Do you get jealous easily? (Medium)


Do you get jealous if one of your friends gives more attention to someone else? Do you keep checking if your partner becomes too friendly with someone? Sam and Neil hear experts talking about jealousy and envy. And, as usual, they teach you vocabulary along the way.

This week’s question

The expression ‘the green-eyed monster’ comes from a speech in one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, but which one?

a)    Romeo and Juliet
b)    Hamlet
c)    Othello

Listen to the programme to find out the answer. 


the green-eyed monster
(British English) jealousy or envy

significant other
wife, husband or other romantic partner who you are in a long-term relationship with

behaving as if you are sexually attracted to someone but playfully rather than with serious intentions

wanting to have the possessions or qualities that someone else has

medicine in the form of small tablet which you swallow

cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
type of therapy which helps people deal with their emotional and behavioural problems by changing the way they think about them

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Cloze Test




Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. Im Sam.


And Im Neil.

Your friend, Alicia, phoned and left you a message for you, Neil. Shes sorry but she has to cancel today. I think shes going with Jenny, instead.


Thats the third time this week theyve had lunch ! Are they best friends now?


It sounds like Neil has a case of the green-eyed monster, in words, jealousy  � the fear that someone else may take something you think is yours. Humans have struggled jealousy for thousands of years. Jealousy damages friendships, destroys relationships, and can even become a motive for murder.

In this programme, well discuss jealousy to find out happens when the green-eyed monster raises its ugly head. And, usual, well be learning some useful new vocabulary. Meanwhile, my friend Alicia will be having lunch with Jenny instead me…


Feeling jealous is no fun. Maybe this question will take your mind off it. The expression ‘ green-eyed monster’ comes from a speech in one of William Shakespeares most famous plays, but which one? Is it:

) Romeo and Juliet?

b) Hamlet? or,

c) Othello?


think the answer is Othello.


OK, Neil. Ill reveal the answer later in the programme. For many , feelings of jealousy occur in romantic relationships. Here psychologist, Dr Alex Mielkeexplains whyto BBC World Service programme, CrowdScience.

Alex Mielke

So you have a friend, a significant other, your parents… and you have the feeling that this is threatened by someone else starting some form of relationship with them, starting a new friendship, you know, flirting them and so on, which is different from envy, for example, which is probably the emotion that gets you act when someone has something you want and you have to somehow get that from them  � thats when feel envious.


Jealousy can be a problem for husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, or anyone involved a romantic relationship. Dr Mielke uses the term, significant other, to describe any kind of romantic partner who you a long-term relationship with.


You might feel jealous if someone flirts with your partner. Flirting is when behave as if you are sexually attracted to someone but in a playful way rather than with serious intentions.


Dr Mielke also notes the difference between two words people often confuse: jealousy, and a similar term, envy wanting what someone else has. You could be envious of someones possessions like a new car, their achievements like at work, or a personal quality like being funny or good-looking-.


So, jealousy involves three people  � , your loved one, and someone else - whereas envy involves just two - you and the person who has you want. But while these emotions are easy to define, they can be very difficult to manage.


can lead to controlling behaviour, like checking your partners text messages or monitoring who they see, behaviour which damages . But unlike other psychological problems such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, many do not feel brave enough to ask help with their jealousy.


So, what can people who struggle with jealousy do? Thats the question Caroline , presenter of BBC World Service programme, CrowdScience, asked clinical psychologist, Dr Johan Ahlen.

Caroline Steel

If there was of an ideal future for people looking for help with their jealousy, what would it be like? Could there a pill? Or would it be a specific therapy? Or whats kind of a realistic ideal future?

Dr Ahlen

I believe that some kind of cognitive behavioural therapy where you work with decreasing this monitoring and checking like having a plan for how to do that because that's not easy. And also, at the same time activities or behaviours that harmonise with how you want to become.


Unfortunately, Dr Ahlen says jealousy be cured by taking a pill  � medicine in the form of a small tablet that you swallow.

Instead, he recommends cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT for short, a therapy which helps people deal with their emotions changing how they think about things. Instead of feeling jealous that your best friend is spending time with someone , try feeling happy that shes made a new friend.


Good idea - plus I wont have that feeling of the green-eyed monster inside! Speaking of which, its time to reveal the answer to your question, Sam.


I asked which famous Shakespearian play first described jealousy as ‘the green-eyed monster’.


I said was Othello. So, was I right?


Othello was the correct answer! Othello becomes so jealous that he his wife, Desdemona, before killing himself. If only hed had some therapy! Right, lets recap the vocabulary from this on the green-eyed monster, another name for jealousy.


A significant other is a wife, husband or other partner who you are in a long-term relationship with.


Flirting means playfully pretending you are sexually attracted someone.


The emotion envy means wanting what someone else has.


A pill is medicine the form of a small tablet which you swallow.


And finally, cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is type of therapy where people are encouraged to change the way they think about their emotional and behavioural problems. again, our six minutes are up. Join us again soon for more emotional support as well as new and vocabulary here at 6 Minute English. Bye for now!


Bye bye!



created with the online Cloze Test Creator © 2009 Lucy Georges


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