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Old 02-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,227

I've been using the "standard poly definitions" of jealousy vs envy for quite some time:
jealousy = fear of losing something you have
envy = wanting what someone else has

But I just found an old forum post where someone dragged up a dictionary definition. Usually I pooh-pooh dictionary definitions when applied to poly stuffs... but in this case, I felt like reopening a discussion on it, since "jealousy" is a common human emotion and it's helpful if everyone means the same thing when they use those words. (similar to m-w also)

Wikipedia, however, seems to use the poly-definitions: has this interesting note: "jealousy is reflective of a person's feelings or attitudes toward another person, whereas envy expresses a person's feelings or attitudes toward another person's advantages or accomplishments; jealousy pertains to emotional rivalry while envy is resentment of a more fortunate person"

And that's really more in-line with what I understood to be the difference before I started reading up on poly stuffs.
envy = Mmm, that guy has ice cream. I wish I had ice cream.
jealousy = That bitch has ice cream.
fear of loss = That dog is eying up my ice cream, I think he's going to try and steal it.
insecurity = I don't deserve this ice cream and I sure hope no one catches on or else they'll take my ice cream.

While I fully agree that jealousy usually stems from insecurity or a fear of loss rather than simply wanting what someone else has and hating them for it.. I think I no longer agree that they're one and the same thing...

As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 02-04-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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