Originally Posted by Ceoli
I think it's important to remember that experiencing envy isn't the same as being disappointed that happiness hasn't fallen into their lap. Being envious doesn't mean that they're not aware of all of the hard work that goes into creating happiness. A person can feel envy and still appreciate all of that. I guess I wonder why people feel the need to isolate themselves from envy or why they consider it a hurtful thing to be around.
I think of envy as a non-zero-sum concept, and jealousy as a zero-sum-concept (even if these are not in the dictionary definitions).
Envy means someone else has something that you wish you had for yourself also, while jealousy means you wish that the other person did not have it if you can't have it too.
If you're married or whatever, and your partner has a boyfriend or girlfriend, you could say "I envy that" meaning that you want a BF or GF too but don't want them to give up what they have.
If you said "I'm jealous of that" it is like as if it's a competition and in order to "feel equal" someone would have to give up something the other person doesn't also have.