Jealousy, Envy, Harmony


What is jealousy?
What is envy?

These two words are so similar in Chinese and English, even though they don't translate exactly directly in terms of how strong an emotion they convey. What's the relationship between these two emotions?

What does jealousy feel like?
What does envy feel like?
Are they similar or different feelings?

Do you ever feel that if others are doing well, you are less likely to have the same happen to you?
Could fear of envy bring about social harmony? (See story and examples below)
Was that how things worked in any experiences you've had?

Jealousy/Envy and Harmony
Is jealousy or envy based on a fear of not being good enough, to work for or keep something valuable? Is jealousy or envy based on a fear of losing something valuable?
Do these fears have a common root?
Are these fears going to influence group harmony?

Group Harmony and Sense of Self
Is it more important to take care of yourself before others, or others before yourself?
Does taking care of others first, or taking care of yourself first, have any relationship to your sense of your own value?
Does your sense of your own value influence your ability to work well in a group?
Our society values selflessness, and our society also values harmony. Are these two attitudes compatible?
"This sort of serves a useful group function," says van de Ven. We all think better off people should share with others, "but that's not something we are inclined to do when we are better off."
Do you agree or disagree?
What kind of attitude does this quote seem to be talking about?

Jealousy/Envy and Desire
Is envy or jealousy about wanting too much?
Is it about possession? Or being 'too materialistic'?

Is 'desire' positive or negative?
Is striving for things positive or negative?
Is striving for things/acheivments related to desire?
Are jealousy/envy and desire related?

Is some level of envy necessary to spur one on to success?
Is envy the spur of desire or the scourge? In ordinary English, is envy what makes you desire things and strive for things or does it ruin everything?


Definitions of Jealousy
Jealousy refers to a fear of losing something we have to another person. 


Envy refers to wishing we had something that another person has.

A jealous individual may fear their partner leaving them for another mate, or committing an act of infidelity.
An envious individual may feel ‘left out’ or resentful because their partner feels good about themselves, has great friends or a satisfying job.


Does Fear of Envy bring about Social Harmony?
New research ... has found that the fear of being the target of malicious envy makes people act more helpfully toward people who they think might be jealous of them.

In previous research, Niels van de Ven of Tilburg University and his colleagues Marcel Zeelenberg and Rik Pieters had figured out that envy actually comes in two flavors: benign envy and malicious envy. They studied people who showed these two kinds of envy and found that people with benign envy were motivated to improve themselves, to do better so they could be more like the person they envied. On the other hand, people with malicious envy wanted to bring the more successful person down. Van de Ven and his colleagues wondered what the experience was like for the people who are the target of the envy.

"In anthropology, they say if you are envied, you might act more socially afterward because you try to appease those envious people," van de Ven says -- by sharing your big catch of fish, for example. They wanted to know if these observations from anthropology held up in the psychology lab.

In experiments, he and his colleagues made some people feel like they would be maliciously envied, by telling them they would receive an award of five euros -- sometimes deserved based on the score they were told they'd earned on a quiz, sometimes not. The researchers figured the deserved prize would lead to benign envy, while the undeserved prize would lead to malicious envy. Then the volunteer was asked to give time-consuming advice to a potentially envious person.

People who had reason to think they'd be the target of malicious envy were more likely to take the time to give advice than targets of benign envy.

In another experiment, an experimenter dropped a bunch of erasers as the volunteer was leaving; those who thought they'd be maliciously envied were more likely to help him pick them up.

"This sort of serves a useful group function," says van de Ven. We all think better off people should share with others, "but that's not something we are inclined to do when we are better off." This fear of envy can encourage us to behave in ways that improve the social interactions of the group.


Resolving Feelings of Jealousy and Envy
"You can choose. You can choose that seeing others get what they want is proof that you can too. Or you can choose that seeing others get what they want is somehow competition that takes something from you or says something about you and your own ability to create."

"Seeing other people do well is bound to activate how you feel you are doing in your life; I would suggest that rather than waiting till the next time that happens, that you do some work pre-paving how you are going to feel the next time you find out how well someone is doing.

It starts with you being honest about how you think you are doing in your current experience and what aspects of "success" you consider the most important. Feeling like you're doing well is one thing, but perhaps it is even more important that people think/see that you are doing well too.

One of the most important keys to realising your dreams is dealing with the in-between stages; you are always going to be on the way to one desire or other. You will always be in a state of "incompleteness"; you'll never arrive. There will always be something new you want. You want to become an expert at dealing with your emotional state as you gradually catch up with each ever-evolving desire.

Life does not have to be what you do in between desires though; you can live a life of joy, full of fun and beautiful evolving moments; it requires an acknowledgement of the creative process, a making peace with the period it takes for an idea to become physical. Success is inevitable as long as the desire is still active and you are not holding yourself in a vibration that is in conflict with it."

1 comment:

  1. I really like the last two paragraphs. I need to remember that.

    ReplyDelete