Although similar in many ways, jealousy and envy are not the same. Deep insecurities often lie at the root of jealousy. When someone is jealous they are afraid of losing something. They try to guard and protect what they fear losing. In doing so, they may become very possessive, competitive, and resentful. For example, they might be jealous of someone they fear can steal their boyfriend’s heart away from them, someone who got the promotion they worked hard for, or the person who got the praise and adoration they felt they deserved.

Jealousy can be fear of losing any of the following:

* self-respect and respect of others
* love and affection
* a cherished relationship
* position or promotion
* a desired opportunity
* a valued material possession
* attention and admiration
* confidence and self-worth

Envy also includes feelings of resentment, but it is rooted in discontent rather than fear. Feelings of dissatisfaction can cause a person to become envious of those who have what they believe they need to satisfy or fulfill them. So they desire the possessions or qualities of another. It could be their appearance, popularity, job, home, reputation, lifestyle, health, experience, and so forth. Just as with jealousy, the envy they experience can cause them to become angry and bitter.

Jealousy can turn into envy and envy can turn into jealousy. Both can be experienced together, and both are potentially destructive. They can ruin relationships and aspirations and make you miserable. They can keep you from trusting others and feeling secure about yourself. They can prevent you from being happy for someone when they get ahead or succeed. Jealousy and envy are common experiences known to all people. Even the most loving people are jealous or envious sometimes. But they do not have to rob you of love in your life. Security can replace the fear that fuels jealousy, and contentment can replace the discontent that stirs envy.


* What am I most afraid of losing? How have I tried to guard it?

* In what area(s) of my life do I feel dissatisfied?

* What types of qualities in others do I wish I had?

* Recall a time when jealousy or envy has caused you to resent someone. How did you resolve your feelings?

* How do I feel when others succeed and get ahead?

* How has jealousy and envy kept me from loving others?

* When do I feel most content with my life?

* When do I feel most secure in myself?


Comparing ourselves with others often causes us to feel superior or inferior to them.

I can appreciate individual differences and be thankful for what I have and who I am.

I choose to face my fears and insecurities and release them.

I choose to be thankful and content with my blessings.

I choose to be content with who I am as I continually aim to be my best.

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. ~William Penn

Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative - self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them. ~Jennifer James

Jealousy injures us with the dagger of self-doubt. ~Terri Guillemets

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. ~Harold Coffin

Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has. ~Elizabeth O'Connor

Taken from The 10 Keys to Happy & Loving Relationships Part 6 (Love is Not Jealous or Envious) by Krystal Kuehn,

Copyright © 2006, 2010 Krystal Kuehn. All Rights Reserved. New Day Counseling Center

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family marriage counseling and child therapy center,, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Check out Krystal is also author of several blogs: Be Your Best, Give Thanks Journal, Baby Poems blog and Words of Inspiration blog!