Get a bunch of women together and sooner or later, sparks may fly—and not the good kind. Maybe she’s talking about you behind your back and you catch wind of it, maybe it’s a scan from head to toe, or meanness directed your way for no apparent reason. Whatever it is, you feel the heat of her jealousy full-on, and before long, you’re fuming too. Maybe she’s done this before, maybe this is new for you, maybe it’s random daggers thrown by a woman you’ve just met. No matter.

If you’re anything like me, you want to blast her, wring her neck, call her every name in the book. Cuz that’s how you roll—shoot first, ask questions later, wild-wild-west style. But you know that fighting fire with fire isn’t really the solution. So what are your options? Jealousy the green-eyed monster is one of the hardest emotions to understand and control. It’s also a very normal feeling that’s reared its ugly head inside all of us. When we realize where it’s coming from, and why, we’re better equipped to snuff it out and carry on.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FEMALE JEALOUSY

WHERE JEALOUSY SPRINGS FROM

It’s not about you. Jealousy appears as misplaced judgments and assumptions about others when we ourselves feel like we’re lacking something. Chances are, she’s feeling jealous because of what’s going on in her life, not in yours. Her self-esteem is low right now. You seem to have what she doesn’t and in her mind, that’s your fault. She’s having a hard time feeling happy for you at what feels like her expense, so punishing you takes the edge off.

It’s stronger than Envy. Although the emotions are often

used interchangeably, there is a difference. Envy doesn’t come from a place of where you feel angry, jilted or left out. You may covet your girlfriend’s necklace but you’re not about to act out (except maybe to buy yourself one).

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT   In weighing your options, you have choices to make before you react. Consider the following: how much you care about the person, how much her actions matter to you, and how much effort, if any, you’re willing to put into the relationship. Would it be easier to let time handle this one and let it go for now, or will it eat you alive until you blow?

How you react to jealousy sets the tone not just for your relationship but for your own self esteem. Here are some options:

Set a coffee date. The good ol’ fashioned face-to-face is a great start. A sit-down may do the trick, and may even give her an opportunity to dish and share what’s going on for her. Plus, she may not even know how you’re feeling. If you need more liquid courage, make it a wine date.

Send an e-mail or text. Maybe this is hiding behind a screen, but that’s fine if it makes telling her how you feel easier. You can use social media to have the conversation or to just start it. Set a date to talk in person if the back and forth of text is getting muddy.

Let bygones be bygones. If you’re willing and able to let this one slide, there’s nothing wrong with carrying on as usual. Only choose this option if you can let it go and you’re not letting the problem fester until you explode.

Extend the big invite. If you know her well enough, or want to, give her some love. You just may be able to kill jealousy with kindness.

Give an ultimatum. Short and sweet, you can simply ask her to stop. But be prepared for defensiveness. She may not realize what she’s done or said, or how she’s made you feel, so be open to conversation. Keep calm and hear what she has to say.

Proceed with the cut-off. You’re done. Shorter and way less sweet than the ultimatum, this action requires no real action, just decision. But make sure you’re OK with what’s gone on up to this point, because after the rope is cut, there may be no going back. See ya, sister. Movin’ on.

About the author

Lauren Millman

Lauren Millman is a Professional Certified Coach, Counsellor, Interventionist and Behaviourist, in private practice in Toronto. She writes for business organizations and e-magazines, and is a regularly featured expert on Rogers Daytime and CTV. Lauren is all about keeping it real, and thinking outside the box to help you get-your-happy-on. She's married with three kids, is a self-confessed coffee snob, and believes you can't own too many pairs of shoes.

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