So, what do humans and the frilled lizard have in common? Sometimes, when we're afraid, we both puff out our faces and ears and try to act really, really scary. The fear in jealousy is so strong that it can
sometimes make us react to situations like a frilled lizard, just to make sure that our partner gets the point that we don't want them to stray.
And how many times has that ever made your beloved admire you more? Probably not many...
People use the word 'jealousy' as a feeling, but Marshall Rosenberg, the creator of Nonviolent Communication would probably say that it's a thought.
For example, 'abandoned' is a thought -- it's your negative evaluation of somebody leaving you. But what if they IRS abandoned you and your audit? Is that necessarily negative? No.... so 'abandoned' is an evaluation of, or thought about, somebody leaving you.
In the same way, 'jealousy' isn't really a feeling -- it's a thought. The event may be your beloved paying attention to somebody else in a way that you think means s/he may leave you (or that they love another
person more than you). It's the meaning that we attach to the event that we label 'jealousy.'
The true feeling underneath jealousy is usually fear--that your beloved will leave you for another person. And fear is usually uncomfortable, if not down right painful. It awakens our limbic brain (the reptilian brain) and puts us in a fight or flight mode. We yell, we threaten, we puff out our ears and try to look real scary and go, "Bwah! Bwah!!" and generally look real stupid.
So, when you feel triggered by the fear that underlies jealousy, it would help to call it what it is. Call it fear. Say to your partner: "Honey,
(Observation) "When I saw you talking to your ex this evening...
(Feelings) "I felt frightened...
(Needs) "Because I have a need for emotional safety.
(Request) "Would you be willing to tell me truthfully if you're falling back in love with her?"
Those are the four steps to speaking honestly using Nonviolent Communication. It's scary to put your heart out to your beloved and expose yourself as being afraid. Most people don't like to admit they're scared. But isn't it a lot better than fighting like a frilled lizard with your lover?
Asking the question in the nonviolent manner doesn't imply that your lover did anything wrong. You're taking full responsibility for the feeling of fear, not blaming them for having done anything 'bad.'
And, of course, this is just one way to ask one little question about your feelings of jealousy, but the issue may be bigger than that. It may be useful to sit and look at where in your life somebody did leave you (or worse, didn't love you but didn't leave you, either). Those old wounds may be coming up now for you to look at, but your present lover may not be doing anything out of line.
And always give your inner reptilian brain -- your inner frilled lizard that puffs out its cheeks and tries to look scary -- a lot of love. You developed that response because at some time you had a beautiful need for safety in a relationship that wasn't met. Your frilled lizard is just trying to protect you in your current relationship.
About the Author: Paul & Kristin teach The Relationship Magic Series including ‘The 4 Simple Steps To Heart-Opening- Intimacy and Understanding’ ‘The 5 Relationship-Wrecking Communication Mistakes’ ‘The Seven Secret Keys To Creating a Relationship Oasis’ - To get your own free copy of their special report 'The 5 Mistakes' go to http://www.magicRelationship.com/freeaccess