By Auleena Das
Listen, everyone gets jealous a little bit, but there’s a difference between feeling jealous and exhibiting unhealthy jealous behaviours. Normal jealousy is a pang that comes on in an instant, one which we can usually dismiss on our own. Unhealthy jealous behaviour happens when we indulge that feeling and act impulsively from a place of suspicion and insecurity. Jealous people are incredibly toxic because they have so much self-hate that they can’t be happy for anyone around them. And typically, their jealousy comes out as judgment, criticism, or gossip. According to them, everyone else is awful, uncool, or lacking in some way. Their attitude stifles and demeans. It is controlling and these people get a high from having someone tied to them.
So what are some signs someone is overly jealous?
1. You’re expected to spend all your time with them.
They ask you to blow off practice, ditch your friends, or back out of work, school, or family commitments. You deserve time to be alone and pursue other interests. You should have a life outside of this person and a good partner will realise this and support you.
2. You are required to check in with them.
Your significant other likes to know where you are all the time. They like to know what you’re doing and who you’re with. They ask you to turn on tracking apps and if you don’t reply fast enough to their messages, they get suspicious. Knowing you’re safe should be enough, and if it’s not, your boundaries are not being respected. You are your own person, and you’re allowed to live your own life.
3. There are people you can’t hang out with.
You know there are certain people you’re not allowed to interact with unless you want to fight with your partner. It’s never okay to regulate who your partner can and can’t talk to. Part of loving someone means trusting them to make good decisions about the company they keep. Demands being placed on who you can and cannot talk to can easily lead into an abuse tactic called isolation.
4. They are too possessive.
They’ve given you jewellery or a personal memento that they want you to wear all the time so people know you’re taken. They’re big on public displays of affection to show people you are theirs. They’ve made you leave parties or cancel plans to be with them. They don’t let you wear certain things because they think the outfit is too revealing. They operate from a need for control and try to make it so that your life only revolves around them. With possessiveness, physical abuse and isolation often aren’t far behind. People in happy, committed relationships understand love requires letting their significant other have space to be their own person.
5. They control your communications.
They require the passwords to your phone, email account, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, and any social media app you use. They go through your messages, question you about conversations, mince over your words, and delete contacts they don’t approve of, with or without your consent. Wanting your passwords is not about love, it’s about dominance and control. Your passwords are yours alone, and anyone insisting you supply this information doesn’t trust you and is acting in a controlling manner. Healthy relationships don’t require you to prove your trustworthiness.
6. They are always suspicious of you.
If you go out with friends, you know you’re going to get the third degree from your partner after. Your S.O. worries when you’re away and is convinced everyone is flirting with you. You get accused of being too friendly, dressing too provocatively, or giving people “the wrong idea.” No matter how much you reassure them of your faithfulness, they never believe you. They always try to make you feel bad and accuse you of doing something wrong. People in healthy relationships don’t put their partner’s every move under the microscope. Love doesn’t scour for evidence or assume wrongdoing – insecurity does.
Remember, real love is not possessive. It does not act out of dominance, fear, or control. Rather, it is a mutual admiration and respect for another human being we long to see happy and whole. If you are in a relationship like the one mentioned in the points above, make sure you leave, and if you are a person like this, you should get some therapy.
Auleena Das is a new member of the TeenZone team and we couldn’t be more excited to have her with us. Look out for her topical articles here online.