The Technical Difference Between Envy and Jealousy

Everyone has struggled with the battle of envy versus jealousy at some point in their lives. Both are covetous feelings: a want for what you don’t have or a desire to keep something you don’t want to lose. Envy and jealousy are more than just desiring; they can cause worry over not having or becoming what you want.

Envy and jealousy may be sly generators of anguish during these COVID times when so many of us want things we don’t or can’t have. When you’re experiencing envious or jealous sentiments, it’s important to know how they vary so you can address the source of the uneasiness they produce. Read quotes about jealousy and envy collected by to know more.

Why Is It Important to Know the Difference Between Envy and Jealousy?

Knowing whether the sensation you’re having is envy or jealousy might help you focus on the underlying emotion and source of tension that’s causing the discomfort. Envy stems from a desire for what you don’t have, whereas jealousy stems from a fear of losing something you think you have or should have. Under both circumstances, something we care about is in jeopardy, and we have no influence over the situation.

“I feel drawn that item I desire but don’t have or to that person, I want to be like but am not,” the thinking process proceeds. I have no idea how to acquire what I want, and even if I did, I don’t think I’d be able to achieve it.” This makes us feel as though we have no control over our situation, which causes worry.

To alleviate anxiety’s pain and utilize it as a tool, we must concentrate on what we can control and what is realistic, rather than what we WISH were true. We can’t achieve anything constructive with the energy we spend focusing on things we don’t have control over.

Our Sense of Control is Confounded by Envy and Jealousy

Control may be seen in a variety of ways. Let’s look at real vs. perceived control for our objectives. The ability of the brain to control and the mental acrobatics of control are two subsets of actual control.

When we speak about the prefrontal cortex’s control function, we’re talking about executive control, which is described as “the capacity to carry out goal-directed action utilizing sophisticated mental processes and cognitive skills (such as working memory and impulse inhibition)” by Webster’s Dictionary.

Controlling ne’s mind is more like manipulating one’s concentration, which is referred to as mindset control. So, rather than being a biological function of the brain, it is a sense of control – a means of feeling we are in control merely by where we concentrate our attention – rather than real control of what we are thinking.

In a Stanford study, researchers described attitude control in the following way:

We argue that people may get a sense of control by focusing on what they can control against what they can’t. The attitude engaged by thinking on what one can control is referred to as the “can-control mindset,” whereas the mindset generated by reflecting on what one cannot control is referred to as the “can’t-control mindset.” We believe that adopting a can-control perspective will improve well-being, health, and work performance, but adopting a can’t-control mindset will have the opposite impact.

How Does Taking Charge Aid in Reducing Anxiety Caused by Envy vs. Jealousy?

When it comes to envy vs. jealousy, both states of mind need us to concentrate on something outside of ourselves. This thing does not, in and of itself, create a problem. The discomfort (envy/jealousy) is caused by the way we relate to it – our state of mind towards that object.

We are fixated on what we don’t have while we are in a mood of jealousy. We have no control over it since it is something other than ourselves. That, as previously said, is the source of uneasiness.

If we adopt the “can-control attitude,” we will direct our focus to what we can control. Consider the following scenario:

We have the ability to choose where we focus our attention.

We have the bility to choose whether to follow negative or good ideas.

We have power over whether or not we allow ourselves to experience emotions.

We have the option to choose whether or not we succumb to impatience and temper tantrums, as well as the words we choose to speak to ourselves and others.

Envy might be handled from a can-control attitude by changing emphasis away from the thing/person/situation that makes us feel like we’re not “being” who we want to be and toward picturing what it would be like to be who we want to be.

You recover control when you turn your focus to yourself.

You may bing that emotion back to the current moment by focusing on the ways you are already becoming the person you want to be. Once we feel better about who we are today, we can take advantage of that feeling of well-being by focusing on one next action that will help us feel even better about who we want to be.

When we regain control, that thing out there that we were feeling horrible about fades into the background, and our attention is completely focused on what we can manage — ourselves.

When we feel envious, our attention is drawn to something that has been “taken” from us or is in risk of being stolen from us.

This sensation is based on the notion that we own that item, and that our positive sentiments are based on having that item/person/experience in our life. Part of the issue is that we believe our happiness is contingent on having those things. Possessions almost never make us happy. However, this is an issue since we seldom have control over these things.

Objects outside of your control are beyond your control: individuals choose to terminate relationships, things break, and chances come and go. As a result, putting your well-being in the hands of someone else is always a recipe for worry.

You could detect sensations of security, satisfaction, pleasure, excitement, love, and so on if you concentrate momentarily on how the illusion of “having” any of those things makes you feel. You can untangle the feeling from those things by concentrating on the sensation in your body after you’ve identified the emotion you wish to experience.

You’ll realize that those objects aren’t the ones creating your emotions. You can get the sensation even if the thing/person/experience isn’t there. Regardless matter whether you have certain objects, connections, or experiences, you may start growing the emotion within. You have the ability to change the way you think about your requirements.

Envy vs. Jealousy: Using Envy’s Energy to Get What You Want

When you adopt a can-control mentality to manage your emotions of envy or jealousy, you get a superpower: the ability to channel the energy of “bad” sentiments to your own benefit.

It’s normal to desire to avoid negative feelings. However, there is a wealth of energy at your fingertips once you begin to adjust your relationship with envy and jealousy and turn toward those sensations instead.

We pick where we focus our attention, just as we do with the can-control mentality. It’s pointing toward the energy of envy or jealousy in this scenario.

Envy prodces a deep desire to be different because you believe you are not being who you should or could be. When you’re jealous, you believe you won’t be able to have what you truly want, which makes you feel like you’re missing out. Both emotions are founded on erroneous self-concepts that may be altered…

Rather than avoiding the need and want, consider taking a little step toward it to harness its energy.

If you’ve previously gone through the anxiety-reduction procedure, this will work best. It offers you the sense of being able to transform “bad” sensations into “good” ones.

Take your desire and divert it away from “not being who you want to be” and toward what you would be doing if you were who you wanted to be.

You may then take that sense of becoming who you want to be and turn it into a clear picture of how you can get there. An action plan like this gives you a feeling of control over your potential to get what you desire, which overcomes your initial concern over not being or having it.

Envy vs Jealousy Can Be Managed By Loosening Anxiety’s Hold

As previously said, envy or jealousy causes anxiety because it perceives a danger to what we value. When we are threatened, we are likely to experience both fear and wrath, which may lead to some fairly crazy thinking.

Anger is often the outcome of suffering, which is driven by the concern that if it continues, we will be unable to cope. Anxiety in fury is about questioning our capacity to manage what is going to happen.

As a result, there is an element of fury associated with envy and jealousy, which is fueled by the dread of not being able to manage the anguish of “not being” or “not having,” as well as the uncertainty of whether the unsatisfied need can ever be satisfied.

When you allow yourself to believe that you can’t withstand what’s going on, anxiety comes in and increases your suffering. The more you concentrate on how bad the issue is, the more frustrated and disturbed you will feel.

The key is to break the downward cycle of anxiety, which is exacerbated by the worry of the anxiety never-ending. We achieve this by separating our anxiety worries from the anxiety itself. Recognizing that worry isn’t always destructive is sometimes enough to bring it down to a level where it may be beneficial.

It’s a small change in attitude from illogical to rational thinking. I’ve gone from not being able to handle it to not wanting to, but I can and will. This is another example of adopting a mentality of control.

We can regulate our attention to lessen worry by adopting a can-control mentality, regardless of the source. Knowing whether your sentiments are caused by envy or jealousy has no bearing on how you deal with the tension that comes with it. Knowing the difference simply enables you to pinpoint what is causing you to feel shaky, allowing you to refocus your thoughts. Remember that envy is about “not being” and jealousy is about “not having” what you believe you need.

We can develop what we genuinely need by refocusing our attention on what we CAN manage. Feelings are the result of our attention and actions. Envy and jealousy are common traps that divert our attention away from the options available to us. To alleviate the worry that these strong sensations cause, we must first reflect on what we can control.