being harmless.

Jealousy is an Evolutionary Trait

Evolutionary psychologists will tell you that jealousy is an inborn trait and a mating strategy. Humans and other species are both known to feel and display signs of jealousy when a third party comes in between them and their mates. Jealousy justifies some amount of reasonable acting-out to ensure mate retention but when exactly is jealousy extreme and abnormal? This is a lesson that we as humans can learn from other species. A lion will fight another lion to death to ensure that his harem of lionesses is not to be shared. This is a violent display of mate retention that humans cannot replicate for the sake of civilization. Jealousy in extreme cases has known to result in death among humans but most often extreme jealousy leads to relations that are marred by strife and conflict.

Jealousy is counteracted by Trust and Communication

Jealousy is a natural emotion and evolutionary trait as mentioned before but extreme jealousy and its negative impacts are best counteracted by trust and communication in a relationship. A reasonable person will acknowledge his or her feelings of jealousy and communicate these feelings with their partners. In such circumstances, it is very important for the person on the other end to neither dismiss nor ridicule these feelings and encourage communication to assuage jealousy. The individual feeling the pangs of jealousy will just have to trust his or her partner after the issues on hand are confronted and explanations are made. This can be difficult when one of two people in a relationship has been unfaithful in the past. In such circumstances, the partner with a history of cheating will have to be careful not to indulge in any behaviors that will cause feelings of jealousy and insecurity in their partners. This also includes innocent gestures and remarks towards another person that can be misconstrued as flirting.

All of the above will make no Sense to a Narcissist

As mentioned above jealousy can be effectively counteracted by trust and communication but there are always exceptions to the rule. Individuals who are narcissistic by nature can often display violent signs of jealousy that cannot be assuaged. These individuals might also totally dismiss and ridicule their partners for having feelings of jealousy and continue to indulge in the behaviors that bring about these feelings. Sadly narcissism is a psychological condition and if you happen to be in a relationship with a narcissist there is little or no chance for resolution of conflicts that are brought on by jealousy.

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