Benign envy can inspire us to work harder, rather than wishing for the downfall of others who have what we covet
The words jealousy and envy are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Jealousy is when one is anxious or fearful that someone will take away what one already has – which is why we talk of jealous partners. Oh, you’re going for drinks with that attractive work colleague again? Or, I don’t know, let’s say you hear of a writer in the market for a Saturday column and you have one.
Envy is wanting what another has. We say we are “jealous” when we see someone’s holiday pictures on Instagram, but in fact we are envious. It’s an antisocial emotion, and one we’ve all felt.