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Jealousy - when it's all about you

envy jealousy; guilt; loneliness; conflict; revenge; anger; spite; fear; gossip; coveting;


What is jealousy?

Some people confuse envy and jealousy.

jealousyEnvy is wanting to have something that another person has and feeling unhappy and that it's 'not fair' that person should have it. For example, you may feel envy when someone you know gets the super cool bike that you've always wanted! You may covet the bike, which means that you wish it was yours.

Jealousy is like envy but includes suspicion. Jealousy is often to do with competition. For example sometimes you may be jealous of a brother or sister because you think your parents love him or her more than they love you. Or you may feel jealous about your friend and want to have all of his or her attention all of the time.

Jealousy is sometimes known as the 'green eyed monster' - which destroys the person who is jealous.

The negative side of jealousy

Feeling jealous can bring all sorts of bad feelings with it.

  • Feelings of anger or even hatred.
  • Feelings of rejection, when you feel that you are not wanted or not good enough.
  • Feelings of wanting to 'get your own back' in some way.

Having bad feelings like this can be harmful to the person whom you are jealous about.

feeling jealous

Most of all having these bad feelings can be harmful to you!

The positive side

No one, not even the most wonderful person in the world, will go through life without feeling jealous at some time, if only for a moment.

The trick is to recognize jealousy and then choose how you are going to react to it.

being jealousThis takes time and you may have to work very hard at times but there are millions of successful people around the world who have learned to use jealousy as a way of improving their lives and the lives of others.

What am I talking about?
Well look at what can happen if you feel jealous in the following situations. Feeling jealous can bring out other feelings which then lead to your reaction.

You can choose the negative or the positive reaction, (and it's quite normal to go for the negative at first!)

You can choose how you react to your feelings of jealousy

Here are a few examples of jealousy, what other feelings it can create in you and how you can choose to react to it.

  • a new baby in the familyCause of jealousy
    A new baby in the family
    • Feelings
      Feeling angry, rejected, not important any more.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Tantrums, attention seeking behaviour.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Look for positive attention by being helpful, playing with baby, and learning how good it is to be an older brother or sister.
  • a new partner for mum or dadCause of jealousy
    A new partner for mum or dad.
    • Feelings
      Feeling angry that a new person is taking your 'real' mum's or dad's place and taking attention from you.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Tantrums, rudeness, demanding attention.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Getting to know the new adult in your life. Being part of a family. Being happy for mum or dad.
  • Cause of jealousy
    Your brother or sister.
    • Feelings
      Unfair that he/she gets to do things you're not allowed to yet.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Fighting, teasing, bullying, destroying or hiding things, tale telling.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Learn to share. Learn to say what you want, negotiate and work together.
  • Cause of jealousy
    A sick or disabled person in the family who needs a lot of care.
    • Feelings
      Jealous of time spent on this person and not on you. Resentful that you miss out on family times.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Feeling guilty and mean. Withdrawing into yourself and ignoring the person. Feeling lonely.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Learn to be more independent. Learn caring skills, become more responsible, collaborate with others in caring.
  • Cause of jealousy
    A friend who isn't a friend any more.
    • Feelings
      Angry and hurt, lonely.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Spite, wanting revenge, bullying, spreading rumours, gossip.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Make new friends, learn from mistakes, learn to forgive, sort out your issues.
  • Cause of jealousy
    A friend who has a boy friend/girl friend.
    • Feelings
      Left out, lonely, angry that you don't have a boy/girl friend.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Teasing, gossip with others, hanging round all the time.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Make new friends, make set times to be with your friend, stay friends.
  • Cause of jealousy
    Talented kids
    • Feelings
      Feeling worthless, angry, lonely.
    • Possible negative reaction
      Teasing, put downs, gossip and rumours, giving up.
    • Possible positive reaction
      Look at your own talents, accept everyone is unique. Try to improve your own performance.

What some kids say

  • "It's writing time again. Oh no! I hate writing time. I can never think of anything to write. I just sit there and stuff goes through my brain but I don't write it down. Why can't I think of anything? Why is it so easy for everyone else to write? I'm jealous of them." Cornelius
  • "I don't care if someone is better than me at something. I like me the way I am."
  • "I don't like jealousy. Jealousy hates everything. To keep jealousy under control takes clear thinking." Xavier
  • "If you are jealous, try to do something positive because if you do something bad then you will get in more trouble."
  • "I used to be jealous of my friend because he was a better runner than me. So, I trained and trained and got as good as him. Now we have fun running together."
  • "I was jealous of my dad when he got a girlfriend. I was horrible to her until I realised that he would always be my dad."
She's got a boyfriend, why don't I?
I want him or else I'll cry.
She's all happy and I'm so sad.
She's all good and I'm all bad.
She's got a boyfriend why don't I?

Dr Kate says

"Everyone is born equal, but some are 'more equal' than others!"

Have you heard that saying? What it means is that we all have talents but some people don't have the same advantages as others.

We all have our own lives to live and saying that "life is unfair" and "what's the use of trying?", and acting out the negative stuff is the right way to make our lives boring and miserable and friendless!

Yes life is unfair sometimes but we need to get over it, make the best of it, and make plans for a better future. That is what people have been doing since people first came on the Earth.

Let jealousy motivate you into being the very best that you can be, and your life will be too busy for you to have time to feel jealous of anyone.


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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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