Hey polyamorous and open people, what do you think? Is feeling jealousy ever a “good thing?” What do “feelings of jealousy” mean to you? or about you? Check out the letter below from one of my readers, and my response, for some more thoughts on this topic.
I hope this is quick. I don’t feel I have any place in a jealousy workshop, because I don’t see myself ever feeling jealous, because I think jealousy has to do with feeling upset because I’m not getting attention I feel is owed to me, and I don’t feel anyone owes me, or would ever owe me, attention. Is that a sign of low self-esteem? That is, is feeling jealous when one’s beloved gives attention to someone else ever a good thing? Thanks!
Jealousy is neither good nor bad. It just IS. It’s a collection of feelings, and those feelings are *information.* What you do with the information is up to you, ultimately (though for some folks, it doesn’t feel like it.) If you feel “jealous” when your lover gives attention to someone else, in my view that means it’s a signal that there’s something there for YOU to pay attention to. Ask yourself questions like “what need do I have that feels like it’s not getting met (enough)?” “has my ‘love tank’ gotten filled enough recently, and if not, what could I possibly ask for (not demand!) that might have me feel more loved and more at ease with my partner?” It’s not about your partner “owing” you attention — it’s about you and your partner/s having a “winning relationship” in which the *relationship* wins because everyone’s needs are getting met, and everyone in the relationship feels like they’re “winning” (i.e., getting what they need in a win-win-win… manner.)
I think you might find the teleseminars interesting and thought-provoking, so I’d encourage you to sign up, and get the handouts at least. And if you listen to the recordings, you will hear some nice “relaxation meditations” by Kathy, and also get other people’s definitions of jealousy (they’re not all the same as yours!) I’d also encourage you to buy the “beta” version of my KISSable Agreements book (if you haven’t yet), wherein I discuss the win-win-win model I mentioned above. The ideas work well together, and in that book I walk you through a process of discovering your own (and maybe your partners’) needs.
Hope that was a helpful response!Thanks for writing!
PS: Have you signed up for the 3rd and final teleseminar with Kathy Labriola and myself, on Monday October 21st at 5:45 – 7pm Pacific Time? Called “More Options for More Jealousy,” this is ANOTHER all new call, feature a new relaxation meditation, more models and options for dealing with jealousy, and a step-by step process for examining your beliefs and fears around your jealousy triggers. We’d love to have you join us! (or, if you can’t be on the call live, sign up anyway, and get the recording and the FREE “take home materials”!)
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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]