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Envy vs Jealousy

(As published in Artimag, the official magazine of The Philippine Artisan - Taguig)

You saw your friend flaunting her red stilettos and you looked at your newly bought doll shoes and felt miserable.

You passed by the cafeteria and glanced over your classmate listening songs on his Iphone 4 and felt a tingling sensation from the inside that you wanted to buy yourself a newer version of the latter.

We have two statements above that many have experienced. Both suggest resentment over the apparent rival. The first statement depicts Jealousy while the second shows Envy. These states of being are somewhat interchanged when used. It can never happen that Envy and Jealousy overlaps each other or be the same in essence. That’s why proper knowledge of each origin and usage is important to be able to come across with the appropriate response depending on the situation dealt with. 

Envy, is the feeling you have when you want something you don’t have from a person. It is also a state of being where the object of possession is focused more rather than the perceived rival.

The Envy statement above suggests that you want the Iphone of your classmate or even a newer version of it. At some point being envious can be advantageous, take this for example. After you saw the Iphone of your classmate you wanted to have the newer version of the gadget that’s why you encourage yourself to save up for it or find a part-time job to be able to purchase a more high-tech one. Then afterwards, you’ll be the one envied upon by other persons. 

While on the other hand Jealousy is another term used to define a state of being where the perceived rival is focused more rather than the object of possession. When you feel annoyed with the passenger seated next to you because her bag is branded and yours is not, that is Jealousy.

In the above Jealousy statement we can say that you really hated your friend for being too pompous and showy with her daunting red stilettos. Feelings of jealousy may have negative effects to the one experiencing it. If you’re jealous with your friend in red stilettos chances are you’d still be hating her even if she’s not wearing it at all. You’ll try to build the resentment you have towards the perceived rival until you realize that you always get jealous towards her all the time –that it’s not the red stilettos anymore you’re after but everything about her. Mind you, don’t you brew up things like these up to the point that you can’t contain it anymore. You’ll sure end up blaming yourself for overlooking your jealous ways. Better stop the habit before it gets worst.

Another example of Envy is when your co-worker is promoted and you’re not. And your classmate got a higher rank than you on a unit test in Mathematics. While some example of Jealousy is when your co-worker purchased a sports car or your classmate has a girlfriend while you’re busted by the girl you’re courting.

These are the major pointers that differentiate Jealousy from Envy. So next time you’re faced with such cases it’ll be easier for you to define the state you are and react from it appropriately.

Envy or Jealousy, we still need to get rid of these states of possibilities. What we need is a sound state of self-perception for us to experience real contentment beyond life’s imperfections.

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