Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his or her envy, Russell explained, but that person also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind act aspire verbal instructions pdf movement towards democracy and must be endured to achieve a more just social system. Envy and gloating have parallel structures as emotions.
One theory that helps explain envy and its effects on human behavior is the Socioevolutionary theory. Thus, this theory provides a framework for understanding social behavior and experiences, such as the experience and expression of envy, as rooted in biological drives for survival and procreation. Recent studies have demonstrated that inciting envy actually changes cognitive function, boosting mental persistence and memory. Often, envy involves a motive to “outdo or undo the rival’s advantages”. In part, this type of envy may be based on materialistic possessions rather than psychological states. Basically, people find themselves experiencing an overwhelming emotion due to someone else owning or possessing desirable items that they do not.
But envy is more or less than desire. One has to be blind to perceive the emptiness, of course, but that’s what envy is, a selective blindness. Latin for envy, translates as “nonsight,” and Dante had the envious plodding along under cloaks of lead, their eyes sewn shut with leaden wire. What they are blind to is what they have, God-given and humanly nurtured, in themselves”. Envy may negatively affect the closeness and satisfaction of relationships. By helping people to change these perceptions, they will be more able to understand the real meaning of fortune and satisfaction with what they do have.
According to Lazarus “coping is an integral feature of the emotion process”. There are very few theories that emphasize the coping process for emotions as compared to the information available concerning the emotion itself. Coping with envy can be similar to coping with anger. The issue must be addressed cognitively in order to work through the emotion. Further research needs to be done in order to better understand envy, as well as to help people cope with this emotion.