Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Healthy jealousy?

The book I just finished reading introduced me to an intriguing concept, "healthy jealousy:"

"I think there's a difference. Mean jealousy pulls people down so they'll be on the same level with us, or pushes them down on our way up. But a healthy jealousy is sometimes just the push we need to jump for ourselves. Sometimes we need to look at someone who is doing something difficult, or dangerous, so that we know we can do it too. It's that sense of 'I want what you have,' that makes the risk seem worth it." --Allison Vesterfelt, Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage

I think she means that if jealousy inspires us to take action, to move toward a goal, and not to do it at anyone else's expense, it can actually be a positive motivator. I'd never thought of it that way before. Can jealousy or envy be a good thing sometimes?


  1. I don't think it's abnormal for anyone, at any point in their lives, to wish they had something someone else had. I do think some aren't willing to recognize their jealousy and they choose to act on their feelings of discontent by directing aggression at others. Recognizing one's own jealousy is a step in the right direction, as is making a positive and constructive plan to follow in the other person's footsteps.

    1. Yes--and it's nice to know jealousy can have a positive effect!