Jealousy, although primarily viewed as a negative and unwanted emotion, is something that all of us feel from time to time. But what is it really?

Is it the feeling we get in our stomach when we are envious of something?

Is it the longing to have what we cannot have?

Here are 15 interesting facts about jealousy that may help you to make more sense of the emotion:

1. Jealousy occurs most often when you are unhappy with your existing situation. Consider it your subconscious’s way of trying to motivate you.

2. One study in particular showed no difference in amounts of jealousy between men and women. Although women get a bad reputation for being jealous, turns out men are just as bad.

3. However, another study claims that taller men are more likely to experience higher levels of jealousy than shorter men. Get it? HIGHER levels of jealousy? okay, bad joke.

4. Authors have been using the phrase “green with envy” for decades in order to portray jealousy. It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly this phrase originated, but it was a known favorite of notable authors such as Ovid and Shakespeare.

5. The most reported type of jealousy comes in the form of sibling rivalry. Whoever said that your best friends are your siblings obviously was an only child. (just kidding, I wouldn’t know – I’m an only child!)

6. Although you may feel like you are able to tell when your jealousy is rational or irrational, consumption of alcohol diminishes your ability to do so. Scientifically, this is not quite understood. While some emotions are only exacerbated by alcohol, jealousy is a terrible drunk and simply fires out of control.

7. Romantic, work, power, friend, and family jealousy types are all considered normal jealousy. Although they may seem intrusive, for the most part they are absolutely normal in emotion.

8. Doctors and therapists all seem to agree that the best way to overcome jealousy is to be honest with yourself and others about the emotions you are experiencing. Trying to fight it by telling yourself that you don’t feel a certain way will only make things more difficult.

9. Ever had a stomach ache or been sick while feeling extremely jealous of something? Jealousy has been shown to actually have physical affects on people. It’s not all in your head…err…well, maybe it is.

10. Jealousy is actually described as being different from envy. Jealousy is described as happening when something negative takes place such as experiencing loss (something being taken away). Envy, on the other hand, is described as the feeling experienced when someone does not get what they want.

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