Jealousy and envy are natural human emotions.
The first thing to understand is that we have all felt one or the other at some stage in our lives. There is no need to be ashamed or blame, but it is necessary to understand what they consist of and why they appear.
There are substantial differences between jealousy and envy.. Although they seem to be the same, in reality each of them defines a different feeling, circumstance and reaction. We explain what these differences are to help you identify between the two emotions.
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The differences between jealousy and envy
Feeling jealousy is not the same as feeling envious. Just as it is not the same to be a jealous person or to be an envious person. That is to say, both feelings can occur to all of us at specific moments, and that does not make us define ourselves as jealous and/or envious.
However, there are people who do have a repeated attitude of jealousy or envy towards those with whom they live on a daily basis. This can lead to pathologies, that is why it is important to understand the differences and characteristic features of envy and jealousy..
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1. Definition and concept
To understand the difference between jealousy and envy, it is necessary to know their respective definitions.
From the very meaning of the words that have each of these emotions, we are giving light to the fact that each of them expresses different situations, reactions and feelings, and therefore at the same time there is a particular context that defines them.
Envy refers to the negative reaction that someone has for not possessing something that another person does possess.. This reaction can be sadness, anger or frustration and manifests itself when we desire for ourselves what someone else has. Although it does not only refer to the possession of material objects, there is also envy for achievements, relationships, friendships, or other intangible things.
Jealousy is the sensation produced by the idea of losing something valuable to us in the hands of someone else.. It refers mainly to losing the affection or love of those we love, but because a third person appears. Jealousy does not only occur in relationships, but also with friends and family.
2. Reactions and emotions
The reactions and emotions provoked by jealousy or envy are usually different. Due to the very nature of these emotions, each one produces a reaction as a consequence of the feeling. That is, while jealousy manifests itself in fear, envy usually generates anger..
Behind jealousy there is insecurity, and this is based on the excessive fear of losing the loved one and reactions can range from sadness, anxiety, anguish or even violent attitudes ranging from shouting and complaining to physical aggression. When jealousy is experienced by children or adolescents, it is necessary to help them with the management of this emotion to help them regain the security of the love of their parents or family.
On the other hand, envy produces sadness or anger for not having or believing that we cannot have the same thing that another person has and that we would wish for ourselves. Although the daily reaction to the feeling of envy is anger, there are also people who present depressive symptoms.
In addition, this can lead to a decrease in self-confidence by feeling incapable of obtaining what one desires.
3. What causes it
Another substantial difference between jealousy and envy is what causes it, i.e. the causes.that is to say, the causes. As already mentioned, there are very specific characteristics that define in which cases the emotion is envy and in which other situations it is jealousy. Each one is caused by different circumstances that are very easy to identify.
What causes jealousy is the uncertainty of losing the affection of someone we love because of the possibility of being replaced by someone else. For example, children feel they lose their parents’ love when a sibling arrives or if they see them being affectionate with someone else. The same happens with partners or friends. That is to say, jealousy is caused by the relationship or closeness of our loved ones with someone else and the insecurity that we have in front of this.
On the other hand, envy is caused by the frustration of witnessing that someone else has something that we desire. If a person obtains a triumph or recognition, is the owner of something material, or of a life style that we desire, if he/she has a partner that we would like to have or has some physical attribute that we do not have, then a feeling of frustration is caused and later of sadness or anger in different levels.
Jealousy and envy can derive in a pathological attitude.. When any of these emotions go beyond normal parameters and take over people negatively, there is a risk of developing pathological jealousy or envy that goes beyond a mere passing sensation normal in any human being.
This is a substantial difference between jealousy and envy. Unhealthy” or pathological jealousy is more common than pathological envy. When a person’s security and self-esteem is deeply affected, the feeling of jealousy is magnified and overreacted to. That is, the feeling of jealousy does not remain a sadness in the face of uncertainty, but the person begins to take hostile and even violent actions.
Although envy can also develop unhealthy pathological attitudes, these rarely reach such harmful levels as in the case of jealousy. The person who feels envy may be tormented by the feeling of frustration.The person, far from finding the right ways to achieve what he or she would like to have, focuses his or her energies on taking from someone else that which makes him or her envious.
This dynamic becomes complex and undoubtedly affects the emotional stability of those who live with this constant feeling of envy.