In today’s video, I’d like to share a powerful mindset for overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Acquiring this mindset for overcoming retroactive jealousy is crucial, in my view.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: A lot of you will probably be aware of the Canadian author and psychologist, Dr. Jordan Peterson. He’s a very polarizing figure. Please don’t spam me with all kinds of Jordan Peterson hate. I don’t want to get into all of that.

But I think it’s undeniable that he shares some incredibly valuable and prescient wisdom. And one of my favorite rules from his very popular book, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

This is a very interesting way to view self-care, to view personal development, to view overcoming any kind of psychological or emotional disorder, such as obsessive jealousy, such as retroactive jealousy. It’s a great mindset for overcoming retroactive jealousy.

It’s incredible that human beings are often kinder to other people than they are to themselves.

They’re often more inclined to forgive other people as opposed to forgiving themselves. They don’t abuse other people, but they continually abuse themselves. So many people fall into this trap.

And viewing any kind of personal development project, such as overcoming retroactive jealousy, through the prism of treating yourself like someone you’ve been entrusted to care for is a really valuable mental switch. Because it immediately puts you in the mindset of service rather than obligation.

Let’s say someone lends me their pet, or should I say, let’s say I’m pet sitting someone’s pet, my friend’s pet for the weekend. Someone’s dog or something like that.

Because it’s their dog and because I love my friend, I’m probably going to keep a closer eye on that dog maybe than I would keep an eye on my own dog. I’m probably going to give that dog a little extra love. I’m going to make sure they’re very safe and happy, and warm, and out of the rain, and not getting in random fights with other dogs, et cetera, et cetera. Because my friend has entrusted me to care for their dog.

Or if a friend loans me a guitar or a sweater, or whatever it is, I’m going to take extra care of that thing, because my friend entrusted me to care with their belonging. And I love my friends. So I’m going to really keep an eye on it.

Similarly, let’s say I had a friend who was struggling through retroactive jealousy, someone I really loved, cared for deeply. And they were struggling with retroactive jealousy.

And they asked me for help, they said, “Listen, I have a problem. And I don’t know what to do.”

How would I treat them? Would I be encouraging them to ask their partner more unnecessary questions?

Would I be encouraging them to spend hours trolling social media for more memories from their past? Would I be encouraging them to be on men’s rights activists forums at 4:00 A.M. instead of going to sleep? Would I be encouraging them to over drink or do drugs, or any kind of the self-destructive habits that retroactive jealousy suffers are all too prone to?

No, I would try to take care of them. I would try to look out for them. I would try to encourage them to deny their worst impulses, because I know where that road leads.

It could be an interesting thought experiment to think about, “What would I tell my friend, if my friend was struggling through retroactive jealousy?” What would I tell them if they were given to the same kind of negative thinking that I’m given to?

If they were continually demonstrating reckless behavior when it came to retroactive jealousy? Such as asking their partner more questions about their past, such as trolling all kinds of unhelpful internet forums at 3:00 A.M., et cetera, et cetera.

What advice would I offer my friend if they asked me for help with this issue? What would I tell them?

And ask yourself how you can sort of try to take some of your own advice in this regard.

Treat yourself like someone you’ve been entrusted to care for.

Be aware of your worst impulses and work to get around them. Work to deny yourself that brief payoff of asking your partner one more question, looking for reassurance. They give you that reassurance. And then guess what?

An hour later you have more questions, and then it just never ends. Try to think about how I would treat my friend.

What would I tell them if my friend was going through this?

When you’re trying to overcome retroactive jealousy, when you’re committed to personal development, when you’re actually trying to work through this, it’s crucial to deny your worst impulses, to work to move beyond them.

To not let yourself off the hook. To treat yourself like someone you’ve been entrusted to care for.

Because if you don’t, you will continually be falling into your old patterns over and over again.

You’ll be spinning your wheels in the mind for months, or maybe years on end. Until you finally hit rock bottom.

And you finally put in the work to beat this.

So just think about this maybe for the rest of this week or into next week. When you have these moments of retroactive jealousy, when you have more questions for your partner about their past, whatever it looks like for you. Ask yourself, “If someone I loved was acting this way, what would I tell them? What advice would I offer them? What would I encourage them to do? What would I encourage them to not do?”

Above all, treat yourself like someone you’ve been entrusted to care for.

If you are looking for help with this problem, if you’re looking to overcome retroactive jealousy, I hope you’ll consider joining my premium online course for retroactive jealousy sufferers.

Since 2014. It’s liberated over 1,500 men and women from around the world from the shackles of retroactive jealousy. It’s open for enrollment right now.

And if you click here, you’ll get all the details.


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 RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.