Jealous and Envy: Similar or Different Emotions?


Although both of these looks similar but there is a big difference between these two. You sometimes are envious of what others have and you lack. Jealousy, on the other hand, involves in holding what you do have. You can be jealous of your boyfriend/girlfriend attraction to others, but you’re envious of your boyfriend CD collection.

It’s of no fun to feel either envy or jealous because both of them will make you feel inadequate. Being envy is when you want what someone else has, but being jealous is when you’re worried of someone trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you will feel envy. If he/she takes your girlfriend/boyfriend for a ride, then is the time when you will feel jealous of him/her.

Envy requires two people, like you and someone, when you want the same new car like him/her and you wish you were the one riding around with the top down. You feel envy when you want something someone else has, something like a car, byke, house, clothes, tennis shoes, a dark blazer with a red tie, job or even sometimes ones girlfriend/boyfriend.


When your jealousy works healthfully, you won’t appear obsessively jealous or possessive rather your natural intuition and clear boundaries will help you instinctively choose and retain trustworthy mates and friends. Similarly, when your envy flows freely, you won’t appear openly envious or greedy instead your internal security will allow you to celebrate the gains and recognitions of others without ignoring your own needs for gains and recognition.

However, if you suppress your jealousy you’ll have trouble in identifying, attracting, or relating to reliable companions. And if you suppress your envy, you and everyone around you will be disrupted by your attempts to either receive as little as possible, or to grab whatever you can get your hands.


I would call jealousy as well as envy a “sociological emotions” because both of it could help you to understand and brilliantly navigate your social world. Very few people share this view; most people fiercely use these emotions. People who express these emotions are rarely honored; they are often called insanely jealous or envy, which throws these emotions into shadows. That’s not a good idea, especially in regard to emotions that exists in identifing social hazards and which will protect you from others.

Both jealousy as well as envy arise in response to risks to your social or personal security. Shutting them down is like throwing a noisy smoke alarm out of the window before finding out why it went off. When you stifle your jealousy or envy, you not only loose your awareness of the situations that brought them forward, but you also loose your emotional agility, your instincts, and your ability to navigate through the social world and your relationships.


Jealousy and envy needs a hearty welcome, because they are perhaps two of the most hated emotions in the entire emotional realm. This is a tragedy because jealousy and envy are actually essential for your social survival. Luckily for us, we can work with jealousy and envy empathically and shield ourselves from the deeply unfortunate things we’ve been taught about these two vital emotions.

The poor training we get in regard to jealousy and envy carries over into our language because even though these two emotions are quite distinct, most people lump them together. In most dictionaries, jealousy and envy are treated as synonyms for each other, but they’re actually different as far emotion is concerned.