Envy /ˈenvē/ noun: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Envy is from the Latin root word, invidia, the sense of envy, looking upon associated with the evil eye, from invidere, “to look against, to look in a hostile manner.” Envy occurs when we pay attention to what we do not have. We pay more attention to what other people have; it comes from a place of ingratitude of our own blessings, it is a challenge of our perception, it is usually greener on the other side. Still, the truth is that those we are envious of also have their own issue.
In the age of social media, we are quick to compare the highlight reel and well-curated timelines of our peers to our own lives. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.” Envy is a cognitive distortion (thoughts that cause individuals to perceive reality inaccurately). Envy is the cause of our anxiety, worry, unhappiness, and our mental state. The only person we should be comparing ourselves with is yourself, self-comparison with others only leads to unhappiness and resentment. Envy is as old as humanity itself from cain and able to Joseph and his brothers.
“Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is closest people to us that are usually envious of us, our parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, childhood peers. As the African Proverb says “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” Dealing with envy is very tough as it is the people we love the most that eventually get envious of us because of our success or progress. The key is to give gratitude for whatever you have and be content with the world and yourself.
Here are some great quotes on Envy:
- Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope. – Josh Billing
- Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- It is not greed that drives the world, but envy. — Warren Buffett.
- Jealousy is the fear or apprehension of superiority: envy our uneasiness under it. – William Shenstone
- The truest mark of being born with great qualities, is being born without envy. – François de La Rochefoucauld
- The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch. – Jim Rohn
- Envy always implies conscious inferiority wherever it resides. – Pliny the Elder.
Envy is a littleness of soul, which cannot see beyond a certain point, and if it does not occupy the whole space, feels itself excluded-William Hazlitt
Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.-Buddha
Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.– Jean Vanier
Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay.-Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Envy blinds men and makes it impossible for them to think clearly. – Malcolm X
- Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that. – Oliver Stone
- Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self-worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has. – Elizabeth O’Connor
If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher. – Debbie Macomber
Oh, what a bitter thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.-William Shakespeare
All envy is proportionate to desire; we are uneasy at the attainments of another, according as we think our own happiness would be advanced by the addition of that which he withholds from us.-Samuel Johnson
- No one can have all he wants, but a man can refrain from wanting what he has not, and cheerfully make the best of a bird in the hand. – Seneca
For one man who sincerely pities our misfortunes, there are a thousand who sincerely hate our success.-Charles Caleb Colton
Envy has been, is, and shall be, the destruction of many. What is there, that Envy hath not defamed, or Malice left undefiled? Truly, no good thing.– Pythagoras
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.-Winston Churchill
- When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly… None of them can hurt me. Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people… It will keep you from doing anything useful. Why do you not rather act than complain? – Marcus Aurelius
Attribute not the good actions of another to bad causes; thou canst not know his heart but the world will know by this that thine is full of envy.– Akhenaton
- One of the most powerful lessons in life is to recognize that no one can give you power, and many people don’t want you to have it. You have to find the courage to seize it, own it and hold on! -Shannon L. Alder
- The best way to avoid envy is to deserve the success you get. – Aristotle
- Envy lurks at the bottom of the human heart like a viper in its hole. – Honoré de Balzac
- Envy of others is always a reflection of something we feel about ourselves. – Shane Parrish
- Five enemies of peace inhabit with us – avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace. – Petrarch
- Envy, like a cold prison, benumbs and stupefies; and, conscious of its own impotence, folds its arms in despair.- Jeremy Collier
- An envious man waxeth lean with the fatness of his neighbors. Envy is the daughter of pride, the author of murder and revenge, the beginner of secret sedition and the perpetual tormentor of virtue. Envy is the filthy slime of the soul; a venom, a poison, or quicksilver which consumeth the flesh and drieth up the marrow of the bones. – Socrates
‘Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.’ – J.K. Rowling
- Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them. – Robert Greene, THE 48 Laws of Power
- Envy, in fact, is one form of a vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations. – Bertrand Russell
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.