Envy vs. Jealousy

Envy vs. Jealousy

Today’s Weight of Words post serves to clarify the difference between envy and jealousy. Too many times to count, and yet I cringe every single time, I have seen these words used interchangeably.

The definition of envy is to want what someone else has and resenting them for having it. Perhaps your best friend shows up for lunch in the pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on for months. You want to be happy for her, but you’re more likely to feel envy. You want the shoes and, if pressed to admit, you dislike the fact that she owns them before you.

Jealously is the sensation you register when you think someone’s trying to take what’s yours. You’re at a party with your new sweetheart, and although you love the attention you’re receiving, you’re also insecure about the fact that so many people are flirting with your new love interest. You begin to wonder if they have the ability to take this person away from you. This fear of loss leads to jealousy.

Now, young writing padawans, go forth and use these words correctly.

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