Researchers from University of Haifa discovered that jealousy is a well developed feeling of envy and gloating in the game of life “Who is better: you or me?” Do you still compete with somebody you know? Are you a participant of a rats’ race for being the best?
Rats’ racing life-time marathon: “Who wins in comparisons?”
Japanese scientists identified region of the brain which controls feelings of jealousy (Takahashi et al., 2009).
It is the same part which detects real physical pain – perhaps explaining why feeling envious of your lover's preference hurts so much. This “evil eye” spot is also associated with mental pain. The dot which makes people delight in others' misfortune – is called “schadenfreude”.
We often evaluate the self and others from social comparisons. We feel envy when the target person has superior and self-relevant characteristics. Schadenfreude occurs when envied persons fall from grace.
If you’re an envious person, you have a hard time appreciating a lot of the good things that are out there, because you’re too busy worrying about how they reflect on the self. Jealousy is a false assumption that somebody is better, sexier, and more attractive then you.
The question: “Is it worth being that kind of person?”
To be continued…
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Takahashi, H., Masato Matsuura, Michihiko Koeda, Noriaki Yahata, Tetsuya Suhara, Motoichiro Kato and Yoshiro Okubo. Brain Activations during Judgments of Positive Self-conscious Emotion and Positive Basic Emotion: Pride and Joy. Cerebral Cortex April 2008;18:898--903doi:10.1093/cercor/bhm120 Advance Access publication July 17, 2007.