These two feelings are related and they can appear in the same time, but they are not the same even though it seems that we sometimes use one to express the other. It’s not so much a big of a deal to use one to express the other, but being able to differentiate between the two of them can bring some clarity in our mind. This can also help us express that negative feeling in a more accurate way.
According to Wikipedia, in the English language jealousy is now taking the original definition used by envy alone, so this is might bring some confusion about the feelings that we actually have. This is the definition used:
“Jealousy generally refers to the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, and envy over relative lack of possessions, status or something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a comparator, a rival, or a competitor.”
Basically, jealousy comes from our own fear and insecurity and it manifests through showing those in relationships with other people. If you’re afraid of losing your loved one because of someone else, it’s jealousy.
Envy is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it”. – Wikipedia
Envy appears when we want something that someone else has. That’s it. That’s pure envy. If you want the car your neighbour has, that’s envy what you’re feeling even though you might say you’re jealous.
I believe it’s important for us to know the difference between these two so we can have a better communication with everyone. To be better understood, we need to express ourselves in a more specific way so there is little to no room for misinterpretations.
How often do you use the term jealousy to actually express envy?