I have always been fascinated by these two words; by their meanings, their differences and similarities, by their use and misuse and most importantly by the fact that they are used interchangeably when they should not.
Jealousy is a complex emotion marked by insecurity and the fear of losing something or someone that we value greatly. Jealousy encompasses several emotions including; abandonment, anger, humiliation and shame. It has been defined as being fiercely protective or vigilant of your rights or possessions.
Envy on the other hand is wanting or desiring something or someone that belongs to another person. One dictionary defines Envy as a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions or qualities.
Neel Burton, MD in Psychology Today makes the following statement ” Envy is the pain caused by the desire for the advantages of others while Jealousy is the pain caused by the fear of losing our advantages to others.”
I always found it interesting that God uses “Jealous” to define his character:
Exodus 34: 14 (NLT): You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is JEALOUS, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
Envy somehow makes the list of the “Seven deadly sins” which is a whole separate topic beyond the scope of this post.
In the privacy of your own meditations, I hope you get a chance to examine your life to see how jealousy or envy may be affecting your outlook. I would like to invite you to consider that there are sometimes in life when we should be jealous but envy on the other hand is an emotion I would rather not experience. One of my goals this year is to build successful relationships and I wish you the best with your relationships this year.
I know we are all overworked, over exposed and over stimulated today but if you liked this article, consider liking it and sharing it with a friend, family member, colleague, hater or frenemy!
Share your thoughts below, I can’t wait to hear from YOU!
I leave you with a quote by H. G. Wells: “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”