Jealousy, affectionately known as the green-eyed monster, gets a bad rap when it comes to emotions because it can be disregarded as a “superficial emotion.” While most commonly associated with romantic relationships, jealousy can show up in a professional environment, within friendships, family, and elsewhere. Instead of typecasting jealousy as a “petty” emotion, consider jealousy an opportunity to improve your emotional intelligence by recognizing, understanding, and managing your emotions.

Most people confuse feelings of jealousy with feelings of envy. The difference is, when you experience jealousy, you see a person or thing as an obstacle to you receiving love, attention, affection, etc. As compared to envy, you want to acquire something that another person has. Based on that definition, it is possible that if you’re feeling jealous, this may be an indication of a possible unmet and unsaid emotional need within your relationship.

When encountering feelings of jealousy, your gut reaction may be to shove your feelings to the side or to rush through them because you feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, doing that is a disservice to yourself. I recommend taking this slow and allowing yourself to process through all the things because every emotion—even jealousy—can be processed more healthily.

Here are four steps to deal with feeling jealous:

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