5 Times Jealousy Can Actually Be Good for You

Feeling jealous is known for being bad, but we actually don't think that's always the case.

Sometimes the emotion helps us look inward, and rather than being bitter toward someone else, we can use it to fire ourselves up.

Keep reading to discover five times jealousy can actually be good for your friendships and relationships.

When It Motivates You

Sometimes, we'll feel a pang of jealousy when our skills don't match up to someone else's. Whether it's a friend who's better at sports or art or an instrument, or simply someone who seems to be able to ace every test with ease, we want what they have. But when we can channel those feelings into action, rather than into resentment or feeling sorry for ourselves, they can be powerful. When jealousy motivates you to set real goals and to practice harder, study longer and just want to do better, it's never entirely a bad thing.

sad girl pouts with arms crossed at school dance

(Riverdale via The CW)


When It Leads to Positive Changes in Your Life

Sometimes jealousy can result from something a little more superficial—and that's okay, too. Maybe envy of a friend who's in amazing shape will inspire you to practice healthier eating and lead a more active lifestyle. Perhaps someone who always has nice things will make you want to be more cautious with your money so you can save up for something nice of your own. Jealousy of someone who winds up at an amazing college or has an amazing summer job might help you formulate your own plan for the future while there's still plenty of time. Success is the best revenge, and sometimes a tiny bit of jealousy is the key to success.


When It Leads to Important Conversations

Jealousy in relationships can be trickier to handle, but there are times it can actually have a positive outcome for you and your S.O. A small amount of jealousy can show that you truly care for someone—particularly when you feel like they're just stepping over the line of what's acceptable. Don't be afraid to admit that you were a little jealous and why, and it can open up a bigger conversation in order to set some boundaries for the relationship that will allow it to flourish.

Star vs. The Forces of Evil: Star is jealous of Jackie and Marco

(Star vs. the Forces of Evil via Disney XD)


When It Reveals Someone's True Colors

As much as we hate to admit it, feelings of jealousy can sometimes be your heart's way of telling you that something is wrong and that it's time to pay attention to the warning signs. If your feelings of jealousy result from your S.O. openly and frequently flirting with other people or continuously making it clear that you're not a priority to them, you have every right to be upset—particularly if you've already established that these things are not okay. If you're jealous because you're always feeling totally unappreciated, maybe you're not in the right relationship to begin with.


When It Helps You Understand What You Really Want

It may sound weird, but jealousy can actually be used as a tool to help you understand what you actually want out of life. Pay attention to the people you're jealous of and you might learn something about yourself. Maybe being jealous of someone's career means that's something you'd be interested in doing with your life. If you're envious of a friend's relationship, examine what it is about them that you admire, and pursue that in your own relationships. You can't go after something unless you understand that you want it, so use those feelings to guide you in the right direction.


(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Are you ever on the receiving end of jealousy? Click HERE for five signs your friend is jealous of you.