Benign Envy Vs. Malicious Envy: What’s the Difference?

When you envy someone, you want something they have that you don’t. It can be a job promotion, a skill, etc. Benign and malicious envy are similar emotions that can cause someone to feel negative about themselves. Despite this, they lead to different reactions; thus, the most significant difference between the two is how an individual handles their feelings of envy. Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, “Validating the ‘Two Faces’ of Envy: The Effect of Self-Control” states that a person with mild envy will strive for self-improvement to achieve what the person quest she wants.

Although it can be painful, mild envy can be used as a motivational tool to achieve or set goals. Plus, you can still do it while wishing the best for the person you envy, like a friend who got a high-paying job offer. Registered therapist Deborah Vinall told Well+Good why it works. “When you are safe, the success of others is not threatening,” she said. “Both of you can desire to have what they have and still feel genuinely happy for them.”

To use benign envy to your advantage, psychology professor Gerrod Parrott told Vox to ask yourself how and why the person you envy got to where they are. He said, “Then you can imitate or imitate that other person’s methods, techniques, ideas, movements and what actually allows you to improve in some way.”

Origin of message: The list

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