If you've ever researched..."why am I jealous" you may have been left with more questions than answers. In this episode, Dr. Genesis Games walks you through what may be at the root of your jealousy and insecurities.
You'll get a deep dive into each of the attachment styles and why it's important to know yours.
Wondering how to feel more secure in relationships? Dr. Games also shares 5 ways to move to a secure attachment style to improve relationships.
What's your attachment style? Take the Free Quiz https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/624e1a8010570600189fc627
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What's your attachment style? Take the FREE Quiz to find out
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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're like I was throughout my many years of jealousy, you've probably Googled "why am I jealous" many, many times. And most likely you're getting the same response I did. The typical answer of... you may have low self-esteem or feelings of low self-worth. And I felt like that just led to more questions. Like, okay, but why? Why do I have feelings of low self-worth and low self-esteem? What's the reason behind it? I felt like it was really hard to get the answer to the question.
[00:00:34] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So today I'm bringing on someone with a wide knowledge of psychology, Dr. Genesis Games to help shed some light on this burning question.
[00:00:45] Genesis Games: Yes, I think sometimes it can definitely be attached with having low self-worth having low self-esteem.
[00:00:51] Genesis Games: Sometimes it may not be right. And I think this piece is important. And, and I'll talk a little bit about the core of the low self-esteem, because I think that is sometimes the answer. But sometimes our partners are being shady. And that has nothing to do with our self-esteem that has nothing to do with how we perceive ourselves. That's just a matter of fact, and we're noticing that whether they're being shady intentionally or we're just recognizing. That there's a change in the relationship, there's a change in the dynamic. There's a change in their mood. There's just a change overall and we can't really explain where is this change coming from? Like what happened?
[00:01:30] Genesis Games: And that's where sometimes the jealousy and the scenarios in our head can begin to kind of grow and evolve, trying to make sense of this change. We don't understand. And that's a very natural process to happen. When our brain has gaps in any kind of story. When we don't fully understand like the why behind something, our brain is going to try to fill those gaps. It's programmed to do that. So that's a very natural progression if we're missing gaps to the story.
[00:02:02] Genesis Games: Now, going to the part of the self-esteem or the low self-worth. Our self-esteem and our self-worth are usually built-in childhood. When I used to work more with children, and I would talk to their parents about the way you talk about your children. The way you talk about your children in front of your children. That becomes their inner voice.
[00:02:22] Genesis Games: And it's not just parents. I think parents are probably the most influential because the wellbeing and the survival of the child is completely dependent on their parents. But also, other influential adults, which can be grandparents, can be teachers, can be coaches also feed in to that inner voice, that inner monologue we all have.
[00:02:46] Genesis Games: And so, I think it's very important that if we have children, that we are very mindful of the vocabulary that we use when we are speaking about them and to them.
[00:03:01] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Because it's very easy and often, that's what happens is however we were spoken to when we were children is most likely how we're going to parent and how we're going to talk to our own children.
[00:03:14] Genesis Games: Mm-hmm
[00:03:15] Genesis Games: A Lot of times it's very not conscious. And I think even people might say like, I would never treat my child the way that my mom treated me or the way that my dad treated me. I would never talk to them that way. But the thing is, if you don't do the work in understanding, what is the alternative then you're automatically gonna find yourself doing the same thing when you're under stress.
[00:03:35] Genesis Games: Even if that wasn't your intention, because you never thought, well, what's the alternative. If I don't want to yell at them when I'm frustrated, then what am I gonna do instead? Am I gonna regulate my emotions and then how am I going to address the situation with them in a different way? What does that look like?
[00:03:51] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So, what are some of the things that we may say as parents to our children unknowingly that we're causing maybe some damage that may not be so apparent to us that we're saying or doing?
[00:04:04] Genesis Games: So I think name calling and not necessarily name calling even in a very harsh way, but I think sometimes saying things like you're a slob. Or you're so lazy, um, or you're just like your dad.
[00:04:19] Genesis Games: And we know that that "you're just like, your dad" is not going in a complimentary way. It's going more in a little jab. Right. Um, and sometimes we may say those things and we may even laugh afterwards kind of making them like a joke. But the thing is that kids... their ability to understand humor develops later on in life when we're able to think more abstractly and we're able to pick up on sarcasm and things like that.
[00:04:43] Genesis Games: A three-year-old cannot pick on those things. So they are taking what you're saying at face value. You might also be making these little comments, talking to your friend and your child is present and you think your child is playing and not paying attention to you. But when you're making these comments, they're taking that in. Maybe you’re saying... you're just a bad child or you're just hyperactive child. They may be, but these labels, they identify with it a hundred. And so they don't think... a part of me is hyperactive and maybe that's a part of me that I need to work on. They take on... I'm a hyperactive child. And so there is limitations that come with that and I am going to abide by those limitations. And then there's expectations that come with that and I'm also gonna fulfill the role of those expectations.
[00:05:34] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So, we do the same thing as children that we do or tend to do in adulthood is go very black and white on something. It's all a hundred percent this or a hundred percent that.
[00:05:45] Genesis Games: Exactly.
[00:05:46] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Uh, so interesting. And that makes me think, you know, in my family and I'm sure tons of families, we love humor, and we love to pick on each other and kind of poke fun at each other. That's very enlightening to see, well, a three-year-old doesn't understand, as you said, this sarcasm behind that.
[00:06:07] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Then, this may be at play where parents are talking to their children like that. What then happens? We know that they start thinking a hundred percent or all in on something. What happens then in the future?
[00:06:21] Genesis Games: So, they begin to internalize that as their inner voice. Right. And so that guides what I believe of myself. What I would call core beliefs. So, do I believe I'm capable? Do I believe I'm smart and intelligent? Do I believe I am bad and carry the shame of being bad? Do I believe I deserve good things in life? Do I believe that I am lovable? Do I believe that I deserve to be happy? And so, if I believe these things, I'm gonna act in ways to help fulfill that. If that makes sense. If I don't believe these things, I'm gonna act in ways to not be able to fulfill that.
[00:07:01] Genesis Games: Now it doesn't mean that I don't wanna be happy or that I don't wanna be loved or that I don't wanna have good things in my life. I want those things, but it's kinda like the self-fulfilling prophecy where when I'm getting ready to achieve that, I am probably gonna do something to self-sabotage that.
[00:07:17] Genesis Games: And the same thing happens in relationships. So especially if I believe I'm not lovable and maybe my parents would say things like I shouldn't have had you or maybe compared me to a sibling or whatever the case may be. But if I got the message that I am not lovable, that is really going to impact my intimate relationships. Most definitely my romantic relationships, but I would even say some of my close friendships. It's gonna be hard for me to have closeness. Closeness is probably gonna create some form of discomfort for me. Whether I may want insurance all the time that I am lovable, that you want to be in this relationship with me, that you continue to feel the same way about me. Or when I feel that we're getting too close, I may freak out because if I am not lovable, how are you getting so close?
[00:08:07] Genesis Games: right. Maybe I've been masking it and faking it. But if you get any closer than you are now, you are gonna realize that I am not lovable and you're gonna go away and that's gonna hurt. So I'm not gonna let you get that close.
[00:08:19] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Yes. And I think we can see that all the time in relationships. Oh. If they knew how I really was or when, you know, it's been a while and maybe it's time to consider the future. People may get a little bit nervous and scared about that, because that means they're gonna see the true me as we say.
[00:08:40] Genesis Games: Yeah.
[00:08:42] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Another thing I kept running into as I Googled the topic of jealousy was R.O.C.D. or relationship obsessive compulsive disorder.
[00:08:52] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I understand why we're associating it with that. Because when we get in that habitual mode of looking at their phones and tracking locations and asking them questions, it can seem very obsessive, but Dr. Games says it's more about your attachment style than a disorder.
[00:09:11] Genesis Games: As I was reading a little bit more on relationship O C D, what I really see is these attachment styles coming up. And we all have attachment styles and in every relationship, we are trying to figure out this dance between closeness and independence. In every single relationship that we're.
[00:09:31] Genesis Games: Some of us feel more comfortable being more independent, having more time to ourselves, having more time to like process things on our own. And then coming together. Some of us feel more comfortable being together most of the time and having a little less of that independence. Now this is a very normal experience for every human being that's in any form of a relationship.
[00:09:55] Genesis Games: Now if we have an insecure attachment and attachment is formed in childhood. Attachment is highly influenced by the main caretaker, but basically parents in general. A parent not being present impacts the attachment style as well. And then I would say anyone else that's an influence in a child's life.
[00:10:15] Genesis Games: I don't like to limit it to just parents, because I think sometimes there's other influential people as well, that can have an impact. So, attachment styles are generally created in childhood and then they're impacted by every other experience that we have. If we've been like really bullied in school, that may have an impact in our attachment style as well. Early romantic experiences even like in middle school, high school. We, a lot of times think, well, that was like puppy love, and we were little and that wasn't a real relationship. And I mean, maybe it wasn't like a real relationship and that there was like no engagement, but that doesn't mean that the feelings that you experienced then weren't real and weren't impactful.
[00:10:57] Genesis Games: So, all of those experiences feed into those attachment styles and for people with insecure attachment styles this is where you would see more of attention in that normal dance.
[00:11:10] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: How early on is the attachment style that someone has? How early on is that developed?
[00:11:17] Genesis Games: So, there's some studies that have shown between 9 and 12 months, you can begin to see that attachment style.
[00:11:24] Genesis Games: And so with children, these studies that have been done, usually they will take mom and they'll take the baby and they'll put them in a playroom. And the baby will be encouraged to explore the playroom and play with the different toys. And what they see is, is the baby gonna be clinging to mom the whole time in this new environment?
[00:11:43] Genesis Games: Or is the baby gonna be willing to explore on their own? And if they explore on their own, are they gonna be like playing on their own the whole time? Or are they gonna try to engage with mom and try to play with mom at certain points in time? And if mom leaves the room, is the baby going to have a meltdown or is the baby going to be kinda distracted by the toys and the other things in the room?
[00:12:10] Genesis Games: Are they gonna maybe have a little bit of a meltdown, but then get distracted and be able to enjoy themselves? What is a reaction that they're going to have. And so, with a secure attachment style in children, what we know is, um, the baby is going feel comforting going into the playroom, exploring the playroom, but will also check to make sure that mom is there every once in a while, and may engage mom and play, but is also okay playing on their own. So, there's this balance. There's no fear. It's like, I know you will be there so I feel confident that I can go and explore. And if I don't like what I find, or if I get bored or if I need you, I know you'll be there.
[00:12:52] Genesis Games: When mom exits the room, they'll have an emotional reaction. There might be a little bit of tears, but they're able to self sooth and they're able to redirect themselves to play. And when mom comes back into the room, they're excited to see mom. They're not, they're not like mom, you abandoned me. They're excited to see mom, and then they can engage in play, check that mom is there, engage in play, bring mom into the play, but they're also not clinging to mom. Like you better not leave me ever again. There's not that anxiety. There's a lot of confidence, a lot of trust and a lot of safety
[00:13:29] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Hearing that attachment styles could play a big role in why you have feelings of jealousy. I wanted Dr. Games to really dive in and talk about each attachment style in detail.
[00:13:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: What are the attachment styles? Can we start there and talk through what each of those are?
[00:13:53] Genesis Games: So, what I just described is secure attachment style and I described it in childhood, but, you know, it's funny because I, I think a lot of our research starts with children and focuses on children and like how, how early can we detect these things?
[00:14:07] Genesis Games: But then we forget that these children grow and become adults. So, there's a lot more recent research on attachment styles in adults, but there was a gap in the literature for a while on what happens with these kids when they grow up. Secure attachment in adults would look like someone that is confident in themselves and, and not in a cocky way, but just like they are confident in who they are.
[00:14:31] Genesis Games: They're comfortable in their own skin, at least most of the time. They know what they bring to the table in a friendship, in a romantic relationship in any relationship that they're in; they know what they bring to the table. They have a positive perspective of themselves and of other people as well. So, they don't think that everyone is bad and everyone is out to get them.
[00:14:52] Genesis Games: They think, you know, yeah, some people suck, and some people are bad, but there's also some people that are good and have good intentions. And, you know, sometimes good people make mistakes. Because of that, they're more willing to give the benefit of doubt. So if something doesn't go the way they expected or there's something that they're like, Ugh they're not gonna jump to the conclusion of like, oh, this is a terrible person. Or there's just like playing with me. They're gonna give them the benefit of the doubt and they're gonna wanna know okay, well what happens. Why did you bail on me on our date? They're gonna think, well, maybe they had a car crash or maybe something happened. They're gonna think about other possibilities instead of thinking they just don't want anything to do with me and they're playing me.
[00:15:32] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Because they're more familiar with seeing also the positive side of people and the positive side of life?
[00:15:37] Genesis Games: Yes. Um, they're also really good at communicating their feelings, their needs, their wants. So if they notice something let's say in a dating situation, if they notice something that might be a red flag, something they might not feel too comfortable with. They're not gonna hesitate in bringing that up. And they'll bring it up and they'll have a conversation about it. And based on that, they'll decide whether they wanna move forward in the relationship or not.
[00:16:04] Genesis Games: Whereas someone with an insecure attachment style might not want to bring it up because they might be afraid that starting a conversation on that would automatically mean the end of the relationship.
[00:16:15] Genesis Games: Or they'll hyper focus on the red flag. And automatically say, I can't be with you, without asking any more questions or having any sort of context, you know? So, it'd be something like I didn't know, you're a morning person. Like who's a morning person, that's it. I cannot date a morning person, without getting any more context.
[00:16:36] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So back to those extremes?
[00:16:38] Genesis Games: Exactly. And so then we have insecure attachment styles and in insecure attachment styles, I guess the first thing I wanna highlight is that although there's different types of insecure attachment styles and they display different behaviors, they all want connection and they all want to be in a relationship.
[00:16:58] Genesis Games: They want to feel seen. They want to feel heard. It just, it creates anxiety for them, and they display this anxiety in different ways, but at the root of it, there is the same desire and there's the same fear.
[00:17:12] Genesis Games: And so with the anxious attachment style, this is the person that has a hard time being on their own. They have a hard time seeing themselves outside of a relationship. This might be your serial monogamous friend that goes from being in a 7-year relationship into a 10-year relationship into a 7-year relationship. Right? Um, Not a lot of times, single, not a lot of time on their own. They really cling into these relationships.
[00:17:37] Genesis Games: If you talk to this friend, they may have told you, six months in, I kind of saw these red flags, but you know, I just kept going. So it's not necessarily that they're blind to these red flags, but they're really holding onto this relationship. They have this fear of being on their own.
[00:17:54] Genesis Games: They have this fear of abandonment. And there's usually a history of abandonment if we think back into childhood or if we think even some of those early romantic relationships or even some close friend hips that may have ended in a very difficult way growing up. They're trying to do anything and everything to have reassurance that their relationship is going well, and that their partner is equally as invested as they are.
[00:18:18] Genesis Games: That's usually a very big fear. So, this is often where you can see jealousy because any change in behavior in their partner or any change in the mood of their partner, they're so attuned to it. So they immediately recognize it. I think sometimes even before their partner recognizes it.
[00:18:37] Genesis Games: And so they automatically internalize it. If you're upset, it must be because I'm not making you happy. It's not your job. It's not gas prices. It's not anything else happening in the world, but it must be that I'm not making you happy. It has to be about me, right?
[00:18:57] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Yes. And this often I hear and what I experienced and did myself was looking for that constant reassurance.
[00:19:03] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Like, do you still love me? Right? Or do you still love me? Like, it's that constant check in, even if we notice the slightest thing, as you were saying.
[00:19:14] Genesis Games: Yes. And so sometimes this is where jealousy can be experienced. But it can be also where the partner tries to make the other partner feel jealous as a way to get that reassurance.
[00:19:25] Genesis Games: So, if I feel like you're not giving me the attention that I need, if you know, you're maybe tired of me checking in all the time and you're not being as responsive as before I wanna get some emotion out of you. So I may act out. And what's we call protest behaviors and trying to get some emotion out of you as a reassurance that you still care about me. You still care about this relationship.
[00:19:48] Genesis Games: This can also create pressure for the other partner, because I think the other partner might sometimes think why are they constantly asking me for reassurance? Maybe I'm not doing something right, maybe I'm not communicating enough. Maybe I'm not being expressive enough. Affectionate enough. Like I thought I was like putting my best self in this relationship, but if my partner feels so insecure, then maybe it's also about me.
[00:20:14] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Interesting. So then you put that, maybe it's about me, on your partner as well and they begin to think sort of the same thing that you're thinking... is it about me? And now they're thinking, well, is it about me because to them. I just said, I loved you this morning. And you're already asking me when I get home... do I still love you? And nothing has changed and nothing's happened. It's confusing.
[00:20:37] Genesis Games: Mm-hmm it can, it can definitely be confusing, and it can feel stressful.
[00:20:43] Genesis Games: The other attachment style is avoidant. And so for avoidant people, they are avoiding that intense closeness. So, whereas the anxious person is going to do anything and everything to keep that relationship, you know, not acknowledge red flags, not necessarily express your feelings authentically, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:21:03] Genesis Games: The avoidant person really loves your independence and really loves your space and really loves being able to make your own decisions without having to take anyone else into consideration. Now, these are not like selfish people. Some people are selfish and are avoidant, but not everyone that's avoidant is selfish.
[00:21:23] Genesis Games: They've just learned in life that they have to rely on themselves and that other people aren't reliable. And so this might be where there were absent parents and I don't mean where they were physically absent but maybe they weren't emotionally available. This may have been a situation where maybe one of the parents was very ill or maybe passed away, and this child had to step up and grow up really fast and take on responsibilities that a child shouldn't have.
[00:21:50] Genesis Games: And based on these experiences, they know they can rely on themselves. They know that when things get tough, they have their back. And they don't feel like they can rely on other people in the same way. They don't have that optimistic perspective of, you know, people are generally good and sometimes good people make mistakes. They generally think you can't really trust other people.
[00:22:13] Genesis Games: So that shapes the way that they go into relationships like that preconceived notion when they're starting to meet someone and explore a potential relationship, they're really going to safeguard that independence. Right. And if they feel like that independence is being taken away from them, they're gonna feel suffocated and they're need that space and they're start asking for that space.
[00:22:38] Genesis Games: So what that can look like... Let's say the other partner is asking for more time together, more quality time, something like that, maybe a trip or something of that nature. That might be triggering. They may begin to feel suffocated, and they may pull back and pull the plug on the trip. But on top of that, maybe there's silent treatment for a few days, or maybe I'm working extra hours to avoid being at home and seeing less of you.
[00:23:06] Genesis Games: Maybe it's having a hard time giving the relationship a label. So maybe it's hard for me to say, like we're exclusive, um, or it's hard to say, you know what, I really want to marry you. This means commitment to another level. And this also means that with that added commitment, it's going to be expected that I give more of myself. And then again, you're gonna see more of me and maybe you don't like what you see.
[00:23:35] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Ooh. I can imagine the fireworks in a relationship where you have one that has anxious attachment one that has avoidant attachment. You know, one's trying to cling on and one is trying to really put some distance.
[00:23:48] Genesis Games: And that's the thing, these two people tend to fall in love.
[00:23:52] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Of course they do
[00:23:52] Genesis Games: That's the most common.
[00:23:54] Genesis Games: There is one more attachment style before we talk a little bit about that dynamic. And that is a mix of both. So, you have anxious traits and you have avoidant traits. This is said to be the less common of the two. I wanna say that the, the number of these is actually becoming more common.
[00:24:14] Genesis Games: And so what happens here? It's kind of a push and pull. So, at the beginning of the relationship, like I like you, I think you're interesting, I'm into you. So there's going to be more of that anxious attachment style. I wanna see you all the time. I wanna go on dates with you. I wanna talk to you.
[00:24:30] Genesis Games: I wanna text you. I just wanna be around you all the time. I want us to be exclusive. I wanna have a title. I wanna know that you're mine. But the moment that I feel like your mine that's too much closeness and I begin to pull away, but then you're like, wait, hold on.
[00:24:49] Genesis Games: Like all this intensity, all this commitment. A minute ago, you were so sure about us and now you're pulling away. And so it can become very difficult. You said fireworks with the other with, the avoidant and the anxious. So, with this one would be fireworks times 10 because you're having this constant push and pull coming just from one person. The other person is having to react to that and try to make sense of that.
[00:25:14] Genesis Games: We know that in these kind of relationships, there's a higher likelihood for domestic violence because that partner has a harder time regulating their emotions. Having very polar opposite emotions at different points of the relationship.
[00:25:32] Genesis Games: I assume then it could also be the reverse? And I'm just thinking about my own situation.
[00:25:36] Genesis Games: Like I felt like I'm the coolest girlfriend until I have feelings for you. And then I go into that anxious.
[00:25:43] Genesis Games: It can happen other way as well, yes. One can come first. The other one can come after, but it's just the idea that you're going back and forth in these very intense feelings, polar opposite intense feelings.
[00:25:56] Genesis Games: And what's triggering this back and forth is like that sign of commitment or that sign of closeness.
[00:26:01] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Mm-hmm mm-hmm .
[00:26:03] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So then you said that this develops very early on. Could it be, if someone grew up for the most part, they have a secure attachment style mm-hmm they feel great, very balanced. And then maybe they get into a relationship with someone that's not healthy for them or something else major happens. Can they go then from being that secure person to, even just from a relationship, and start to move into some of these others.
[00:26:35] Genesis Games: Absolutely. Although yes, it. Mostly created in childhood.
[00:26:39] Genesis Games: It's definitely not like a life sentence, so we can go from being avoidant to being secure or from being anxious to being secure. But we can also go from being secure to being any of the insecure attachment styles. Having a traumatic breakup, having maybe infidelity or just any form of traumatic situation in a relationship can definitely affect your attachment style.
[00:27:04] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And then is it maybe less likely for someone who has secure attachment, because maybe they're choosing better partners just because of the way they operate in the world? Maybe they wouldn't get in that situation. I know we certainly can't guarantee what our partners are going to do no matter what, so that certainly could happen. But is it in general, we're probably picking better suited people for us?
[00:27:35] Genesis Games: Going back to the idea that avoidaint and anxious people tend to fall in love with each other, secure people would not deal with a lot of that. So it's not like they would run away right away because they would wanna have a conversation about it.
[00:27:49] Genesis Games: And they're going to assume good intentions. But they're also going to express their expectations, their needs, and their wants. And if they've expressed this a few times and they don't see any desire for change in their partner, they're gonna walk away because they believe there are other people out there that could be a good fit for them.
[00:28:08] Genesis Games: They don't think there's a shortage of people. And they're comfortable being alone in the meantime, so they will try to talk it out and they'll try to work it out. But eventually they will walk away if there's no desire to change in the other partner. So, if I am anxious or avoidant and I am in a relationship with a secure person, it's possible that that relationship can be very healing for me.
[00:28:33] Genesis Games: And that I can move more towards a secure attachment style if I have the desire to change and work on myself, because that secure person will be some form of an anchor for me. But at the same time, if I'm not ready to take on that challenge, then that relationship is likely not gonna last very long, because they're not gonna put up with me, not wanting to improve myself and grow and change.
[00:29:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Right. So that secure person is probably not gonna go as far down the rabbit hole as maybe the anxious, or avoidant?
[00:29:08] Genesis Games: Exactly.
[00:29:09] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Got it. Got. So since we can move from secure to insecure, I think that the hot topic or question is, can we move then to secure? You started to talk about that a little bit.
[00:29:24] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: What are some ways that we can start to heal and move to that secure person?
[00:29:32] Genesis Games: So, I think the best way would be to find yourself a secure partner, not always the easiest. And of course, if someone is listening and they're in a relationship and they're like, my partner is totally avoidant, I'm not suggesting that you end that relationship.
[00:29:45] Genesis Games: But that would be the best way because that secure person will challenge us to become more secure. They will challenge us to speak. They wanna hear us. They wanna know what's going on with us. They wanna know what's happening in our inner world. So they're gonna challenge us and they're gonna encourage us to do that.
[00:30:03] Genesis Games: And it's not gonna be triggering for them and it's not gonna feel like too much. So that is probably the best way for us to practice all of those communication skills. And just to know, you know, I think it's very healing to be able to say, I feel this way, or I need X, Y, and Z, and have someone say, I get that.
[00:30:25] Genesis Games: And I'm gonna do my best to fulfill that for you. Can't guarantee that I'll fulfill it a hundred percent of the time, but I am going do my best to fulfill that for you. And so in that dynamic over time, healing can happen.
[00:30:39] Genesis Games: Now, if you find yourself in a relationship with someone else that has an insecure attachment style, I think this is where couples therapy is very, very important.
[00:30:49] Genesis Games: Because I can be doing all the things to try to understand where my attachment style developed, to try to heal some of the things from my past that might have been you know, the, the core reason why I have this attachment style, I can work on rebuilding my self-esteem. I can work on communicating on being in touch with my needs and my feelings. I can do all of that and that's phenomenal.
[00:31:14] Genesis Games: But when I come back to a dynamic where my partner doesn't understand that, they're not gonna be receptive. They're going to be triggered by it. They're gonna be like, why are you telling me all this information? If I start expressing my needs to an anxious partner, they might again internalize this.
[00:31:31] Genesis Games: That it's all about them. And they're this terrible person. And I'm telling them this because I'm ready to be out of the relationship. If I say all my needs to an avoidant partner, they're gonna feel overwhelmed. It's just gonna feel like ...I'm just inadequate. They've seen my true me. I'm not a good partner. I can't do this. I may as well leave.
[00:31:48] Genesis Games: So, I can be doing all great work in individual therapy or on my own through self-help. Um, and I might be crossing off things, but when it comes back to that dynamic, it's not gonna be received well, if my partner is not working on themselves as well.
[00:32:04] Genesis Games: And so what's gonna happen is I'm triggering them, even though that's not my intention. And then they're gonna trigger me. Because they're gonna pull away or they're gonna, you know, whatever their reaction is. And before I know it, we're back into our same dynamics.
[00:32:21] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Ah, interesting. So. It's really best to go at it together in that situation. What if they're not willing to? Is there a possibility where you get to the point because you've done all this work and you're moving to that secure place where you go... you know what, now this is not working for me all together and that may then be the end result for that situation.
[00:32:48] Genesis Games: I think that happens to a lot of people when they don't go at it together. I think sometimes it can also be a wakeup call for the other partner. And so I think when they see that you committed to this change in that you are, you know, I, I like to use a metaphor of a dance. So when you know, you're no longer dancing a waltz, but you're dancing, something else... you're dancing, hip hop, it's a whole new choreography and they're completely lost.
[00:33:14] Genesis Games: They may realize oh, she's sticking to hip-hop. So if I don't learn a few steps in hip-hop, like we're not gonna be able to be dance partners anymore. So it can be a wakeup call at times, but at other times it just becomes we go back to the same dynamic and I just accept that this is a relationship that we're always going to have. Or I commit to my own healing and my own process and know that this person is probably not gonna be able to continue to be a part of my life.
[00:33:43] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Thank you for sharing that because I think it's something very important for people to understand, especially if they do start to do the work, their partner right now is not willing to do that work with them. They may begin to feel when they go back and they're excited and they, wanna start and try all these new things. And then they don't get the response that they want. and it starts to go back into the pattern that they had.
[00:34:08] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That person who has been doing the work may think, well, this isn't, this isn't helping. This isn't working out. And then we give up on the idea that anything can change.
[00:34:20] Genesis Games: I, I don't wanna make it sound so doom and gloom, cuz I don't want people to be afraid to get their own help if their partner doesn't want to and then think, well, if I get my own help, that means that our relationship is automatically gonna end. I think that when we change ourselves, we can influence other people.
[00:34:35] Genesis Games: But the ability or the amount of influence is really dependent on how open the other person is.
[00:34:42] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Well, and I think with that explanation, it definitely helps cuz one, you are now prepared like, okay, they may not receive this well right away. I may not get the reaction that I'm looking for, but I know that.
[00:34:57] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And I know then what that means, or the reason that that's happening versus it's happening because of some other reason like it isn't working and it's all doom and gloom from here. Never gonna change.
[00:35:10] Genesis Games: Right, You have realistic expectations of what your partner's reaction might be to the changes you're gonna be making.
[00:35:17] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Great information. Thank you for sharing all of that. It's so enlightening and I really wanted you to answer that question for people when they're, in that desperate mode of saying, why am I like this? And really understand where that comes from.
[00:35:36] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Can you give us before we leave? Because I don't wanna leave that additional question out there of okay. But then how can I get to this secure attachment? And I know you can't cover everything because it takes a bit, but what types of things do you recommend for people to start doing to move to that secure person? Keeping in mind maybe somebody right now can’t go to therapy, especially, we know right now it's really difficult for some to get into therapy or can't afford therapy, whatever the situation is. Is there something they could start working on right now or start doing right now?
[00:36:14] Genesis Games: So, I would explore the patterns and the dynamics in all of your relationships. And I would start there. So like we said, someone can be secure and they can maybe find themselves in a relationship with someone that is anxious and you're thinking like, do I wanna stay in this relationship? I am maybe noticing myself, like starting to feel a little bit avoidant and like, this is not me. So I think a good way is to assess your relationships, not just the relationship that you're in now. So that might be previous partners, that might also be your relationship with some close friends.
[00:36:52] Genesis Games: Do you tend to pull away, do you tend to hide certain parts of you? Do you tend to be very open? Do you tend to be very engaged in the relationship? Are you always the one taking initiative and checking in and making sure that things are going a certain way? Um, are you kind of like in the middle of that? So, take inventory of all of your relationships and see if you find a pattern.
[00:37:17] Genesis Games: Find a pattern among your partners and friends, find a pattern of the way that you behave, the way that you feel in these relationships. That would step number one. Step number two, you can take an attachment style quiz. I Highly recommend the book Attached. I think it does a really good job at explaining the different attachment styles.
[00:37:37] Genesis Games: It has the quiz built in, it has like little tidbits of what to do with your specific attachment style, moving towards a secure attachment style, ec cetera. But I would take the quiz so that I can have an exact knowledge of where I fall. And then I would be curious, where was this formed?
[00:37:57] Genesis Games: What was my relationship with my caregivers? Like the important adults in my life? What were some of my early friendships and early romantic relationships like Was there ever a time where I felt abandoned? Was there ever a time where I felt I couldn't rely on the people I thought I should be able to rely on?
[00:38:15] Genesis Games: Was there ever a time that my emotional needs were not met in these relationships? Was there ever a time that I felt like I had to step up and be the adult in the family? Look back at that and try to reflect on where that came from, but also see what you can do to try to heal from that. Is there conversations that you can have with people?
[00:38:39] Genesis Games: Is there some forgiveness that would be helpful? Is there some shame that you're caring because of this? And can you maybe be more self-compassionate with yourself? I would do some more exploring in that area. And I think the last thing that I think is really important, is the communication piece.
[00:38:58] Genesis Games: And so I think it would be very important for me to get real about my needs. To get in touch with my feelings, to understand what my expectation of my partner and relationships are and how realistic those expectations are. And then to start talking about these with my partner.
[00:39:16] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Thank you so much. That's very informative. And I think for the most part, it's just that awareness, even starting with that awareness of, oh, there's this.
[00:39:27] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I mean, I thought forever, this is just who I am. This is just the way that I am not knowing that there's a solution and you can actually do steps to change that. So I think just having that awareness and making some sense of it is a great first step, right?
[00:39:45] Genesis Games: It's not a life sentence. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:39:48] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Wonderful. Genesis Games, thank you so much for joining us on Jealousy Junkie.
[00:39:55] Genesis Games: Thank you so much. My pleasure.
[00:39:56] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're curious about your attachment style, go to the email@example.com and take the free attachment style quiz. Until next time, take care and remember, you're not alone.
Gottman Trained Couples Therapist. Miami based bilingual psychotherapist helping couples work through the stages of their relationship.