Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

The concepts jealousy and envy are often confused by some people, this because in their definitions they present certain similarities; however, it is about two totally different human emotions .

JEALOUSY  Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

Jealousy is often associated with emotional rivalries, that is, in most cases it has to do with love relationships. Jealousy arises when the individual is afraid of losing someone due to the intervention of a third party. But it is important to know that jealousy is not limited to love relationships, it also occurs in friendship relationships, between parents and children and between siblings; In other words, they can occur whenever one person is linked to another and feels that the relationship is being threatened by the presence of someone else.

Among the main characteristics of jealousy are a series of negative thoughts and feelings that the person accumulates within himself, such as insecurity, fear, helplessness and anxiety. All this accompanied by the belief that you are losing your cherished object. Jealousy can also be accompanied by other emotions such as anger, resentment, and inadequacy.

Examples of jealousy:

  • A girl is jealous because her mother pays more attention to her new baby brother.
  • A boy is jealous of his girlfriend because she preferred to go to the movies with some friends instead of going with him.
  • A child who is attracted to his mother is jealous of his father (Oedipus Complex).
  • A girl is jealous because her best friend has a new friend with whom she spends a lot of time.


On the other hand, envy is associated with the desire felt for certain objects or characteristics that another person possesses. Envy consists of wanting what another person has. It is usually related to material things and money, but it is not limited to this; since qualities and characteristics of other people can be envied. For example, one woman may envy the beauty of another. Also an old man could envy someone else’s youth.

Envy arises when in some way an individual considers another as superior or believes that that other person has a better quality of life. It is an emotion characterized by resentment, and the person who suffers it tends to want to influence pain in those people whom they envy.

It can be accompanied by other feelings such as anger, suffering, sadness; but in many cases there are people who do not express it even though they feel it. Envy is also characterized by the fact that the person who suffers from it feels inferior to the envied person or has low self-esteem.

Another reason why many people confuse these terms is probably because throughout history, both envy and jealousy have been associated with the same color: green. Although some people also associate jealousy with the color yellow.

Examples of envy:

  • A girl is envious of the girl who posted her vacation photos on Facebook.
  • A person is envious of his neighbors because they have remodeled the house.
  • A child is envious of one of his classmates because he is a better student.
  • A girl is envious because she does not have the dolls that her neighbor has.


  • A jealous person feels that their relationship with the person they love is being threatened by the presence of someone else, while an envious person wants what someone else has.
  • Jealousy often has more to do with the emotional aspect, while envy in many cases is usually related to the desire for material possessions.
  • Envy is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins , but jealousy is not.

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