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It’s OK to be Jealous

Many people I speak with struggle with shame around jealousy.

We have been led to believe that jealousy is a bad thing, so many of us struggle to express it and try our best to hide it.

But what if jealousy could build a better relationship?

In this video, I explore how being honest about jealousy can create a deeper connection.


 

For support with your jealousy, get in touch

dan@brojo.org

 


Full Transcript (unedited)

What’s up everyone? Welcome back to brojo YouTube channel without cheap, nasty videos coming at you every other month. This week I wanted to talk about jealousy. We had a phenomenal discussion about jealousy and a brojo group recently. And it’s such a common thing that affects us all. And we have so much shame attached to it, don’t we, we’ve been raised to believe that being jealous is this bad thing. And then we should hide it. And others have been raised to believe that it’s an entitlement thing they’re being jealous as absolutely something you’re entitled to lash out with an a tantrum or possessing behavior of some kind. So what I want to talk about today, very, very quickly, what is jealousy? What is the difference between helpful and unhelpful jealousy, and how you can act on your jealousy in a way that improves relationships, rather than destroying them? So first off, what is jealousy? It’s a feeling of being threatened, isn’t it? It’s a threat, that something that you believe belongs to you. Something that you believe you are entitled to, is going to be taken away by someone or something else, it’s a feeling that your position is going to be stolen, that attention from somebody else is going to be given to another person, and on and on. That threatened feeling. Now, the threatened feeling itself is not a problem. It is okay to feel threatened, it’s actually quite helpful. It tells you what’s important to you. It tells you what you places high priority, it tells you what you’re needy about, tells you what you feel that you possess. This is all very valuable information, in terms of managing your relationships and your general growth and life. So that’s the recent feeling, the one you often try to repress or the one that you lash out because of that feeling itself is not a problem. It’s simply a piece of information. It’s a, it’s a light on the dashboard of your life indicating what’s going on with the engine. Yeah, something like that. So it shows importance and interest. And what we need to look at is, first of all, is the threat real? Now is the threat real is the key question here, let’s say and like I’m into dancing right in. So I see couples on the dance floor quite a lot. And the type of dancing I do Brazilian Zouk, you change partners all the time. It’s not like you just stick with one person. It’s a social event. It’s like a conversation, you just keep dancing with all these different people. Now, some couples get insanely jealous of each other, dancing with others, very few, but some do, and others are okay with it. Now, why would somebody feel okay with it, and somebody’s not because it’s the perception of threads. The idea that dancing was someone else will provide that person who’s supposed to belong to you with everything they need, and they won’t need to come to you anymore. This idea, you’ll lose them to the other person, you’ll lose their attention, you won’t be the one, you won’t be the hero in their life anymore. Or it can be a real threat. Like somebody’s trying to smooth talk your girlfriend and get into their pants, somebody’s trying to swindle you out of your money by stealing your clients. There’s a difference between a real threat and an imagined needy, insecure, ego identity type of threat. So the first question you got to ask yourself, Is this a real threat? Is the evidence that this is a person genuinely trying to be detrimental to my life trying to take something important away from me? Or is this simply me being needy about that thing, or that person. So if a guy talks to my girlfriend, that in itself is not a threat. Now, if that guy invites her to a late night wine at his house, that probably as a threat, the difference between those two things. Also, if my girlfriend is clear headed, than any guy trying to pick her up is not a threat, if she wants to be with another guy that she will choose another guy and that serve, that’s the end of our relationship. If she’s drunk, for example, my girlfriend’s not a big drinker. But let’s say she was, well, let’s say she was on drugs. Or let’s say she was super tired or somehow like in a state of what you might call vulnerability, and some guy was trying to pick her up, there might be a threat and might be a call for me to step up. Other times, I can just leave her to manage yourself because she’s a capable one. Someone’s talking to one of my clients and they can provide a better service than I can, then that’s not a threat. That’s a learning experience. If they’re trying to steal my client with poor business ethic behavior, that is a threat. So knowing that difference isn’t a threat or isn’t a threat. And this brings us to what you do. See the problem isn’t even getting it wrong, whether or not it’s a threat. You can get it wrong, you’re gonna get it wrong. Most things that you think If you’re a threat or not, an acting as if they are is only going to make them a threat. You see the common example of somebody who wouldn’t cheat on their partner, but because their partner is constantly giving them shit about suspicion of cheating, they end up cheating anyway, because they feel like they’re already in trouble for it. We don’t want that situation to happen to you. Yeah, we don’t want you to drive people and drive things in your life away with your jealous actions. So let’s have a look at how you act in relation to how you feel. You feel threatened, all of a sudden, all of your focus is on this thing that you think’s going to be taken away that jealousy feeling. There’s two ways you can react to this, you can simply express the feeling, talk about it with whomever it concerns, or you can act in a way that’s designed to try and beat the component, the opponent, this is the kind of two ways you either become competitive and aggressive, or passive, aggressive, or defensive. Or you just simply be honest and open and courageous. We’re gonna talk about taking that their approach their their values based approach. So when I see someone dancing with my girlfriend, she’s having a fantastic time, I can see her having bliss, as she dances with a fantastic dancer, and I feel my jealousy threat reaction happen. One way I can go up to as I can go up to as I don’t want you to dance with him ever again. How dare you dance with them? Why are you trying to have sex with them? Is that your problem? I can be like that, which a lot of people would. Or I can be resentful and not talk to her for the rest of the night. She’s trying to figure out why I can have that kind of aggressive slash defensive approach, which so many people revert to, and loser forever. Because eventually she’ll be like, Well fuck him, then I will go talk to that guy more than dance with them. I will go whatever. And I’ll lose it right? Why didn’t go to and just be like, you know, when I saw you really enjoying yourself for that dance, I just got this massive sensation of jealousy. You know, like, I realized I’m really needy about being the one who gives you pleasure. I felt that come up when I saw you dancing. Isn’t that interesting? That comes up. So you can really own it and express it without any demands. And this is the key without any demands. Now let’s say somebody’s really trying to like steal my girlfriend, let’s say I’m at a bar or something. She’s drinking, there’s a guy who and I can see from his behavior. He’s trying to get her to go home with him. He’s asking for a phone number, that kind of stuff. Now, what do I do here? Now again, all I have to do is go up and honestly express myself this way, if I’m wrong, it can be called out without anyone getting hurt. And if I’m right, I also get to be the protective boyfriend that she does want me to be. So if I can see the same cover up and just say, you know, when I see the way you guys talk to each other, it really twitches my jealousy nerve. Like I watch it, and it feels like you’re trying to pick her up or something. Is that what’s happening here? This puts him in a position where he is trying to do that, it will get called out and then you’re fully justified and being protective. Whereas if you’ve got it wrong, or she thinks you’ve got it wrong, you haven’t come across as trying to manipulate her and trying to hold her back from living her life and not trusting her. You’re just talking about the way you feel. There’s no mention of distrust. So I want you guys to go out and think about that your jealousy is not the problem. It’s how you act as a result of it. Let’s see how that affects your relationships. And let’s see if you can get a little bit more shameless about the wonderful thing, the gift that is jealousy. I’ll see you soon. Cheers.

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