I was wondering whether there is a word similar to jealousy but without the negative connotations? For example, if I really admired someone for their memory and wished mine could be as good - however, I didn't feel begrudging of their good memory, or wished I could have good memory and they didn't. Basically, a word meaning I'm happy for someone for their good fortune, but wished I also had it.

Thank you :)

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    It still seems none of the words put forth in answers here fully describe that feeling, at least in my opinion. I wonder if there is a German word with that exact quality? I believe that language is known for words that represent precise feelings. eg: schadenfreude. – user100265 Dec 6 '14 at 19:20
  • This is surely a form of ambivalence. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 16 '19 at 18:04

Envious is a term which fits your description.

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    Or, better yet, desirous, which has no negative connotation whatsoever. – user68911 Mar 16 '14 at 19:54
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    @Elise But you are desirous of Joe's memory, not of Joe -- that would imply something quite different! – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 16 '14 at 20:19
  • At the risk of going down a grammar-cliche rabbit-hole, jealous and envious do not mean the same thing. – DJClayworth Apr 8 '19 at 18:57
  • @DJClayworth: can you add an answer or else comment explaining why? – smci May 21 '19 at 9:48
  • In their original meanings, jealous and envious were not synonyms. 'Jealous' was used for being protective of what was yours, and 'envious' was used for desiring what someone else has. A 'jealous' husband was not one who wanted another's wife, but one who wanted to guard his wife from the attentions of others. Usage has since blurred the two meanings. – DJClayworth May 21 '19 at 13:28

I found 2 answers that worked for me.

"Aspire", as in "I aspire to have what you have".

Or "benign envy". They did a whole research paper on it! http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/not-jealous-others-success-13972.html


I think intrigued might be a better fit.

a mysterious or fascinating quality.


Wish may be the word you want.

I wish I had memories as nice as yours.

  • Seems a reasonable offering to me – smci May 21 '19 at 9:48

Compersion! Finding pleasure in the pleasure of someone you love.

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    Hello, Alyssa. If this is a 'word' you've just invented, a DIY portmanteau, please be aware that ELU looks at standard usages. Also, good answers are expected to be accompanied by linked and attributed supporting references. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 15 '19 at 18:28
  • @EdwinAshworth It appears to be what you said, a word recently invented, but not necessarily by this particular answerer. google.com/search?q=Compersion – NVZ Aug 16 '19 at 16:20

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