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Analysing Jealous Thoughts

Assignment: ABC Analysis

Create an ABC Analysis of what happens when you get jealous. Set out in a table like the one below a typical example of a kind of situation where you might become, or have become, jealous or envious and analyse it under the headings in the table:

(A)
Activating Event
What triggers your jealousy?
(B)
Beliefs
What thoughts go through your mind?
(C)
Consequences
How do you then react and feel?
 

I think…

 

 

 

I react by…

 

I feel…

 

 

Are Your Jealous Beliefs Justified?

Looking at your analysis when you have done it, you may realise that the Beliefs (the middle column) play a crucial part.

It is your beliefs about the activating event which are stimulating you to feel angry or hurt and to react in a jealous way. So if you want to stop acting in a jealous way then it will help if you can find a way of either changing those beliefs (if they are inaccurate) or dealing with them constructively (if they may be accurate but are still leading you to act in ways which you later regret).

Analysing Your Jealous Beliefs

To help deal with your beliefs, begin by answering the following 3 questions about the beliefs that come into your mind in the situation described in your ABC Model:

1. Why do I believe this?

2. What alternative explanations are there?

3. Are my beliefs reasonable?

In answering question 1. consider whether your beliefs are simply the result of some of the factors in your personal history that may make your prone to being jealous that you identified in the earlier exercise about the reasons for your jealousy.

Consider whether the circumstances would lead someone else who doesn’t have your personal history to draw the same conclusions that you automatically drew in the situation – would that neutral person be likely to hold the same beliefs about the significance of the situation that you automatically arrived at or would they not see the situation as so significant?

In answering question 2, ask yourself whether there are more innocent or less extreme interpretations of the situation which a neutral person might put forward – for instance, in a hypothetical example where you see your friend (Mike) talking to your partner (Jane) and start to let your beliefs run away with you thinking: "He must fancy her …She is more attractive than I am…he finds her more interesting than me…she is trying to get him away from me…he is going to have an affair with her...", an alternative interpretation might be simply:

‘Mike is enjoying talking to Jane because he feels relaxed and is interested in the subject. This doesn’t mean he is going to have an affair with her.

Once you have thought about why you interpret the situation in the way that you do and what the alternatives are, then try to use that comparison of your beliefs with the alternatives to help you decide whether your beliefs are reasonable...

 

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Further Ideas for Jealousy Issues

The above extract is taken from my ebook Overcoming Jealousy - A Practical Guide. For more information about that ebook click on the link below:

Overcoming Jealousy - A Practical Guide