Jealousy is a feeling we all wish we could avoid. At some point in our lives we have all experienced some form of jealousy. Whether it be at a young age or in our adolescent years it happens. It is just a natural reaction in our lives. Although most of us don’t purposely engage this feeling, we all go through it. But why?
Jealousy is a feeling of envy or resentment toward someone else. This can occur in a variety of different occasions. For example a little kid being jealous of another kids toys, someone being jealous of a co-worker receiving a promotion, or even a man/woman being jealous of their significant other talking to someone else. So why does this happen you ask? Jealousy is a psychological mechanism that causes humans to react in three distinct ways, projection, protection, and competition.
Projection is when people avidly express their negative feelings about someone they are jealous of. They take every chance they get to let people know how they feel about that other person. Often times they even try to convince people to share these feelings about the other person. The people making these negative remarks may not always truly mean the things they say but they say them as a way to get over their envy.
Protection is often put in play in relationships, for example when someone who is feeling jealous about someone else being around their spouse gets over protective. Sometimes people react this way out of instinct and just feel the need to protect their spouse from others. Most of us can relate to this whether you are the one being over protective in a relationship or whether your significant other is the one being over protective.
Finally competition occurs when you feel threatened by someone else. It is a natural instinct to attempt to defend yourself and compete with the threat that is present. It is almost like you need to prove to yourself and others around you that you are better than the other person. Some people do this verbally while others attempt to physically settle the issue by fighting.
Although jealousy is usually associated with negative connotation, that does not mean that it is always necessarily a bad thing. Feeling jealous is normal and there is nothing wrong with feeling that way. It is a natural reaction. Jealousy can be shown as a way to prove that you actually care about someone or something. Not everyone feels it as strong as others but it is most definitely a feeling that is hard to avoid.