Amanda L Chan from the Huffington Post wrote a great article about the impact jealousy and envy can have in our lives. She shares that although we are all likely to experience jealousy and envy in different setting in our lives, we can find ways to keep them from affecting our day to day lives. Another interesting point she made is to recognize the difference between jealously and envy.
While most people use the words “jealousy” and “envy” interchangeably, they’re actually two distinct emotions. Jealousy is solicited anytime there is a threat to something that is of value to an individual (in other words, it’s that icky feeling you get when you are afraid something will be taken away from you). Envy, on the other hand, is the emotion solicited when somebody has something that you want for yourself.
The author also made some important ties between jealousy and self-esteem. Additionally she discusses how envy is related to competitiveness.
Since jealousy and self-esteem seem to be so related, focusing on your positive attributes can help to boost the latter, Valdesolo says. It all has to do with a term in psychology: the “working self-concept.” This is the idea that there are many ways to define yourself — for instance, you can be a father, a professor and a soccer player, all at once — but you’re not always going to be working all of these aspects of yourself at one time.
Competitiveness seems to be highly related to envy, though it’s still not known which causes the other. “It can be that competitive people are more successful because of their envy, which drives them to succeed, or it can be that because they’re envious, they are considered to be competitive,” Cohen-Charash says.
What we found most meaningful in the article was how the discussion turns to focus on how jealousy and envy can impact our relationship. The article includes some thoughts on how to find healthy ways to address the envy and jealousy in our own lives.