A to Z Quick Tips 26 | jealousy vs. envy

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In this episode of The A to Z English Podcast, Xochitl and Jack discuss the differences between the words jealousy and envy.

Jealousy and envy are related emotions, but they have distinct differences in terms of their underlying feelings and expressions:


Definition: Jealousy is typically the fear of losing something you already possess, such as a relationship, a possession, or a status.

Feeling: It often involves a sense of insecurity, possessiveness, and anxiety about a potential threat to what you have.

Example: Feeling jealous when your partner spends a lot of time with someone else because you’re afraid they might leave you for that person.

Expression: Jealousy can lead to behaviors like trying to control or monitor the situation to protect what you have.


Definition: Envy, on the other hand, is the desire to possess something that someone else has, whether it’s a quality, possession, or situation.

Feeling: Envy typically stems from feelings of inadequacy or desire for what someone else possesses.

Example: Feeling envious of a colleague’s promotion because you wish you had the same success and recognition.

Expression: Envy may lead to feelings of resentment or bitterness toward the person who possesses what you desire, but it doesn’t necessarily involve a fear of losing something you already have.

In summary, jealousy is more focused on the fear of losing what you already possess, while envy is about wanting something that someone else has. Both emotions can be powerful and may lead to negative thoughts and behaviors if not managed properly, but understanding the distinction between them can help in addressing and coping with these feelings.

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