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Balancing Jealousy

What is a Balancing Statement?

A Balancing Statement is a statement that you can say to yourself to balance out the beliefs that you have identified which are causing you to act in a way that you want to change. We have been considering jealous situations and below I set out two types of Balancing Statement that you can use, depending on whether or not you think that your jealous thoughts are justified by the situation or not:

1. If on analysis you think your beliefs are unreasonable

If you decide that your beliefs are unreasonable then use a Balancing Statement which explains why the belief is not justified by the situation and gives an alternative reasonable or possible explanation. If it helps, you can also include an explanation of why it is that you have a tendency to arrive at a belief which is not justified.

So in my Example 1 ABC Analysis earlier, where you start to believe that your friend (Mike) is having an affair with your partner (Jane) simply because they are having a friendly conversation, a Balancing Statement would include the alternative explanation of the situation and perhaps explain why you jumped to a more dramatic conclusion than was warranted. The Balancing Statement might be for example:

‘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. I jumped to an irrational conclusion about this because I am feeling vulnerable at the moment as I have just come out of relationship which didn’t work well’.

2. If on analysis you think your beliefs are reasonable

If you decide that your beliefs are reasonable, i.e. that the evidence supports the interpretation you placed on the situation, then your balancing statement may be of a different nature.

In this case, I suggest you ask yourself the following question:

Given that my belief is reasonable, what is the best way I can act in this situation to achieve as positive outcome as I can?

You might for example decide that the outcome that you want is to be able to have an honest relationship with Mike and to be resolve potential problems if possible. If that is so, then your Balancing Statement in the situation might be something like:

‘After reflecting on this situation and on other situations, I believe that Mike may be having an affair with Jane, and this is not simply because I sometimes suspect the worst. However, reacting angrily and jealously is unlikely to improve the situation. It will be better for me to speak with a friend I trust about this and try and work out how I want to act in this situation, what I want to say to Mike and how best to say it.’

What are the consequences if your belief is true?

It can also help you in creating a Balancing Statement to ask yourself what are the consequences if your jealous thought is true?

Sometimes what you fear, though unpleasant or painful, may not actually be as unbearable as you think.

Sometimes therefore a Balancing Statement may be of the form:

‘It is possible that my belief is true. However, even if it is true, I can still do X…or [I still have Y in my life]…or [I can still do Z to cope with the situation…].’

Assignment: Create Your Own Balancing Statements

Copy the Beliefs from the ABC Analysis that you completed of your jealous thoughts and actions in your ABC Analysis into a table like that below.

Then create 1 or more Balancing Statement for each Belief, to help you put it in perspective and remind yourself of alternative explanations or of how you can act constructively in the situation.

Jealous Beliefs

I tend to think…

My Balancing Statements

If that thought occurs then I can say to myself…

1.

1.

2.

2.

3.

3.

4.

4.

 

 

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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