Dealing With Jealousy And Envy

Dealing With Jealousy And Envy

Know the difference, and how to handle them without hurting anyone.

Usually I hear people use the word “jealousy” for all kinds of resentment, but I’ve noticed that there are actually two kinds: jealousy, and envy. Although they feel similar, it is important to recognize the key differences between jealousy and envy, because each requires different actions and thought processes in order to alleviate them.

The Difference between Jealousy and Envy

Jealousy is resentment that comes from a fear of loss. You have something, and you fear that someone else will take it, and so you are jealous of that someone.

Envy is resentment that comes from a desire to gain. Someone else has something that you do not have, and you want that thing, and so you are envious of that someone.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what exactly you are feeling, because the two feelings are very similar and sometimes come hand in hand. For example, if you notice that a friend of yours is spending more time with someone else than you, you might feel either jealous or envious. You’re jealous because you’re afraid of losing your status as “friend” to this other person, or you’re envious because you want to have as good of a relationship with your friend as this other person seems to. You might even be both jealous and envious at the same time.

It is vital that you identify whether you are feeling jealousy, envy, or both, so that you can handle your feelings in an appropriate way, one that will help you to feel better without hurting anyone else.

Dealing with Jealousy

If you are feeling jealous, take a moment to answer two questions: what exactly it is that you fear to lose, and why do you think that someone is in a position to take it from you? Take steps to assess the actual level of threat. How likely is it that you are going to lose the thing that you are afraid of losing?

If what you fear to lose is a person, it may help to communicate your concerns to them. You are not a mind reader, and you might be unaware of other factors in this person’s life that would explain why they are keeping a distance from you at the moment. It is also important to remind yourself that you cannot claim ownership of other people.

If what you fear to lose is a job, do some brainstorming. To help yourself feel more secure in your position, think about the things that you uniquely contribute to your role. Consider asking a coworker or leader for feedback on your performance and ways that you can improve.

You feel jealous because something matters to you and you don't want to lose it, but hurting or limiting other people will not help you to stop feeling jealous. Try to think about the people around you as trying to succeed in their own right instead of trying to take something from you. The world is large enough for both you and them to be happy in it!

Dealing with Envy

If you are feeling envious, here are the questions to answer: what exactly is it that you want, and is it in fact something that you could one day have?

If the answer to the latter question is no, then you have a new question to answer: why can you not have it? Is it a person with their own agency and ability to make decisions about who they interact with, or a lifestyle that you were not born into? Sometimes recognizing why you cannot “have” something can alleviate the stress of envy. It also helps to reframe the way you think about the person who has what you don’t. Try to turn “I envy you” into “I am happy for you.” It isn’t easy, but it does help.

If the answer to the “could I one day have it” question is yes, come up with a game plan for how you can get it, or something like it, without bringing other people down. It’s good to be an ambitious go-getter, but not so good to be a bully or a thief. If you want more friends, find events in your community that you can go to and meet people at. If you want a promotion, do some networking and learn what skills you need to develop.

You feel envious because you want something, and hurting other people who have that thing will not make you stop feeling envious. If you want something, work for it! Try to think about the people around you as sources of advice and aid instead of as obstacles in your way. You never know what you might learn from someone or from your experiences as you work towards a goal.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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