Elephants Do It Too: So, Why Do We Get Jealous?

jealouselephantOh the Green-Eyed-Monster.

No, I’m not talking about Fenway Park, which is the Green Monster, I’m talking about the Shakespearean term coined to allude to the emotion of jealousy. Even though we might not want to admit it we’ve all been jealous at some point in our lives. But have no fear we’re not alone. Humans aren’t the only ones who get jealous. Even chimps and elephants have exhibited the not-so-glamorous emotion. And an elephants always remembers.

So, what is jealousy?

The color green is so much better in your wallet than on your face.

Jealousy is the fear of losing something. It is often confused with envy, which is coveting something that someone else has, but jealousy is about a perceived threat to something that belongs to you. There’s also (duh) romantic jealousy, where one partner is afraid that a third party is coming to ruin the day, whether that be your wedding day, or a Friday night date. But there’s also work jealousy, which refers to losing out on a promotion or a salary increase.  Friend jealousy, which is similar to romantic jealousy without the element of romance (kind of like FOMO).  And lest we forget, the burn of family jealousy, which creates sibling rivalry.

But jealousy isn’t all bad. Psychology Today says that it “preserves social bonds.” Be careful not to let it get the best of you. Jealousy is the number one cause of spousal homicide. Yikes!

So how do we overcome jealousy? Experts suggest the obvious: honesty. This will keep your emotions from becoming bottled up and increasing over time.

And remember, the color green is so much better in your wallet than on your face.

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