Why Do People Feel Jealous of Others?


“A person is known by the company he keeps”. The modern world has changed the concept of this age-old saying.

With the transformation of thoughts everywhere, the Word “Company” no longer fits the phrase and perhaps need a proper replacement. Some might say it should be replaced by “the ability” because cooperation is no longer being seen any where and instead our focus has changed to an “individuality above all” concept.

Some believe that every person has hatred in the form of rivalries and people becoming jealous of what each other has, and yes, there is an increasing trend towards envy and jealousy in every corner of human livelihood.

The two emotions “Envy” and “Jealousy” are as silent as one can imagine.. but also, so noisy and destructive that they are treated as great sins in almost every school of thought and belief.

Envy, called an emotion of discontent or ill will is an attitude easily stirred up in a competitive materialistic society. For any developing society, it is not a healthy attitudeto be envious of another. It is a very destructive and self-devaluing emotion. Why do people waste their energy by making comparisons between themselves and others, comparisons that always result in somebody feeling inferior?

“The biggest inspiration in my life I got from those who had hate or envy towards me. Every time they showed me their hate or ill-will, I got more strength and energy to fight,” says great Boxing legend, Mohammed Ali Clay in his autobiography.

Envy negates you, and what you have accomplished. It leads to begrudging others their achievements, and builds barriers between you and them. Envying what others posses blocks you from caring about them as persons and also blocks you from caring about yourself. “People exaggerate the value of things they haven’t got” said George Bernard Shaw.

An idea may be to analyze yourself honestly and ask yourself if there is a deeper, more positive drive beneath the specific focus of your envy. Meditate on it, just Look inside, without moving, doing or creating. Remember when we indulge in envy, we are abandoning ourselves.

“Indolence is a diligence but distressing State” said Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation India.

Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human mind. One who says the glass is half empty has his own perception of thought but one who says the glass is half full is also right from his point of view.

Envy is treated as a twin problem to jealousy. While jealousy has the meaning of wanting what someone else has, envy means not wanting somebody else to have what you don’t have. We get jealous when we fear that a rival is taking away from us someone or something we love. Jealousy is an acute sense of loss, defeat or rejection, which may be real or imagined – and we lash out at another as an enemy, who is in the cause of our pain.

Like love, jealousy is involuntary. We can not say “I am never going to be jealous.” It is an emotion that can be frightening in its intensity–its closest emotional relation is probably anger, but it has more staying power than anger. Jealousy can provoke a passion to strike out in revenge, only with jealousy the revenge sought is usually emotional. More often, it causes the jealous person to sulk and feel self-pity. Sometimes we complain openly of the direct cause but more often it is carefully disguised while we lash out at a baffled spouse, lover or relative about a dozen petty things far removed from the real causes of our irritation.

Jealousy, like envy and greed, is destructive and self-negating. It is an emotional combination of anger, dependency, hurt and self-devaluation. We focus on what we are not – and compare ourselves fearfully to what our rival is. We are convinced that we can not be happy if someone we depend on for love, also loves someone else.

Actually, we must be honest with ourselves. Jealousy is a two-edged sword. It lives upon doubts, it either becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.

Remember when we feel envy towards others we are actually giving them the chance to be proud and confident.