Overt jealousy, however, harms a relationship, and angry defensiveness will do the same.
“I saw you looking at him/her!”
How do you respond when a partner who is easily jealous reprimands you for an innocent glance or conversation with another person? Imagine that he or she scolds you with, “I saw you looking at her/him!”
Avoid getting angry, defensive, or apologetic. Instead keep your cool, and perhaps say, “You’re the one I care about. Please don’t suggest anything else.” The key is not to buy into our partner’s emotional heat.
If your partner persists in attacking you, remain calm and say something like, “Don’t you enjoy occasionally looking or talking to other people? I do. Yet I’ve never been inappropriate with someone else and don’t intend to be. Please don’t get angry at me for something I enjoy doing.”
Insecurities vs Enjoyment of life
Everyone has insecurities and vulnerabilities. While you need to pay attention to them, you do not want to let them dominate your personality. It’s also compassionate to give the jealous person a chance to regroup without being too reactive. No one is flawless.
It’s much more attractive for both people to demonstrate self-confidence, even if they have to work hard to resist letting their insecurities take over. In fact, when both partners can be harmlessly flirtatious with others, it actually enhances the eros and vitality of both partners and the relationship. Harmless is key.
Considerate without being controlled
Keep calm and be reasonable; yet do not allow yourself to be controlled by your partner’s fears. If you do, you are walking down the path toward resenting your partner. Some consideration is necessary in any relationship, but don’t start walking on eggshells to avoid his or her unreasonable reactivity. You will never be able to please someone who tries to control others in order to manage his or her own insecurities.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can care more deeply for someone if you react less emotionally to their anger, jealousy, and insecurities. When you realize that someone else’s emotions and desires are not yours, it’s easier to respond with kindness, but without apologizing for your reasonable behavior.
Remember, The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.
by Alison Poulsen