Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Richard H. Smith
Envy refers to the often-painful emotion caused by an awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another person. It is a complex, socially repugnant emotion made up of a mix of inferiority feelings, hostility, and resentment. Envy is different from admiration, which is delight and approval inspired by another person. Admiration can foster a desire to emulate another person's success, whereas envy breeds a competitive desire to outdo and even bring the envied person down in some cases. Envy may seem like greed, but greed involves an insatiable desire for more and more of something, rather than a desire for a particular thing possessed by a particular person. Envy is also different from jealousy. Envy involves two people and occurs when one lacks something enjoyed by another. Jealousy typically involves three people and occurs when one fears losing someone, usually a romantic partner, to a rival. Thus, we say that Envy ...