Have you ever just wanted to turn into THE HULK and rip someone’s head off? Dude, me too! Though I don’t consider myself to be a wildly jealous person, I’ve certainly had fleeting thoughts of fantasy about slapping the smirk off some guy’s stupid face, who, for some reason, thinks it’s cute to blatantly hit on my girlfriend. I’m sort of exaggerating; I’m not sure I’ve ever slapped anyone in my life (Sounds kinda fun though). But truly, I’ve thought about it; I think we all have. In the heat of jealously you just want the pain to stop, this feeling that an intruder is slipping easily under the gates of your most prized relationship. How dare they. How dare they assume that you’re just going to lie down and take it. Well, they’ve got another thing coming: a fist, right to the face. Right?

It can certainly feel that way sometimes. In our experience of jealously, we all have flashes of violent thoughts that we know are completely ridiculous. In that moment of intense jealousy, we just want to rescue our partner and ourselves from this terrible feeling that someone could drive us apart, that someone could destroy a relationship we’ve worked so hard to build. And, so we panic, and imagine ourselves blowing them away with a 357 Magnum. We never act out these fantasies, of course, but (BOY) are they entertaining; out of nowhere you start hearing the blaring guitars of some crazy beat-down soundtrack that cues the clenching of your fists—personally, I like the Pokemon Dubstep Remix by Arion—and you get to work on rearranging their face. You get high off the thought of defending your boyfriend/girlfriend from the greasy hands of some bottom-feeder looking to treat the person you love most like a piece of meat. So, you want to treat that perpetrator like a piece of meat: cut ’em up and throw them in a grinder. Yummy. And so, I don’t mind fantasizing about how I might suddenly grow 200 lbs of pure muscles, turn green, and rip through an undershirt I bought at Baby Gap. Green is one of my favorite colors.

Here’s a list of suggested Beat-Down Fantasy soundtracks you might consider the next time your mind should need to entertain fanciful thoughts of violence. These tracks were suggested by some of my friends via a Facebook shout-out. I think there’s something here for everyone

(Please allow time for the Spotify buttons to load. Also, Spotify’s service is “spotty”and not all the tracks are identified here explicitly):

Jealousy can be a really, really messy topic. The emotion itself is absurd to begin with, like that homemade cocktail your friend makes with about 10 different liquors: tastes like shit, does some serious damage, and (ohhhhh) the consequences the next day. Jealousy is like this: a complex and explosive mixture of anger,  love, helplessness, and fear. And, it can so some serious damage too. That’s what this 3-part series on Jealousy is all about, though. By coming to terms with how we experience jealousy and what actions we take, we can better understand how to spot its dangers and minimize its destruction. Let’s start with myths—because let’s face it, it’s been years since you believed Santa Claus, and man, wasn’t that a load off your mind?

The Myths of Jealousy

“1 Cup of Jealousy = 1 Cup of Love”

It’s no surprise that people equate jealousy with love. It’s also no surprise that they’re wrong; people have a lot of strange thoughts. At one time the Earth was thought to be the center of the universe, and just a few years ago, some people in Alabama believed that a real leprechaun was living in a tree in their community. (Shrugs) But, when it comes to jealousy, love for one’s partner may or may not have anything to do with it. Jealousy is often a reflection of feelings of loosing control, powerlessness, possessiveness, and even insecurities which, in some extreme cases, can cause lovers to isolate their partners from friends and family. A more profound expression of jealousy doesn’t equal more love. In fact, more extreme levels of jealousy are more indicative of severe emotional immaturity, trust issues, and perhaps, someone who has difficulty with forming close relationships.

“A Jealous Partner = a Psycho Partner”

This myth is perpetuated, mostly, by popular entertainment media. How many movies or TV shows have you seen featuring that jealous boyfriend/girlfriend who probably should have been medicated long before their 12th birthday? A lot. And, now, as traditional gender roles dissolve, and alternative romantic lifestyles take stage, jealousy has taken on a particularly negative association. We tend to see jealousy as a purely negative thing, especially when our most salient examples are often extreme. The truth is: jealousy is normal. Everyone gets jealous. But, the emotion of jealousy isn’t so much the problem—the way in which it’s expressed is.

“No Jealousy = No Love”

This one’s the reverse of the first one, where, people assume that if they don’t experience their partner’s jealously, it means that their partner doesn’t care. The key word here is “experience”. We already know that everyone gets jealous, but the fear that creates jealousy doesn’t always have to be communicated to our partner. We can hold onto our jealousy and resolve it using our own mental faculty. I’ve actually heard many women complain that their partner doesn’t seem to mind if they hang out with other men, and that bothers them. This kind of thinking leads to the all-too-common strategy of trying to make their partner jealous. It’s a dangerous game, and no one wins. If your partner doesn’t express their jealousy much, it’s probably because they trust you and are emotionally mature. Those are both good things; stop screwing up a good thing dammit.

Also published on Medium.