The Scientific Fact Of The Emotion Called Jealousy


A famous English poet in John Dryden once said:

“Jealousy is the jaundice of the soul…”

Indeed, jealousy is one of the most unsettling feelings that anyone can feel. And though it’s often associated with love and romantic relationships, the feeling of jealousy can also plague our friendships, workplace, and even accomplishments.

But why do we feel jealous? Why do we have to experience this exceptionally intense emotion? And is it even rational to get jealous? Get to know more about this as we are going to explore the scientific fact behind that emotion called jealousy in today’s entry.

Jealousy Is NOT Envy

Let’s start things off by clarifying the real score between jealousy and envy.

One prevailing misconception is that jealousy and envy are the same, but the truth is they are different kinds of emotions. Yes, they can impact us in a negative way, but to get jealous with someone or something does not mean that you feel envy as well.

To be specific, let’s look at the plain definition of these feelings:

Envy is an intense emotional response if we want something that someone else has very badly. A good example of this is that when your neighbor owns a sports car that you’ve been longing for so long.

On the other hand, jealousy refers to the emotional response of the fear of losing certain person or thing to someone else like losing your lover to another person or losing a promotion to a fellow officemate in your company.

Trivia: Did you know that women are more prone to get jealous than men? It’s true! And the reason for this scientific fact is that females are more honest and in-tuned with their emotions compared to males. And this is often called “women’s intuition”.

So Why Do We Get Jealous???

All living beings are triggered to feel jealous (yes, animals can get jealous too!) because there is a possibility of losing something of value (person or a thing).

And while jealousy is often seen as a negative emotion, it is actually a precautionary response we all have to feel at some point. So it’s perfectly normal to feel jealous no matter how irrational or indiscriminating the reasons may be.

It only becomes negative when jealousy is combined with feelings of anger, disappointment, depression, and so on that can further lead to harmful actions such as domestic violence in romantic relationships, engaging in a fight with co-workers, and so on.

Final Thoughts

So don’t feel bad if you get jealous. After all, the scientific facts stated here says that it’s okay to feel every once in a while. Just make sure your jealous emotions will not consume you to the extent of doing something destructive to yourself or others. In short, focus on the benefits of jealousy to human relationships and use this feeling to reassure the value of your partner, sibling, friend, and etc.

Want more interesting science facts? Check out WeWantScience’s website for exciting scientific experiments and news.