How to use your envy to your advantage (and why it's different from jealousy)

We all suffer from envy every now and then, but it's important to understand what triggers it, says behavioural psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer.

Dr Schomer describes envy as a feeling of discontent and resentment.

He explains that envy arises from your thoughts about someone else's possessions, qualities and achievements.

Envy is the pain inside of you, caused by the desire for the advantages of others.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

Dr Schomer explains that social comparisons are a part of our lives and are built into our emotional richness.

He advises that envy has the potential to be constructive, if it is used as a tool for motivation.

Envy is possibly very positive. It propels you to want, to get motivated and off your bum to do something.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

On the other hand, Dr Schomer says "armchair" envy can be destructive, particularly if it generates entitlement or dejection.

Envy, when it is linked to non-action, becomes negative.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

He explained what separates envy from jealousy and how we can resolve our envy helps us to cope with our feelings.

Unlike envy, Dr Schomer says jealousy arises from low self-esteem, poor confidence, threats and rivalry.

Take a listen to his expert advice:


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