Raise your hand if you have ever envied someone?

For the record, my hand is totally up in the air.

According to Oxford Languages, the definition of envy is:

A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, or luck and desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else

So yes, I have been envious of people carrying Hermes bags, or going on fantastic trips. However, while I might have a moment of wishing I were that person, I snap back into myself pretty quickly and realize that my life is pretty good, and really, I have everything that I want.

Of course, sometimes I see something that someone else has, and I really want it, but instead of being envious, I just figure out what I need to do to have whatever it is that I desire. I set a goal, make a plan, and just do it.

Someone I know won a writing contest- My thoughts were as follows:

  1. How awesome for the person
  2. I would love to win a writing contest
  3. I can’t win something I never enter
  4. I actually have to have a finished piece to enter into a contest
  5. Let me finish something and send it off

I then finished and sent something off. I did not win, but I somehow feel that I did indeed win by just putting the piece out there. I now regularly work on pieces to submit, and one day I will hopefully win a contest.

What is a better use of my energy: envying something good that happened to someone else, or doing something that would make me more fulfilled?

Our talking points for today are:

  1. How do you define envy?
  2. What is something you’ve envied about another?
  3. Is envy a “normal” emotion that most people feel?
  4. How easy is it to be consumed by envy?
  5. What is the difference between envy and jealousy?

51 thoughts on “Envy

  1. For some reason, I just don’t envy other people’s things. I am like you in that if I really want it, I just figure out a way to get it. Plus, there are lots of things that many people want that I just don’t care about – a big house, fancy car, expensive purses. I have envied travel – even recently when reading a blog post. But again, I figure we can get there. I just wanted it to be sooner rather than later. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I green eye monster up for maybe a minute or so and then I just outright round the clock covet.

    Just funnin’, as envy takes up way too much energy, and I’ve always envied others who are lazier than me.

    Truth be told, I have, on more than one occasion, got pique at some for taking opportunities lightly, or as a given, but I don’t cry for or cotton up to the crème de la crème of things.

    So fancy that.

    Nice post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It probably means that you’re human if you feel envy at some point, but I suppose it’s what you do with the feelings that matter. Strive to achieve something comparable or let it go and move on with your life…becoming obsessed with what others have or do certainly isn’t a way to live. BTW, I had to check definitions of envy vs. jealousy as I sort of lump them together. Interesting that jealousy can involve resentment and hostility- sort of a first negative step down the rabbit hole of complicating relationships with others.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I didn’t think about jealousy until I was towards the end of writing, but it’s interesting how there are subtle differences that could really make one spiral

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve envied people who had elderly mothers who were less difficult then mine. As a widow I have an occasional flash of envy for those who still have partners in their lives.

    I think jealousy is a stronger emotion. I used to be jealous of the relationship my mom had with my sister. Perhaps the emotion wasn’t correct–but there definitely was reasons to feel the way I did. Now my sister struggles with alcoholism and really isn’t involved in my life or my mom’s life.

    I try not to linger in those places of envy or jealousy. I think everyone has their own struggles. Whenever I think I am envious of another’s situation I always think of my children and what a blessing they are to me.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think I mostly left envy behind in high school (someone else got the part in the play or the drum major position, the cute guy I had a crush on, etc.) Also at my early jobs when others got better work assignments. Not so much now. I have a good life – let people envy me!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have never thought of the difference between envy and jealousy before. You’ve got me thinking on that. I remember being envious when I was working in PR for a country club developer. I was newly married, we were digging for quarters in the sofa or checking pockets to buy tacos. The boss had a Bentley, a Lear Jet and there were pilots on staff and I guess Bentleys at his other homes. As I got older, I lost my envy bug. I did experience it directed to my daughter by her teammates beginning at age 13 through high school. The better she got, the more jealousy she experienced.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Of course the jealous teammates were girls. My daughter chose a university that had men’s and women’s swimming (many have only women’s) because she thought the pettiness would disappear in a co-ed atmosphere. She was right.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I envy some people for things they have in the past like location or situation but upon listening more to their words-I often discover things are not always as they seem. I really envy someone who can sleep through anything, nowadays! I am jealous of their ability to push worries away and sleep well.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. To be honest, they aren’t emotions that enter my head most of the time. I look at a Porsche and I think I’m glad I don’t have his fuel bill, I look at a trophy wife and feel sorry for her – all that effort and she still doesn’t measure up my wife. Writing contest? Possibly a twinge. Difference between envy and jealously – I know there is one, I just don’t need to know what it is. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve had issues in my life with the green-eyed monster. My family didn’t have a lot when I was young, so I associate a lot of my envy to that. In addition, I tend to compare myself a lot to others. A positive from that my drive, it propels me to be successful, to work harder, to practice, to grow and get better. The negative is that my envy becomes perfection and I can never be happy with what I’ve achieved. The best way I’ve found to beat back both is simply to remind myself of all the good things in my life. My very own Gratitude Journal so to speak. It helps me to keep balance and perspective. Thanks for the great reminder!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Love what you did in response to your envy! And I am cheering you on to win s contest! Keep entering.
    I have envied people traveling more than things that people have. I have envied talents that people have or just abilities. Like the ability to not get lost when going somewhere new. To actually have a sense of direction. LOL!

    When I do start envying I remember this story. Years back when my daughter suffered with anorexia I was envying a friend. Her FB life looked great. Family business going great. Then we got to reconnect more than just on FB. We had been childhood friends and HS but moved apart then. Got to have a serious conversation and guess what. Her daughter was dealing with anorexia too!! This dear.friend who I thought had it all together was going through hell, just like me! We truly never KNOW!!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “did not win, but I somehow feel that I did indeed win by just putting the piece out there”. Love that. So true. I don’t often get envious of someone, more likely envy may arise of a situation I might like to be involved in, or something I might like to have, yet today, I spend little time in this emotion, realizing that to want something other than what I have is the definition of suffering, so I acknowledge the envious emotion, work through it, and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Envy and jealousy were two of my greatest faults I think. It took years to come to terms with those feelings. But eventually I was much happier when I became grateful for what I have and happy for others for what they have.It was quite a journey I must say.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Like many, I had problems with envy during my teens – those beautiful long legs, the lustrous long chestnut hair… but, fortunately, I grew out of it. Occasionally a spark of it appears, but is quickly reasoned away. In the past, I’ve envied someone’s luck, but reasoning quickly clarifies that if I was willing to do a) b) and/or c), I too could be that lucky, or that their luck came with an unenviably high cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I sometime envy people who still have their parents. My mom passed in 1985 and my dad in 1996. I especially get envious of those whose parents still can do things with them and t their families.🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Count your blessings. Antidote to envy. Is there any difference between envy and jealousy? It’s a totally negative emotion and one should consciously refrain from it. What we do not have is a blessing in disguise which we realise on hindsight. Have you ever realised that?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Envy seems to be jealousy amplified. I feel like we all experience feelings of jealousy, but envy is a whole other level. Envy can cause people to do things that are out of the ordinary. I’ve never felt that, but I’ve definitely experienced jealousy. Sometimes the happily married couples make me feel that way, because I wish to have the same. Of course, then I remind myself that what I see isn’t always reality and even if it is, they don’t necessarily have it all perfected.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I envy young people because they have their whole lives in front of them. Now I know I have that too, though it’s a lot shorter. I guess I’m just jealous/envious of the wider range of opportunities they’ll have over their life spans that may not have been available to me. So, maybe I’m jealous of time travelers which of course are not real yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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