Difference Between Jealousy and Insecurity

Jealousy vs Insecurity

Jealousy and Insecurity are two emotions that often accompany one another, even though, there is a difference between these two feelings. Jealousy is the state of being envious of another. A person can feel jealous of another individual based on that person’s appearance, wealth, achievements, and many other aspects of life. Insecurity, on the other hand, refers to the state of having insufficient confidence in one’s self. For example, if an individual is insecure about himself; his level of achievement, it is natural for that person to be jealous of another because that individual possesses something that he does not. However, both jealousy and insecurity are often considered as negative qualities in people. Through this article let us examine the differences between these two states, Jealousy and Insecurity, while gaining an understanding of each word.

What is Jealousy?

Jealousy can be defined as the state of being envious of another. This is considered as a negative quality. A person can feel jealous of another individual for a range of reasons. It can be due to achievements and success, wealth, relationships, physical appearance, etc. This highlights that jealousy is usually triggered due to external factors. Once the factor is removed, the person goes back to his usual state. In life, we all experience jealousy at some point or the other. This is quite natural. However, one has to bear in mind that it should not be fueled at any cost. Let us understand the concept of jealousy through an example:

Two very close friends are being approached by a third person. One of the friends begins to become close to the new friend and enjoy a harmonious relationship. The friend who is left out might feel jealous because he/she feels left out.

This highlights that jealousy can be triggered due to various reasons. Imagine the case of a girl in your class who is absolutely beautiful. You might feel jealous of this person because she has something that you do not have. Especially, in relationships, jealousy is one of the main causes for disputes. This is often linked with insecurity even though it is not only the insecure people who feel jealous, although the sequence of being jealous by an insecure person is much greater than a normal individual.

Difference Between Jealousy and Insecurity

Jealousy makes you feel envious of others

What is Insecurity?

Insecurity is when an individual is not confident of himself. When this happens, the individual tends to feel ‘not good enough.’ Low self-esteem, low self-worth, and lack of confidence are some of the qualities that can be seen in an insecure person. Being insecure can be very negative as it puts the individual in a position where he would feel envious of others.

For example, imagine a lover who is insecure about himself. There is a high tendency of this individual becoming very possessive and dominating of the partner because of this insecurity. He feels threatened by others and is in constant fear of not being good enough.

Unlike jealousy, insecurity is an internal factor. It is often triggered by the individual’s own lack of self-worth rather than external factors. This highlights that jealousy and insecurity are two different words, which are related to a certain extent.

 Jealousy vs Insecurity

An insecure partner can become aggressive and possessive

What is the difference between Jealousy and Insecurity?

• Jealousy is the state of being envious of another whereas Insecurity refers to the state of having insufficient confidence in one’s self.

• Jealousy is mainly due to external factors whereas Insecurity is often triggered due to internal factors.

• An insecure person experiences low self-esteem, low self-worth and lack of confidence in the long run, but these cannot be seen in a jealous person.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Jealousy and Flirtation via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Holding hands by Elizabeth Ann Colette (CC BY-SA 2.0)