How Jealousy Can Be a Good Thing

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.


Jealousy isn’t all bad.

While the green eyed monster shouldn’t rule your life, a little envy is not necessarily a bad thing.

You’ve all heard the phrase “green with envy,” I’m sure. We’re taught that we should never be jealous or envious of what others have, but I don’t necessarily agree wholly with that statement. I think a little jealousy in our lives is a good thing. Here are just a few reasons why I think jealousy isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  

  •          You’re forced to look outside yourself. If you aren’t looking at what other people have, you may not see what’s available to you. If you see something you want, you should aspire to have it and be a little jealous of the people who already do have it. Not to the point of maliciously taking it from someone though!
  •          It makes you set goals. Once you know what you want, you have to set a goal to get the object of your desire, whether it’s a corner office or a new client.
  •          It will light a fire under you. When you have goals and have jealousy and drive on your side, you’re going to work extra hard to meet them so you don’t have to feel jealous anymore.
  •          It will make you a more competitive person. I want to make this very clear: NEVER do I think it is acceptable to lie, cheat or steal to get what you want. That being said, a little healthy competition keeps you on your toes and working towards your goals.
  •          It makes you a better employee. With all that drive, motivation and competitive edge, you sure are looking pretty appealing to upper management. Plus, putting in the extra effort really does make you a more valuable, knowledgeable asset to the company.


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