Envy vs Jealousy – Difference and Comparison

What is Envy?

Envy comes from the Latin word “Invidia” – meaning to look with a resenting sight. Envy is a feeling that occurs when someone wants something that someone else has. It can be a possession, a quality, or a characteristic. For example, someone might be envious of their friend’s new car or their colleague’s success at work. When someone feels envious of another person, they might feel angry or unhappy. Envy sometimes leads to hatred and violence as well – in extreme cases.

Envy can be harmful because it can lead to negative thoughts and actions. For instance, a person might try to harm the person they are envious of to make themselves feel better. Envy can also cause a person to be unhappy and resentful. When someone feels envious of another person, they might feel angry or unhappy. Envious people are toxic and try to take that thing away from that person.

However, it is possible to overcome envy. The best antidote to envy is focusing on one’s strengths and accomplishments. It is also helpful to be grateful for what one already has and to try to let go of comparisons with others. By doing this, a person can learn to be content with their own life and stop feeling envious of others.

What is Jealousy?                                                                             

Jealousy comes from the Old French word “jalousie”, meaning protective. We feel jealousy when we fear losing something we have or care about. Jealousy can be a natural response to certain situations. For example, suppose we are in a romantic relationship and see our partner talking to someone else. In that case, we might feel jealous because we are afraid of losing them. In this case, jealousy can be a healthy emotion that helps us to recognize our feelings.

However, jealousy can also be unhealthy. If we allow our jealousy to control our actions and behavior, it can lead to problems in our relationships. We might become possessive, controlling, or even violent, and this can damage our relationships and breed harm. Jealousy and envy are confused with each other. Jealousy is an emotion we feel when we are afraid of losing something we have or care about. In contrast, envy is an emotion we feel when we see someone else with something of our choice.

To deal with jealousy healthily, it is essential to recognize and acknowledge our feelings. We can talk to our partners about our concerns and try to find ways to address them. We can also focus on building trust and communication in our relationship. By doing this, we can avoid letting jealousy control us and instead use it to improve our relationships.

Difference Between Envy and Jealousy

  1. Envy comes from the Latin word “Invidia”, whereas jealousy comes from the Old French word “jalousie”, meaning protective.
  2. Envy is feeling discontent or resentment towards someone else’s possessions, qualities, or achievements, whereas jealousy is feeling possessive after a threat to a relationship.
  3. Envy is characterized by a sense of inferiority, whereas jealousy is characterized by insecurity.
  4. Envy can motivate people to improve themselves or their situation, whereas jealousy can result in destructive behavior or conflict.
  5. Envy is seen as a more passive emotion, whereas jealousy is seen as a more active emotion.

Comparison Between Envy and Jealousy

Parameters of ComparisonEnvyJealousy
Lexical RootLatin word “Invidia”Old French word “Jalousie”
DefinitionFeeling Low to See Something Someone HasFeeling Possessive After a Self-Perceived Threat
OriginInferiority, InsufficiencyFear, Trauma, Insecurity
ResultPossible ImprovementPossible Toxicity
StatePassive EmotionActive Emotion


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1993-36273-001
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/canadian-journal-of-philosophy/article/envy-and-jealousy/0E7102C17C46E73AF554725C9BC720F5