(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
Envy is not usually thought of as a positive force, but it does have a range of variations. At its core, feeling envy means that you discern that someone else has something which you want also, but don’t have. Envy is about feeling the difference between you and them.
People who express benign envy use that which they envy as a positive source of inspiration and motivation. You want to rise to the level of the other who has what you also want and join them there. It’s envy with a smile.
People who express malicious envy use it as a source of attack. They want to pull the other down to their level and have them experience the same lack. It’s envy with a frown.
Coaching Point: Desirous or jealous. Which envy feels better to you?
Copyright 2010 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.