What is envy and why does it appear?

The envy it is not precisely the feeling that we are most proud to have or-less yet-more we want to see (surely no one would want to expose themselves with a series of envious comments on their Facebook wall or any other social network, at least not voluntarily).

Although we only manifest it in part, the truth is that envy is one of the feelings proper to human beings ... and we have all felt it.

However for some people these feelings can become very dominant and become a problem that can profoundly affect our mood and even our health. Let's see in detail what exactly envy is and why it appears.

What is envy?

Envy is, as we said, a feeling that has very old roots. In fact, it is one of the seven deadly sins of the Christian religion along with greed, pride, gluttony, lust, anger and laziness. We can trace it here and there, from the gossip of two critical friends to the fairy tales (the envious queen who could not stand to be surpassed in beauty by Snow White).

If we had to define envy, we could say that it is a feeling of anger or frustration under something that another has and one does not. The feeling of envy hides, in turn, the desire for the loss of what is envied or the failure of the person envied.

Envy would be, in some way, the negative or noxious side of another feeling, admiration. When we speak of admiration we prefer, therefore, to a stimulating feeling, even when the other person surpasses us or has something that we long for.

In general, envy is unleashed based on a quality that the other person possesses, not so much of a material object. Many times, they explain from the psychology, a material object is not envied but the capacity of the person to obtain it (for example of to have triumphed laborly and to be able to accede to a level of superior consumption).

The causes of envy, why does it appear?

Psychology offers different interpretations about the causes of envy. From the psychoanalysis it is maintained that envy has its origin in the earliest stages of our life, being only babies.

According to this theory, the first object of envy is the mother, or more precisely its capacity to feed us. Hence, if this first relationship is satisfactory, the child will develop a sense of security and confidence. But otherwise, he will be distrustful and insecure, which would later lead to an envious adult.

Another aspect that is pointed out has to do with the upbringing of children. If they have grown up in a family where envious comments towards others were common, or where competition between siblings and disqualification has been enhanced, it is likely to develop these feelings of envy as they shape the personality.

Other psychologists say that envy can arise as a result of many situations of frustration that have occurred in the life of a person, whether work, love or social.

Consequences of envy in our health

Having frequent feelings of envy has clear negative effects on our mood, causing anger, depression or low self-esteem. In fact, it is practically null psychological consultation to feel envy. More usually patients go through depression and then the interference of feelings of envy in this problem is determined throughout the treatment.

But it also has consequences at a physical level. As has been studied, those who suffer from these feelings of envy tend to develop liver disorders such as jaundice. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Psychologist. We advise you to consult your trusted Psychologist.

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