Be paranoid. Have an irrational fear that everyone you’ve ever loved and cared for will get up and leave you one day. Just one big mass exodus from your life. As a result, start to become possessive with your relationships. Mark your territory, let it be known that you were here first, and try to keep your circles separate. In a sense, feel like you own stock in a person. You have royalties. Worry that your friends will start having relationships with each other that don’t include you. Feel like this is an attack on your character and must mean that you’re losing them. Always feel like your friends don’t like you as much as they say they do. Be frantic. Exert control. Always feel a slight sense of panic.
Be fundamentally unhappy with who you are. Convince yourself that if you were thinner, smarter, had your dream job already, and a perfect relationship, things would be so much better. You’d be happy. What you’re dealing with now is just circumstantial unhappiness! When you get X, Y, and Z together, everything will be okay. You’ll be okay. Fail to realize that it won’t change a thing. Once the pieces of your puzzle come together, another corner immediately breaks off and you’re back at square one. It has nothing to do with X, Y, and Z. It’s all about Y-O-U.
Compare yourself to others. Use their development as a marker for your own. If So-And-So is in a great relationship, you should too! Look at everyone around you and be consumed with envy. Sit still. Never understand that jealousy is a useless emotion. It rarely motivates you to change anything about your life. If anything, it pushes you further down the rabbit hole. Instead of focusing on your own life, you use the lives of your peers as a reflection. This is a foolish game because when you’re constantly looking at others and not yourself, you’re leaving your own growth and potential to be successful unattended. And then the cycle continues…
Find it hard to be happy for other people. When your friend tells you, “I got a promotion at work!”, all you hear is “YOU didn’t get a promotion at work but I did. I’m figuring this life thing out faster than you are.” It all goes back to you, your wants and needs not being fulfilled. Jealous people are an interesting combination of crippling insecurity and utter self-absorption.
Find yourself getting into the same “High school rollercoaster” types of relationships over and over again. The kind of relationship where you measure love and caring with how territorial your significant other is. You’re jealous of your BF/GF talking to a cute person because you love them, right? Because wanting someone all to yourself is like the truest sign of love. It has nothing to do with your own fear of abandonment.
Want to be someone else. Because that’d fix everything, because that would make you feel more secure. That’d quiet the noise.