In today’s video, I’m going to share my ideas about anti-fragility, how it’s different from mere resilience, and how it’s directly related to retroactive jealousy.

Read on to learn more about “anti-fragility.”

Zachary Stockill: A few years ago, a Lebanese author named Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a book called Anti-Fragile. The book became an enormous success and I would certainly recommend it for retroactive jealousy sufferers.

So, what on Earth is “anti-fragility?”

The definition provided by Taleb is the idea that certain things in life grow stronger the more they are put through stress and the more obstacles they face. Instead of being beaten down and defeated by these obstacles, these things actually grow stronger as a result of being tested in various ways.

And this is what’s really interesting about this concept: this is different from mere resilience. If someone is resilient that means that the various challenges and trials that this thing is put through may be resilient, and may be able to ward off some of the attacks and stress. But chances are good that even if this thing is resilient, it’s going to take a toll. The thing that’s resilient again stays relatively the same, if it’s lucky. It comes back to equilibrium after it’s gone through certain trials and tribulations. That’s resilience.


Anti-fragility is completely different. It is resilient in a sense that it can handle various trials, tribulations, and challenges…

However, going through these trials and challenges actually makes it stronger. Challenges are not a detriment; they represent an advantage. It grows through being tested. It doesn’t merely survive, it thrives when it’s challenged, when it’s pushed around and when it goes through various trials and tribulations.

And I was thinking that this relates directly to everything I talk about on this channel. This relates directly to my work, to why I’m still so passionate about working on this weird little niche issue of “retroactive jealousy” after almost 10 years. Because, I think that retroactive jealousy is the ultimate anti-fragile problem, the ultimate anti-fragile opportunity for people who go through it; the idea that retroactive jealousy can be like a “gateway drug” into personal development, into much deeper knowledge of self.

In other words, if you handle this challenge properly, it can change your life in ways that are probably impossible for you to believe or even conceive of right now.

This goes beyond my own personal experience when it comes to how retroactive jealousy transformed me as a man. I am so much wiser, stronger now, I have a better sense of humor, I enjoy life more, and I’m way more in the present today than I ever have been in my life. I’m less stressed. I’m a happier, healthier, more peaceful human being. And that’s a direct result of having gone through the hell of retroactive jealousy.

Even though I went through this problem, and I wouldn’t wish the same thing on my worst enemy. I remember well how bad retroactive jealousy made me feel. All these constant intrusive thoughts, curiosity, and impulses to snoop through my partner’s phone… All the mental movies, and all the nonsense… I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

My ex-girlfriend’s past used to be the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I thought about when I went to bed at night. I’m not trying to downplay the struggle involved in retroactive jealousy. But today, I’m glad I went through it. And this was an experience for me in anti-fragility. It made me stronger and it pushed me to grow.

Today, I’m so grateful I went through that experience because it resulted in a much deeper knowledge of self and appreciation for the present moment.

My relationships are better. My dating life is has been fantastic for the past 10 years. And frankly, a lot of the characteristics that I’m proud of as a man? I can relate this directly back to the fact that I once experienced retroactive jealousy.


And again, I am not alone by any means. If you click Inspiring Retroactive Jealousy Success Stories and Testimonials, you’ll meet dozens and dozens of people who have written to me. Past coaching clients and students who took my online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, and all kinds of retroactive jealousy survivors from all over the world who feel the same way.

Retroactive jealousy, if you handle it correctly, is an incredible opportunity for growth and learning. It can be an incredible experience of anti-fragility and awakening your own sense of anti-fragility.

So if you’re in the trenches, if you’re struggling, if you’re having a bad day, when you stumbled on this video, whatever your situation is, hang in there. Use this challenge as an opportunity to grow stronger. Don’t waste it because, believe it or not, it is an opportunity and one day you’ll look back like me, and you’ll be grateful that you went through retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.