There is nothing quite like accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself. While you may feel over-the-moon happy and proud of yourself, some people are quite quick to bring you back down to Earth.
We are not talking about people who are pragmatic and have realistic expectations – we are talking about those people who you think are on your side. These people might seem, on the surface, as though they are sharing in your happiness. However, they might also say, or do, extremely hurtful things to you.
People who are always jealous suffer from an inferiority complex and they tend to want the things that other people have. This is not an unnatural behavior. After all, we have all felt jealous at one time or another. However, it can be extremely difficult to handle someone who is jealous.
Signs of Jealousy
Think someone around you might be jealous? Here are the signs to help you know for sure.
1. They are rarely impressed
If you find that your friend never seems to be impressed by anything you do, it could be that they are jealous. No matter how great your achievement or how excited you may seem, a jealous person will act unimpressed in order to protect his or her own ego. This is not only a sign of jealousy but also of insecurity.
2. They give you false praises
If somebody is jealous of you, they may be the first to offer up what sounds like a sincere compliment. Do not be fooled by that! Whether the comment is dripping with sarcasm or passive aggression or it sounds genuinely sincere, a jealous person will often be the first to roll their eyes once you leave the room.
This person would rather act as though they are not jealous than to address the issue upfront. You can often turn around the behavior of a jealous person by giving them sincere compliments. It might help the other person see that you are genuine and help guilt them into curbing their own jealousy.
3. They try to imitate you – even subconsciously
Do you find that your friend constantly copies you? If you just went on vacation to Florida, did your friend book a trip to Mexico shortly after – just to begin bragging about it immediately? Did you recently start jogging to find out that your friend has a sudden interest in running a marathon?
If your friend wants to be like you, that is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you find that your friend is constantly imitating you – or worse, trying to “one-up” you – it could be that they are trying to match you because they are so jealous of you.
4. They tell you, repeatedly, how lucky you are
This is a common behavior of jealous people – yes, even adults! When someone says that you are incredibly lucky, it might not always be a compliment but a jealous person’s attempt to reduce your accomplishments so that they do not seem as significant. Naturally, if you win the lottery, that happened because you were lucky.
However, if your friend frequently tells you that you are lucky because you have a profitable business, are incredibly fit, or are in a fulfilling marriage, they might be jealous. You did not acquire these things through luck!
5. They downplay your achievements
You work hard. If your friend tries to make your achievements seem as though they were the result of random chance, they are probably jealous. They may be rude or even downright condescending about this! However, you should avoid rising to meet their challenge. Be humble but also proud and avoid bragging at all costs.
6. They exaggerate their own success
Jealous people will make themselves sound as though they are more successful than they actually are. They might flaunt their own successes while trying to downplay yours. If you have ever known someone who announced their engagement at somebody else’s wedding, you can rest assured that you have probably encountered a jealous person!
Jealous people feel the need to flaunt their own successes because they feel as though they are not as successful as you are. This can be frustrating, but if you get upset, all you will do is make them feel as though their behavior is appropriate. To combat a jealous person who feels the need to flaunt his or her success, offer them a sincere, genuine praise instead.
7. They brag about your mistakes
Do you feel as though your friend is always waiting right around the corner, just watching and hoping for you to mess up? Even if you make a tiny mistake, a jealous person will be one of the first people to say “I told you so!” They will take great pleasure in your failures and will be incredibly happy when you mess up.
Do not let their negativity get you down. Do what you need to do, and know that there is not much that this person can do to bring you down.
8. They are oddly thrilled when you happen to fail
If your friend seems oddly happy when you fail, they are probably jealous. Now, this might not always be obvious because a jealous person will probably do his or her best to hide jealous feelings. But watch closely. Does your friend seem relieved that you did not succeed? Are they being nicer than normal, or are they not bothered that you failed to do something you wanted to? Are they in a better mood?
Watch out for this person – this kind of jealousy will only bring you down.
9. They bring up bad news quickly and often
People who have a tendency to be Negative Nellies are often the most jealous people you will find. If your friend seems to get pleasure out of disappointing you or they absolutely live just to give you bad news, it is a good sign that they are jealous of you.
Here is an example, say you want to go camping for a weekend with your partner. Your negative friend will likely be the first to jump on the phone to let you know how hard it is going to rain, how unsafe the area is, or how bug-ridden the park is. This jealous person will always want to ruin your good times and happiness.
10. They are overly competitive
There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but a truly jealous person will always want to be the one benefiting from any success. Do not give in to the temptation to take this person down. You need to make sure that any competition is healthy and if it is not, you should refuse to participate. When you refuse to buy into their silly little games, the jealous person will be far less likely to continue with them.
11. They are irrationally angry when you try to give them advice
Of course, nobody likes to receive unsolicited advice. However, if you are friends, you are probably going to do this at one time or another. If your friend becomes irrationally angry with you every time you offer them advice, they might be jealous of you.
For instance, if you have a friend who is overweight and struggling to lose some pounds, you might offer advice as a fitter person but also as a genuine friend. But watch out! This can backfire. In fact, if they seem overly upset, you should let it go. They might feel as though you are trying to rub their failure in their face.
12. They are the opposite of fair-weather friends
You will have some friends in life that tend to only stick around if you are happy and successful but once you fail, they are gone. Jealous people, interestingly enough, are the exact opposite. They might see that you are meeting your goals and instantly run away. Why? Your well-being increases the other person’s feelings of jealousy and insecurity so they won’t want the spotlight on you. Therefore, they will leave you during these times of success instead.
13. They tell other people that they dislike you
Do you seem to get along really well with a certain friend but then hear from mutual acquaintances that this person is talking about you behind your back?
Jealous people often act friendly, but may have a general feeling of hatred just because you have achieved something that they want. They may talk poorly about you later, for this reason, and perhaps even coming up with random reasons as to why they dislike you. They will almost always have an excuse.
14. They talk about you behind your back
This is related to the last point, but a jealous person will always find a way to gossip about you when you are not around. This isn’t fun, and it is definitely not fair because the things they say can be downright mean! However, sometimes the easiest way to deal with a person like this is to just confront them. Jealous people often do not have the courage to be confrontational, so when you talk to them about this poor behavior, they may stop altogether.
15. They view you as a rival
You may have already guessed this, but a jealous person will strike up a rivalry just because they want to show that they are better than you. Try not to let yourself get dragged into this – a rivalry is not healthy and it can involve some pretty shady, deceptive tactics on behalf of both of you.
16. They suddenly begin to avoid you
Do you find that you once saw your friend all the time but now, out of the blue, they are avoiding you and talking about you behind your back? If this is tied to a recent achievement or positive life experience that you just had, they might be jealous.
The fact that you are living your best life may be enough to put the other person in a bad mood. Try to take some comfort in knowing that you are not a bad person. Instead, you were just successful and the other person feels inadequate. There is, sadly, not much you can do about this and you will just have to wait for them to get over it.
17. They openly hate you without really knowing you
If you find that the other person seems to hate you – not just dislike, but strong hate – for apparently no reason, they might be jealous. This isn’t as common with your close friends who might be jealous, but instead people on the outskirts of your life. You might want to show the other person how likeable you are, but unfortunately, there is often nothing you can do to deal with this situation. You will just need to let it go and hope that the other person comes to their senses eventually.
18. They pick stupid fights
If you once got along great but now not so much, there could be a case of jealousy at play. If you find that your friend starts picking weird fights or making hurtful comments related to what you have accomplished, consider whether you recently had a major success that would make your friend feel uneasy. A jealous person might feel uncomfortable with your achievement and want to bring you down in any way possible.
How to Deal with a Jealous Person
Do you have a jealous person in your life? Do not feel as though you are all alone! Dealing with a jealous person can be quite tricky, as you might just want to tell them off and distance yourself as much as possible. However, it is important to deal with jealous people in a positive and non-confrontational way.
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This won’t only be better for your own peace of mind, but it will also help to resolve some of the self-esteem issues the other person is trying to work out. While your gut reaction may be to get angry, know that this won’t necessarily resolve their jealous ways. That being said, knowing the signs of a jealous person will help you deal with their frustrating behavior in a more constructive way in the future.