Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to retrain an unwanted jealousy response - ARTICLE

Once you mentally understand the dynamics of unwanted jealousy, you still need to apply a set of behavior or attitude shifts so that the way you relate to yourself and your partner really changes.

Some of these techniques are quite challenging and upfront.

Don’t be offended and stay open minded, okay?

The goal is to practice new behaviors.

The first step is to identify the triggers and situations where jealousy pops up.

If you analyze your unjustified jealousy responses, you can usually summarize them to 2 or 3 key relationship situations:

· It might be her ex calling.

· Her attitude when you go out.

· She taking off to the gym in the evening.

· Her male colleague texting her when she is with you.

· etc.

Now, identify the top 2 or 3 situations which trigger unjustified jealousy in you.

Write them down!

Remember that we are dealing right now only with situations where your jealousy reaction is unwanted and unjustified.

You now have a clear target, right?

Your goal is to shift the dynamics in these specific situations.

What we just did is very simple:

We reduced the jealousy challenge to a couple of situations you can easily analyze and oversea.

Instead of saying:

"I am a jealous guy and I don't know what to do..."

You are now saying something like:

"I feel uncomfortable when I see her having a chat with her ex... How can I shift my attitude so that this no longer bothers me?"

See what happened? We made it very specific!

This simplifies and reduces the challenge to a size you can easily handle!

You practice a new behavior each week for a period of 1 month until you have a whole new set of behaviors and strategies you can easily apply to replace key unwanted jealousy responses.

This gives you space to retrain max around 4 key unwanted jealousy challenges in a 30 days period (1/week).

The goal here is not to eradicate all jealousy.

As we mentioned earlier, some justified jealousy is good to maintain the strength of your relationship.

This jealousy is okay as long as you feel you are on top of that emotion rather than enslaved by it.

So, here is how this training works:

At the beginning of each week, you choose one key attitude or situation you want to work on.

It might be the fact that this male friend calls her late in the evening, the way she dresses sexy when she goes out or the fact that she is a real flirt at work for instance.

Now, imagine yourself in the specific situation you chose and practice your new “self talk” for that specific situation.

You can simulate the situation in your mind or actually consciously practice this new self talk when the situation arises.

Next time the situation arises, consciously choose to practice this new self talk.

You usually need to be confronted with a specific challenge a few times before your new self talk is truly grounded in you.

You need to use will power and force these new mind sets with determination.

Yes! This can sometimes feel like an internal battle where you reconquer your emotions with power and a winning attitude.

In the next page, I describe key situations which can trigger an unwanted jealousy response.

After each example, we identify the exact opposite empowering behaviors which might suit you best.

The goal is to create a new set of skills and attitudes you can tap into any time.

Choose the strategies that match your situation and then, apply the retraining strategy which is given to you.

You will then have a set of new skills you can apply any time you feel challenged.

The strategies or solutions I share with you are of course only suggestions.

If you take the “going partying with her girl friends” example for instance, I am not saying that you should accept it, simply that if you don’t like your jealousy response, there are ways to respond in a different way.

For each situation, you are welcome to reinvent a solution which suits you best if you want to.

You are free of course!

Here are the examples I focused on in the coming chapters:

· A male friend calls her at 10 pm.

· She is a real flirt when we go out.

· She does not listen when I share my problems from work.

· She is all excited when her ex contacts her.

· She had many sex partners before me.

· She does not want to have sex when I want to.

· She goes partying with her girl friends.

· She is so open with everyone.

· He boss likes her.

· She dresses very sexy when she goes to the gym.

· I don’t like the idea of her massagist touching her.

In these examples, I take the role of your inner voice and speak as if it was your inner self talk.