In this episode, Shanenn walks through an exercise she did to stop her jealous actions. She breaks these action habits into two categories
Download the Action Habits Worksheet to follow along to identify and tame your jealous actions.
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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: There's a really simple model to help understand how your thoughts are directly connected to your results. The model goes like this thoughts become feelings, feelings, become actions, actions become results.
[00:00:15] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Now I'll say that one more time in case you were multitasking. So here it. Thoughts become feelings, feelings, become actions, actions become results. So it's clear your thoughts kick off this chain of events and everything loops back to your thoughts. And I'll dive into jealous thought habits on another episode.
[00:00:37] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But today, I wanted to share an exercise to help identify and tame your jealous action habits. So you might be thinking well, if our thoughts drive all of this jealous junk, why are we starting with my actions?
[00:01:46] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Happy 10th episode of the Jealousy Junky podcast. I'm so pumped to share this solo episode with you today because I'm going to lay out, I guess, a beginner's blueprint on how to tame your jealous actions. I know, as you've experienced living with jealousy, it can really take a toll on your life and definitely your relationship.
[00:02:10] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: As I say in my standard intro for this podcast, I know that you would do anything to not feel that way. I would say to my husband all the time, like I, I know how much my jealousy is affecting your life and how much it's stressing you out. And I'm so sorry for. But my gosh, if you only knew how bad it is for me and in my head and how much I really wish more than anything else that I wasn't this way.
[00:02:39] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Like, I wish that more than you probably. And he'd often say back something like, you know, I'm sure it is hard for you, but I don't think you realize even half of what you do and say, For a long time, I didn't think much into that because I felt like I I did have a pretty good idea of what I was doing and saying, but once I committed to really trying to tackle this jealousy thing, my husband's words kept creeping in my head.
[00:03:13] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And so I decided that I was going to start tracking the things that I did and the things that I said. Yes. It's probably part my stubbornness to show him that I did know everything and part, because I was just so exhausted with all my jealous habits that I knew I had to change something. I was just so sick of it.
[00:03:40] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I decided to start tracking and documenting all the stuff that I was doing. Like all my jealous habits, like really stepping outside of myself and kind of trying to take a bird's eye view and really capture all those things. I didn't have them identified at the time like I do now but through my experience hours of research, many conversations, I now label these jealous habits into two junk buckets, action habits and thinking habits.
[00:04:14] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And each one of those, there are different categories of habits. So today, I thought I would spend some time and break these down into some tiny digestible steps. So this episode is kind of part one about your action habits. And then later on, I'll do a part two on the thinking habits, cuz there's a lot to those thinking habits.
[00:04:41] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So you may have been wondering from the beginning. Again, well, if my thoughts are driving all of this, why are we starting with my action habits? And so let me explain. For us jealousy junkies we're so wound up so anxious. and really looking for some quick relief.
[00:05:02] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're like me, that's all I could think like, oh my gosh, I just want this to stop. Like, how do I get this to stop as quickly as possible? And what I realize that it's actually part of what keeps us in this loop, because we want this quick transformation. We Google like crazy. We try to find all these different things to do at once.
[00:05:23] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And when they don't, we give up. At least that's how I did for many years. Like, Ugh, forget it. This thing doesn't work and start telling ourselves the same old story. Like I will always be this way. I can't tame this jealousy thing. I'm not strong enough to conquer this. All of those things that we say to ourselves.
[00:05:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Jealousy can be really deep rooted and probably these are things that you've been doing for a very long time, you know, doing some of these habits and telling yourself the same story for many, many years. And then when we really get desperate, that's when we would seek out, at least for me, I would seek out therapists and coaches and guidance and tools and resources.
[00:06:09] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But you may not know how to put those all together or really which one to start with first that will give you at least just a tiny bit of relief. So that's the reason that I'm starting with action habits because I think you can get some quicker wins here and really start to build the confidence and the momentum to tackle the much more resilient thinking habits that we'll dive into later.
[00:06:38] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: As I mentioned, I break action habits into smaller categories. So action habits, all break into categories. Those thinking habits I'll break down into smaller categories, but we're starting with habits and so for action habits, um, the first category I call undercover action habits.
[00:07:11] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So think of these as you being kind of a private investigator, an undercover agent. These are the habits that you're doing you'll probably have to be a little bit more sneaky about doing them. So maybe your partner doesn't really know you're doing them. Um, and I can give you some examples of what mine were.
[00:07:34] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So certainly checking my husband's text messages, reading his emails, going through his car console. Uh, what? Oh, location services was a big one for me. I would look him up to see where he was or if he was where he said he was. So those are just some of my action habits.
[00:07:55] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So think of them again, those type of sneaky behind the scenes, undercover action habits that you do. And if you're in a place to write 'em down. Great. If not, um, you can also later go to www.Jealousyjunkie.com/actions to use my free action habits worksheet, and you can start logging them there and it really walks you through the exercise.
[00:08:20] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So it's something great to go grab. So go ahead and snag that, um, because you're probably coming up with a couple off the top of your head. But I do want you to take a little bit of time with this and also , redirect your focus back to the podcast, because I want you to know how to go through these.
[00:08:41] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So take a little bit of time, at least take a couple days to make sure that you're really capturing all of your undercover action habits, because some, you may not be doing every day or you may only do them in certain situations.
[00:09:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I definitely want you to take a few days, maybe even a week to really compile that solid list. So again, if you want the worksheet go to www.jealousyjunkie.com/actions and snag your worksheet.
[00:09:15] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I know that you're probably thinking of some of yours right now, but come back to me, it's really important that you understand what to do once you've determined your list of action habits. So you've got the worksheet. You're gonna list out your action habits, take a little bit of time, make sure that you have got a really good list of what you tend to do when you are feeling jealous and once you feel like you've captured them, I want you to pick one of them to stop doing. Just one.
[00:09:53] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So please don't try to stop all of them at once or several at a time. Just one and maybe pick one that you think will be the easiest for you to stop doing.
[00:10:09] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: For me, I chose to stop looking at his location services. That was the one that I committed a hundred percent. Like, no matter what, I'm not allowed to do this under any circumstances and so think about it. Let's say that your list has six undercover action habits that you came up with.
[00:10:31] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That means that you have five other ones that your anxious mind can still go to. So it's just the one, you've got the other ones on your list that if you feel like you still need to do, go for it, you've got the other five or however many other ones are on your list.
[00:10:49] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But don't get caught up in the fact that something's been taken away from you. Cause you have all of those other ones that you can still keep doing.
[00:10:58] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So let's go back to our model for a second... that thoughts become feelings, feelings, become actions and actions become results. And I said in the beginning, Yes. with that model, it is clear, as I said, that our thoughts drive all of this.
[00:11:16] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And so you may be saying, well, if we're not covering the thinking part yet, and I haven't learned how to do that, how am I gonna stop this action habit that I just picked? So no worries. I'm gonna give you one thinking tip to get you through this exercise of giving up your one chosen action habit. And actually this is a big one, and I'll say it and remind you over and over again.
[00:11:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And I will say it throughout this podcast and throughout our journey together. And that is,,, right now, you're just practicing, not mastering. So keep in mind, you're just practicing giving it up. Right. That's the one I'm a hundred percent committed to, I've got these other five, so I'm not mastering it.
[00:12:08] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I'm just practicing by picking one. And here's what I mean. If you're like me, you've tried different things in the past to overcome jealous. Or really anything in your life that you've tried to start doing or stop doing. We give it our best effort. We go all in a hundred percent and when we don't master it right away, we give up.
[00:12:34] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: When it feels awkward, we don't feel like we're doing a good job. We slip up, we mess up, we give up and we say, oh, well, it doesn't work. We tell ourselves that we're not strong enough to accomplish it. And then we beat ourselves up for it. Then we don't wanna try again or anything else that resembles it because of course we're human, we hate feeling like we've failed.
[00:13:04] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I want you to change your thinking to this: Right now, I'm not trying to master this thing. I'm just practicing this thing. So again, I'm not mastering, I'm practicing, and this allows you to give yourself some grace when you slip up. But with that being said, though, I do think it's okay if not good, to feel a little bit of guilt when you do slip up.
[00:13:33] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Not shame. No, no, no, no shame is not allowed, but some guilt is okay. Guilt signals us to do better, to practice more. Got it. No shame. Guilt may be okay. Not mastering, but practicing.
[00:13:51] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I mentioned my first action habit that I picked was looking him up on location services. And let me tell you when I got through my first few days and then my first full week without looking up his location, it was amazing. I mean, keep in mind because I was working them one at a time. I was still checking his phone and the other things on my list, but even conquering that one thing gave me a little bit of relief.
[00:14:25] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And when it did creep in from time to time, I would tell myself, Nope, that's the one, you know, that one I am not allowed to do. I'm not allowing myself to do that one. And it was one less thing that I was obsessing over. And eventually, you know what happened? I completely forgot. It was one of my options.
[00:14:48] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Like it wasn't coming into my brain anymore to look up his location services and I forgot it was one of my options. And then I moved on to the next one and each one became a little bit easier. I was getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable. If that makes sense. So, yes, of course there were some hurdles, but it did get easier with each one.
[00:15:16] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And so that's why I also mentioned, you know, maybe pick the one that you think would be the easiest for you to give up first and practice with that one.
[00:15:26] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Okay. So now that we have covered our undercover action habits, Let's talk about the other category of action habits, and that is your direct action habits.
[00:15:40] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: These might be a little bit trickier to identify or may take you just a little bit longer. So again, take your time with these, make sure that you have a good extensive list that you feel captures all of them.
[00:15:56] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So we said the first one was more things that maybe our partner doesn't really know that we're doing, or we have to be a little bit sneaky with them. With direct action habit, your partner is definitely aware that you're doing them because they're directed at them. They are shot straight to them. And so I'll use mine again as an example.
[00:16:22] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Um, if my husband was telling me a story about his day, I would listen with the intention of trying to see if there was anything didn't match up to what he may have said earlier or anything I should be worried about and I'd start interrogating him with questions. Or if he went to shave, I would say, oh, what's going on tomorrow at work? Or what do you have going on as if I was just curious about his work day and his schedule, you know, just making casual conversation.
[00:16:58] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But I could pretend all day long that I was just curious, or these were just questions that I would normally ask somebody, but he and I both knew that that wasn't the case. We both knew better. Um, another one was, if he were trying to tell me something that happened, but he couldn't remember if it was me that he already told, or if it was me that he saw it with on TV.
[00:17:27] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I would direct action him right away with a snide comment, you know, some type of comment like, oh, that must have been your other girlfriend. Or you must have told that to your girlfriend, not me. Ugh. It was so bad. I mean, I had those comments for everything. Those accusatory little jabs, like that can really destroy a relationship.
[00:17:53] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And if I'm being really fair here as women, you know, most of us are always talking about how we wish our partners would communicate more. Talk to us more, open up. Well, these types of comments will shut that down immediately. Not to mention if we have no evidence or real suspicion, there is another person involved it's really disheartening to your partner and clear to them that you don't trust them.
[00:18:26] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So these types of comments and jabs are really what can lead to them, leaving information out of their story, or actually keeping things from you, which is exactly what my husband did when we were datin g and my jealousy was at its all time high.
[00:18:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: He wasn't doing anything wrong, but also he couldn't do anything right. Tell me about a conversation or not. Tell me he went to lunch with friends or not tell me. Either way I would question and worry. And I know that may be triggering to hear, because that's exactly the opposite of what we want our partners to do.
[00:19:07] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That's what we're worried about. They're not telling me the truth. They're leaving stuff out. They're not telling me the whole story. These direct action habits can really cause some damage to the communication and your relationship overall . They'll shut down or we find out that they left out part of a story and Ugh, it's just, it's a whole cycle.
[00:19:28] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But communication can improve and your partner will start feeling free to share again, in the absence of these direct comments. So if they're not feeling like they're constantly being jabbed, or we're not constantly questioning, trust me, that'll come back around.
[00:19:46] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: It may take some time, but today, you know, my husband has no problem telling me about things that he absolutely would not have in the past. And the things he doesn't tell me, I'm okay with. Like, I don't have that burning need to know every detail of his life or feel threatened by every person that he interacts with or simply has lunch with friends or happens to get seated next to a female on the airplane. Like he doesn't have to leave that stuff out anymore. And it's such a calming feeling for both of us.
[00:20:25] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Okay. So back to the exercise. You're going to define and track these on your action habits, worksheet, just like you did the undercover action habits, but these were gonna do a little bit differently. So for these, I went through and figured out all of those nasty comments that I was saying, and I made a list of them. And you'll have a space on your worksheet to make a list of those too.
[00:20:50] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But for these, I instead came up with a positive phrase that I would place next to my negative comment; my jab comment that I made. And it doesn't have to match. Like if using the example when I said, oh, that must have been your other girlfriend. You don't have to come up with a comment that matches perfectly except it's a positive way of that comment. It can be any positive comment. You look great in that shirt. You look sexy in that shirt. Um, it can just be you saying, I love you, whatever it is, but just have a positive comment for each of those negative comments that you normally make. Those, those negative jabs that you're usually saying. You should just have a positive comment on the other side, on the worksheet next to that negative comment.
[00:21:49] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Now that I had my new positive non accusatory, not in judgmental phrase for each one or each situation, instead of picking just one I would stop doing, I started resisting the urge to make the habitual negative comment any opportunity that popped up. And I practiced replacing it with the positive comment.
[00:22:16] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So where in our undercover action habits, we're picking one to completely stop. With this one. , we're practicing not saying any of those comments and you're going to replace it with your positive comment.
[00:22:36] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That urge to fire off that comment, that negative comment is gonna come quick and probably strong. So hold out as long as you can from making any comment. Because most of the time me saying, oh, that must have been your other girlfriend. There's no value in that. There's no value in the conversation. So most likely we don't really need to make a comment back. And certainly not the negative one.
[00:23:05] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So fight off that urge, hold out as, as long as you possibly can from making a comment. I actually had to visualize my mouth being zipped closed. Um, that, that was the way that I could do it. But if you absolutely can't control the urge, which I have every confidence in the world that you can, but if you still can't shake the urge to comment, say you're positive or replacement comment in front of your low down nasty green tongue comment that you wanna make.
[00:23:40] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: It may be really hard to slam them after you just told 'em how sexy they were in their shirt. So if you have to comment or it requires a response, say the positive comment, and if you're still feeling the urge, okay, you're gonna, but try not to make those negative comments. So try to say the positive comment instead.
[00:24:08] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I can't say enough how shifting my mindset from practicing instead of mastering can help in terms of beating yourself up when you do slip up and to keep you from giving up and going back to the thoughts that you're always gonna be like this or you're never gonna overcome the jealousy. So please take those thoughts and that labeling out of your internal vocabulary.
[00:24:39] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: There you have it, your beginner's blueprint to taming your action habits. I would absolutely love to hear which undercover action habit you committed to stop doing so I can cheer you on as you practice.
[00:24:52] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So if you're on Instagram, follow me there @jealousyjunkiecoach and shoot me a DM with your one chosen action habit that you're going to stop. If you're not on Instagram, head over to www.Jealousyjunkiepodcast.com and feel free to leave me a voice message there.
[00:25:10] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Don't forget to download your action habits firstname.lastname@example.org/actions. Until next time take care and remember, you're not alone.