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  • Emma Buryd

Is There Such A Thing As "Healthy Envy"?




I always make sure to emphasize that there are no good or bad emotions. There are only emotions.


Some are simply easier to admit than others.


It's easier for us to admit that we are happy, excited, or calm than it is to admit that we feel discouraged or distressed.


I would dare to say that the emotion that least people admit is envy. Nobody likes to say they want to have what others have. That is why the term "healthy envy" began to emerge.





People say they feel "healthy envy" when they admit that they want to get something, but are not upset or sad. Rather, they feel motivated and encouraged to achieve goals.


Are there really several types of envy? We don't usually talk about various types of anguish or sadness. Is there a way to channel this emotion in a positive way or is it just a charade not to face it?


Let's talk about envy

Envy is coveting something that we don't have, and that manifests itself strongly when we see that someone else has it. This can be an object, a look, a job, a position, a skill, etc.


Unlike other emotions, envy isn't so directly detectable. We don't see another person with something we covet and instantly say "I'm envious."


Many professionals claim that it's one of the least accepted feelings. When answering a series of questions, almost no one answers affirmatively to "I tend to be envious regularly."

When in fact, it is something very common and natural.





Good envy? Bad envy?

This has been more of an informal expression than anything else, but many say that it can be beneficial to feel envy. If it's "good" envy, of course.


What is the difference between one and the other?


The concept of envy is associated with feelings of anger, dissatisfaction, and jealousy. Lacking something makes us feel like victims as if we are being denied something that we rightfully deserve.


This, of course, can unleash discomfort in us. If we remain in a constant state of comparison with others and focus on what we don't have, we won't be able to feel satisfied with our achievements.





On the other hand, good envy is similar but stops when negative emotions are felt.

It is permissible to want more, however, the way you channel this desire should be beneficial to you.


If this envy makes you wake up earlier, learn more, work on yourself, and aspire to greater challenges, then it is a good thing.


It's not about having other people's stuff, but about working to have it too.


Are they really different?

Psychologically speaking: no.


As there are no good or bad emotions, there are no different types of the same emotion.

So is "healthy envy" a real thing?


I personally believe that it isn't.


What I do believe is that there are positive ways to handle emotions. We cannot control our immediate reactions to a situation, but we can control what we do next.


If someone else got the promotion you wanted, it's normal to feel mad or sad at first. However, what you do in the next hour, day, week, and month is in your hands.


You could take the time to sabotage the work of others to make them look bad in front of their bosses. Or you can focus on improving yourself.


This is not always easy. We can be impulsive and irrational creatures. But we can always work on ourselves and correct the things we don't like.


On the other hand, acknowledge your own achievements and feel proud every time you reach a goal. You can be ambitious without having to compare your path to someone else's.

Make me envious of you!





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