Am Rarely Jealous. I Am Sometimes Envious. I Am Often Possessive.

Am Rarely Jealous. I Am Sometimes Envious. I Am Often Possessive.

I love words. So much. I love their nuances, and they can be so similar, and yet, have enough difference to put an entirely different flavor onto things.

The past week, I have had a talk several times about three words and their differences:

  • envy
  • jealousy
  • possesiveness

I thought I would write about this today, in my effort to keep up my daily writing.

First, I’ll start with actual, you know, dictionary definitions.



  1. a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.



  1. feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
  2. feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship.
  3. fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions.



  1. demanding someone’s total attention and love.
  2. showing a desire to own things.

For jealousy and possessiveness, I identify with the third and second definitions respectively.

In relationships, I specifically feel that jealousy is not just feeling fiercely protective:



  1. capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
  2. having or showing a strong wish to keep someone or something safe from harm.

but also includes a sort of fear that something will disappear, or not longer be theirs.

Now, I’m not the only one who adds this caveat into the formal definition. Many people I have read and spoken to believe that jealousy is a fear-based response.

But possessive… That’s a word more often used negatively, as in the first definition. But I mean the second, and even more, I mean something more like this thought pattern:

I own this. This is mine. I am proud of this. I like to show this off. I like to share this with others, because it is mine. I like others to take joy from this, and know that they enjoy what is mine. I own this. MINE.

I call this possessive. Because I feel the same way (IN THIS CASE) about my lover as I do about my car, or my dog, or whatever.

If I own them, it is because I want them. And if someone else enjoys them (drives my car, plays with my dog), it does not lessen their value to me. In fact, it increases my pride that I own something I was able to share and spread joy.

So, I am very rarely jealous. I am sometimes envious. I am often possessive.

What words would you use in this case? Am I way off? Spot on? I’m curious about this.

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