When Jealousy Visits Your Relationship

Practically everyone whose been in a serious romantic relationship with all of the deliciously intense and passionate feelings that go with it, have at one time or another experienced jealousy, which is really the fear that —to some degree— your partner is not being exclusive to you either physically or emotionally. But it’s what you do with your feelings of jealousy that can bring you closer together or ultimately tear your relationship apart.

Jealousy arising from the thought of your loved one with someone else can trigger many feelings. You may believe your jealousy is an indicator that you care about your partner. In this case, you see it as a sign of strength in your relationship; and perhaps it even elicits romantic feelings. On the other hand, jealousy can trigger feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger or even intense rage. That rage could be directed toward a person perceived as the ‘object of your partner’s affections’, your partner or yourself (in the form of putting yourself down because of your perception of not “measuring up” to that ‘other person’). In addition, jealousy can naturally lead to mistrust, which can wreak havoc in every aspect of your relationship.

One of the biggest problems with your feelings of jealousy is that they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, there’s no guarantee that a relationship will stay intact forever, or that your partner might not fall for someone else; but jealousy can be the catalyst in a chain of events that makes one of these possibilities become a reality.

Handling jealousy requires a look at how much you trust your partner. The fact is that it’s normal for him or her to find others attractive from time to time, just as you do, while understanding that this is not really a threat to the relationship unless acted upon. In other words, mental exclusivity is a very high, perhaps impossible standard. Obsessing about this only leads to needless pain.

Overcoming your jealously also requires you to look inside yourself. If you’re constantly worried by the idea of being compared to others your partner may find attractive, chances are your self-esteem could use a boost. Ask yourself where is the evidence that I am not good enough to withstand the comparison? Is this completely true?

Of course, there are some situations where jealousy is a sign that there is a realistic threat of your partner being involved with others, despite denials. In this case, jealousy is more or less a wakeup call and a signal to you either to have a talk with your partner or seek professional help to overcome what may be a much bigger issue in your relationship.

Only you can decide if your jealous is insecurity, or an indication that something in your relationship needs a closer look. Before jealousy makes your biggest relationship fears a reality, you have the power to make a change, either within yourself or with your partner, to get your relationship back on the right track. And remember, most people have experienced jealousy at one time or another. It’s what you do with it that dictates the outcome!

Weathering a Financial Crisis That’s Close to Home

An unfortunate reality of difficult economic times is that layoffs and cutbacks become business as usual.  And economic crisis or unemployment can throw even the best functioning families into emotional turmoil as nothing before it has.

With the current unemployment rate at 7.4% (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000) plus an untold number of people underemployed and out of the workforce altogether due to having given up looking for suitable employment, it is quite likely that you or someone close to you is affected in some very personal way, such as living with an entirely different set of financial standards than you’ve been used to.

While the financial struggles can be profoundly problematic, the emotional side of a financial crisis is just as difficult. For example, there’s often tension and hostility in a family towards the one who’s unemployed, if he or she is seen as responsible for being unable to maintain the old standard of living.  Additionally, other family members become responsible for taking on more of the financial burden as well as providing emotional and moral support to the beleaguered breadwinner and other family members.

If this is a crisis that speaks to you, here are some tips to help you weather the storm:

Remove the blame-The main emotional culprit of relationship and family breakdowns during a financial crisis is often blame; either blaming the family member perceived as responsible or self blame if you conclude that it’s your fault. In reality, you may not even know the real reason for losing your job (for example, your company can be reorganizing, or trying to find a way to avoid providing healthcare to employees).  But even if in hindsight it clearly was the result of something your actions could have prevented, blame will only fill you with negativity and stifle your ability to problem solve and put the crisis behind you.

Work as a team- Economic crisis is a time that couples and families operate best when they stick together and work as a team to find solutions to the problems that are under your control.  I have seen cases where a breadwinner feels too ashamed even to make their own family members aware of the job loss (but eventually this will come to the surface, so  better sooner rather than later).  If all family members are able to talk frankly about their feelings in a safe environment, it will be much easier to become unified and move forward.

Don’t panic just yet-When you’re consumed by negative emotions, it can be pretty difficult to be competitive in a tough job market and land  the position you want. Collect your thoughts, calm down, and start thinking about your options.  Without the negativity, you may even find that the job loss can be a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to take a next step in your career that was not available in your last position.  Many people have told me that they surprisingly found a job loss—initially seen as a disaster—to be just the excuse they needed to connect with a job related passion they’d been ignoring, which morphed into their next job or business opportunity.

Once you’ve handled these emotional obstacles, you’re more than ready to tackle the logistics: put together that solid resume or business plan, do your networking, work on arranging interviews, and —what I believe is most important— make a major move toward creating the life you really want. In the process, you and your family might find yourselves coming closer together in a way that survives way past that time when this crisis is a distant memory!

3 Tips for conquering Job Burnout

Can you relate to the following scenario? You once approached your work in a dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic way. You were eager and excited about your responsibilities. While you were aware that there are built in frustrations in your work with coworkers, clientele, or the system itself, you felt that you were making an important contribution to your organization and/or field. But gradually, you’ve begun to feel a sense of stagnation. This has slowly led to feelings of apathy, to the point that it’s become difficult even to feel motivated anymore. But since it’s not in your nature to give up or stop trying, your apathy causes an internal conflict that brings upon feelings of cynicism, depression, hopelessness and low self esteem related to your job, career or profession. If this description resonates with you, it’s likely you are experiencing job burnout.

It’s important to realize that not just anyone experiences burnout. To get burned out, you must first have been “on fire”. People who go to work just to get a paycheck are rarely the ones who get burned out. It’s those who once connected with their work from a place of passion, but are now no longer intrinsically motivated at work that generally experience the pain of burnout. Burnout can be a great signal that something needs to change:

Here are 3 tips to get your job burnout under control, to reconnect with your passion and restore your positive attitude about work:

Stop devaluing yourself-Burnout can occur when you’re not feeling valued by others, but even more often occurs when as a result you devalue yourself. Take a few minutes to jot down the reasons you entered your field in the first place. Who are you really committed to serving? Also write down how your current role makes an impact, whether on other coworkers, clients, students, your family, or other people in your life. Sometimes to feel like you’re pressing the reset button, you just need to take a step back, remind yourself of your contributions—big or small— and recommit to the mission you chose for yourself. Often trying to please the ‘powers that be’ and getting hung up on their approval makes you to lose that perspective.

Take back control
-almost every job has a variety of characteristics that are not your choice. These factors may include hours, bosses, coworkers, certain aspects of those you serve or the salary. But there are also factors you do have control over that you may not be taking ownership of when feeling burnt out. For example, if there are certain tasks that are more enjoyable for you than others, maybe you can focus on job tasks that emphasize your strengths and delegate those tasks that do not fit as well with your preferences. If there is a specific aspect of your job that you can identify as being something that once fulfilled you but no longer does, perhaps there are changes that can be made to reactivate this element of your job. But even if these things are not possible, you can refuse to let negativity control this important part of your life. And then switch to problem solving mode. The problem: how do I restore that crucial passion I once felt for my work?

Consider a change-If you’re truly powerless to change circumstances at work, a career or job change may be in order to bring you back to your zone of passion. As a bonus, I have seen with many people who have consulted me, that when your work coincides with your passion, financial success follows–often effortlessly.
The longer you wait to address your job burnout, the more likely it is that your apathy will spread to other areas of your life, including your relationships and even hobbies. So it’s if you’re experiencing burnout, to nip it in the bud, quickly!