Jealousy, Envy, Guilt and Shame

If the negative emotions of depression, anxiety and anger are the trinity, then these four are the minor gods.

Jealousy is the emotion we get when we perceive an external threat to our relationship with our partner. Some jealousy is healthy but if it is irrational and sometimes looks a little paranoid, then it is unhealthy.

Envy is the emotion we get when we desire something someone else has. Some envy is healthy and envy can be a motivator.

Guilt results from our failure to live up to a moral code, either by doing something (the sin of commission), by not doing something (the sin of omission) or because we have hurt someone else's feelings. It is therefore connected with the way we behave.

Shame results from our perception of how others see us and while guilt is about how we behave, shame is about who we think we are. Shame is corrosive and deeply unpleasant. People who are ashamed of themselves will often also suffer from low self-esteem. A common time to get guilt and shame muddled is when we feel criticized: another person says something about our behaviour (and may or may not be correct) but we feel judged and therefore ashamed when the worst we should feel is guilt, and then only if the charge is true.

They are all readily treatable by CBT, find out more.