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Thread: Envy and Jealousy

  1. #1

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    Default Envy and Jealousy

    Please don't google this question before you answer. I'd like to get an honest 'gut feeling' answer before you check the dictionary!

    Which word sounds 'worse' to you? Envy or Jealousy? Envious or Jealous?

    I'll give you the context...There are times in my life where I feel a bit envious/jealous - for example when someone announces their pregnancy. {As a LTTTCer that's just the baggage that i carry. I don't need a 500 word dissertation on the fact that i shouldn't feel these emotions, because i'm just human.}



    I don't wish ill will on the other person. I want them to be happy too, but I get that pang. I want what they have - but i don't want them not to have it - i just want it too.

    Am I jealous? Or envious?

  2. #2

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    Jealousy sounds worse to me. Having said that, I know I'm jealous sometimes. When I find out that someone's pregnant, I'm generally just envious, I wish it were me. But sometimes, if it's someone who hasn't had any trouble falling pregnant, or someone that doesn't even WANT the baby, I'm jealous that it was them and not me. I find jealousy is the more difficult emotion to move on with, it's the one that rattles around in my mind; whereas envy is easy to deal with.

    Does any of that make sense?

    ETA - Just read your post correctly. I would say you're envious, because you still want them to have it, but you want it as well. Jealousy would take it from them, make it yours because you're 'more deserving'. I know it sounds awful, but we LTTTCers carry a lot of baggage

  3. #3

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    Mm interesting question. My initial gut reaction was envy is a stronger emotion than jealousy... Not quite sure what I base that on! Will be curious to see what others say...

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    Yes that makes sense Keike!

  5. #5

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    Of course I have already googled it (at length!) but i guess i really wanted to ask because i doesn't really matter what the actual correct definition is - i need to know that if i say it out loud, what does the average person understand the meaning to be? Does that make sense?
    Not that you are average in any way Keike and OP!!

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    I Would think jealousy is the more evil of the two...

    Jealousy implies that you SHOULD have it. Envy implies that you WANT it. <... well that's my definition...

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    Thanks MN.

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    Jealousy is 'generally' worse then envy - IMHO. Envy is a general feeling. You can feel envious of something or someone without it being personal or consuming. Jealousy on the otherhand is directed at an individual (or individuals) - it is placing negative emotions on another person because you are envious of something they are, have or do.

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    Yeah, I think jealousy sounds worse.

    I think you're envious

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    I think jealousy is worse sounding than envy - jealousy seems to imply a desire to take and also the green-eyed monster connotations. I think envy almost has a softer feel, a sort of longing, wishing, hopefulness almost, if that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nai View Post
    I think jealousy is worse sounding than envy - jealousy seems to imply a desire to take and also the green-eyed monster connotations. I think envy almost has a softer feel, a sort of longing, wishing, hopefulness almost, if that makes sense.
    just what I was trying to say

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    Quote Originally Posted by misty View Post
    Jealousy is 'generally' worse then envy - IMHO. Envy is a general feeling. You can feel envious of something or someone without it being personal or consuming. Jealousy on the otherhand is directed at an individual (or individuals) - it is placing negative emotions on another person because you are envious of something they are, have or do.
    I agree with this completely. I've been envious of what someone is doing/has, I feel that's just human nature to think 'oh I wish I could ... too". I have someone in my life who has admitted being jealous of me & it has caused big issues in our relationship as they hold their negative feelings against me, even though it's their interpretation ITMS?

  13. #13

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    Jealousy, to me, means you want what they have and probably harbour negative feelings about that person because of it.
    Envious seems more neutral That would be nice, I wish...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadB View Post
    Jealousy, to me, means you want what they have and probably harbour negative feelings about that person because of it.
    Envious seems more neutral That would be nice, I wish...
    Exactly how I would word it... for me - Envy is more humble IYKWIM?

  15. #15

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    Thanks to everyone for contributing. It's interesting to see what everyone's feelings are about these words. They are actually more different than i think everyone realises.

    I wish there was another word though. One that says "I want what you have - but i still want you to have it too". No resentment or hard feelings! English is always a bit flawed.

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    I think it also has a lot to do with how it is said. The intonation and context of the word.

    For example, on Sunday a friend was talking about her amazing holiday she'd just been on and the next one they were planning and i said. "Oh man, i am so jealous, that sounds awesome" Pretty sure she only go positive vibes from that statement, although i could be wrong?! I felt like i was saying "I want what you have - but i still want you to have it too". I certainly didn't feel like i was saying i want what you have and i don't want you to have it. Maybe the strength of your internal feelings and conflict effect how you perceive the word.


    I would generally use jealous over envious because i don't really know the difference between the two and jealous is easier to say.

  17. #17

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    I think the word you should apply to how you are feeling is envious. You really would like what they are having/getting but you don't want them not to have it too. If you were jealous, you wouldn't want them to have it at all. So definitely envious.

  18. #18

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    I have shoe envy - when people wear nice shoes, good for them, but I would like nice shoes too. In my size.

    I am also jealous of people and will say "I am so jealous of you, that is great news!" - I would like to have that news as well for me, but not wanting the other person not to have it, ITMS.

    I suppose I'm a fairly nice person. If I dislike the person then I just dislike them and they're a rotter for having good news, whether I want it or not.

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