Envy is a very common feeling that can make us sick. What are its causes and why does it arise? Why are we envious? We also discover what it consists of.
The envy is not exactly the feeling we proud to have or -less yet – more desire to see (surely nobody would want to be exposed to a number of envious comments on his Facebook wall or any other social network, not the least voluntarily).
Although we only manifest it in part, the truth is that envy is one of the feelings of 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 fairy tales (the envious queen who couldn’t bear to be outdone in beauty by Snow White).
If we had to define envy, we could say that it is a feeling of anger or frustration by virtue of 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 for the failure of the person envied.
Envy would be, in some way, the negative or harmful side of another feeling, admiration. When we speak of admiration, then, we prefer a stimulating feeling, even when the other person surpasses us or has something that we yearn for.
In general, envy is unleashed based on a quality that the other person possesses, not so much on a material object. Many times, they explain from psychology, not a material object is envied but the person’s ability to obtain it (for example, having succeeded at work and being able to access a higher level of consumption).
The causes of envy, why does it appear?
Psychology offers different interpretations about the causes of envy. From psychoanalysis it is argued that envy has its origin in the earliest stages of our life, being just babies.
According to this theory, the first object of envy is the mother, or more precisely her ability to feed us. Hence, if this first relationship is satisfactory, the child will develop a sense of security and trust. 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 increased, they are likely to develop these feelings of envy as they shape their personality.
Other psychologists argue that envy can arise as a result of many frustrating situations that have occurred in a person’s life, whether they are work, love or social.
Consequences of envy on our health
Frequently having feelings of envy has clear negative effects on our mood, causing anger, depression or low self-esteem. In fact, the psychological consultation for feeling envy is practically nil. More commonly, 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 on a physical level. As has been studied, those who suffer from these feelings of envy have a tendency to develop liver disorders such as jaundice.