How To Tell If Someone Is Jealous Of You – 14 Signs

Know whether it is a healthy little jealousy or a red flag you shouldn't ignore.

Reviewed by Dr Nancy B Irwin, PsyD Dr Nancy B Irwin Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA linkedin_icon

Jealousy is a relationship-killer. The signs of jealousy are not always prominent. Sometimes, you cannot understand why a person is being mean to you. One of the reasons could be jealousy. If you have been doing good in life, are successful, rich, or famous, or have something that someone else wants, they could become jealous. Sometimes, they do not even want what you have, but the fact that others adore you feeds their possessiveness, leading to jealousy. Jealousy is not a pleasant feeling. Unfortunately, it is an emotion that we all experience. If you think someone is jealous, figure out what is triggering it. Learn to spot the signs to deal with them. This article lists the common signs of jealousy. Read on!

How To Tell If Someone Is Jealous Of You

Two female colleagues displaying signs of jealousy
Image: Created with Dall.E

1. Jealous People Ply You With Insincere Compliments And False Praises

One thing that jealous people never want to admit is that they are jealous of you. When good news comes in, they do the sneaky thing by acting overly supportive and giving you insincere compliments. Once they are in the clear, the claws come out.

An insecure person would praise you when you are in front of them but would tell lies or gossip about you behind your back. This is passive-aggressive behaviori  A type of behavior in which one avoids direct communication and prefers subtle expression of negative emotions. . Be careful of such people; they are two-faced. In fact, you hardly stand any chance of exposing their real nature. That is why you should always pay close attention to what you confide in others. Check in with your mutuals if you have a suspicion against someone talking about you behind your back.

When someone is jealous of you, they often pause for a long silent moment before congratulating you or telling you that you have done a great job. That reaction is caused due to their secret envy of your success.

2. Jealous People Are Excellent Copycats

Although some people believe that copycat behavior is often a sign of flattery, it is not always the case, psychologists tell us. Someone who is envious of you may also try to mimic your behavior and imitate every single thing you do. They could go as far as copying hairstyles, dressing, walking, and talking the same way you do. Even if you find it flattering at first, sooner or later, it will start to get really irritating. The best you can do in this situation is to try not to pay a lot of attention to the copycat.

Jealous people are obsessed with what you have – and they want it. For jealous individuals, it is like a game of “who wore it better.” Expect those people to imitate you in many different ways. If you often get all the attention, they will imitate your fashion style and add their own little flair to it. If you are a good dancer, they may take up dance classes as well. It can seem like a good thing if they behave this way, but they are actually just obsessing over you. It is most likely that they don’t even like you or the things they copy from you.

3. They Flaunt Their Successes, Often More Than Their Actual Merit

When they flaunt about their success are signs of jealousy
Image: Shutterstock

While you may be too humble to voice or enjoy your achievements, jealous people often try to make themselves feel better by drowning out your achievements by overemphasizing their own. This will happen even if their achievements are way smaller in comparison to yours.

Most often, when jealous people achieve success in anything, they will try to make the whole world aware of it. They will openly flaunt their successes. Usually, people who behave this way are extremely envious of others’ achievements and are terribly insecure. They would do anything and everything to prove that they are worth at least as much, if not more.

4. Jealous People Deliberately Give Bad Advice

Since jealous people don’t want you to add more achievements to your kitty, they sabotage your attempts purposely by giving you bad advice. Or they may just simply discourage you from even trying.

Remember, what they truly want in life is for you to fail. If you ask someone who is jealous of you for advice about a problem, they may deliberately give you bad advice. The logic is, if they are already jealous of you right now, they are not likely to tell you how you can do better. They may even make it their life’s mission to discourage you from trying new things. If you are excited about a plan you made, they will be the first one to point out any conceivable flaws in it, just to deflate your dream balloon.

5. Jealous People Love To Dish The Dirt On You

Research has shown that people who gossip a lot have very high levels of aggression, anxiety, or are immensely unhappy. They gossip more than others because they want to feel superior even though they are extremely insecure about themselves. They aren’t, in fact, confident in themselves.

People who are jealous of you could try to ruin your reputation by spreading false rumors or making negative comments about you to others. They try to create an environment of distrust, animosity, and bitterness among your inner circle by using everyone’s vulnerability as leverage. Jealous people are often non-confrontational. They may even come across as super-friendly; they fight their fight against you underhandedly. They will downplay your achievements, spread malicious gossip about you, or just talk crap regarding you behind your back.

6. They Are Very Competitive

As we mentioned before, it is a jealous person’s nature to try to outdo you in every way possible. They want to steal all the glory – not because they think that you don’t deserve it, but because they know you do and this makes them feel inadequate. They harbor a rivalry against you. Due to this, they are extremely competitive (1), especially if it is at the workplace. They will go to any lengths to exceed the efforts you make.

While it could be extremely tempting to confront them, you need to refuse to make the competition unhealthy. Refusing to be a part of their cat and mouse game will make them less likely to try to compete with you. Do your best to foster an environment of cooperation and collaboration instead of competing.

7. Jealous People Will Criticize You

Have you ever met someone who criticizes you at every chance they get? Does it almost seem like they look forward to it? Yes, it is very likely that this person harbors jealousy towards you.

An average person will drop some criticism at you at some point, but jealous people will make a career out of it. They will point out your mistakes every chance they get and enjoy doing it. They may even do so in the most inappropriate of times and embarrass you in public. In his blog, Indra shares his experiences dealing with jealousy in both professional and personal spheres. He said, “Backbiting was a favorite pastime during working hours. My colleagues would often try to sabotage each other, spread rumors, and take credit for each other’s work (i).” He further writes, “In my personal life, I may have been the target of jealousy from family members who were struggling in their careers or personal lives.”

8. Jealous People Tend To Cross Their Legs

According to a body language expert, a person may cross their legs for a lot of reasons. This is quite a common reaction when one feels threatened and insecure and also when they are jealous of somebody or about something.

If your “buddy” instinctively crosses their legs every time you share your achievement with them, it could be a signal that they actually envy you.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Some of the other signs you could look out for include tending to turn away from you or being overtly close by excessively hugging or touching you.

9. Jealous People Celebrate Your Failures

When people celebrate your failures are signs of jealousy
Image: Shutterstock

Of course, jealous people will not do something obvious like breaking into a victory dance when your boss scolds you for a mistake. But darling, count on it, deep inside, they will be really happy at your fall and celebrate your failures. They will be in an unusually good mood once they learn of your failure, and then they will pretend to be friendly and offer fake consolation just to ply more info from you.

10. Jealous People Are Great Plan-Spoilers

A sign that someone is jealous of you is that they will happily give you bad news on the pretext that they are helping you or doing you a favor. For example, you have decided to go to a picnic. Upon sharing your plan with your “friend,” they will instantly tell you that it is surely going to rain for the next few days. They will say the first thing that comes to their mind to create doubt in yours. Pay attention if your “friend” says or does something that could potentially spoil your plans or make you worry about negative possibilities.

11. They Will Humiliate You In Front Of Other People

Humiliating you in front of others is a sign of jealousy
Image: Shutterstock

Jealous people jump at every chance they get to criticize you or downplay your achievements. One great way to do that is by humiliating you in front of other people. What do they really achieve from this? They want to establish their standing as a superior person. Secondly, they try to reduce your credibility by dramatizing the entire thing in front of others. It’s a complete win-win situation for them; or so they think.  Smart observers see the truth in this dynamic.

12. They Hate You For No Reason At All

Jealous people rarely admit that they are jealous of you because it will inevitably add to their insecurity. Hence, they will hate you. Jealousy is a slow poison that destroys relationships. That is why it should be avoided as much as possible.

13. They Try To Downplay Your Achievements

Downplaying other person’s success is a sign of jealousy
Image: Shutterstock

The biggest pet peeve of a jealous person is when the person they are jealous of continues to achieve success. When this occurs, they want to soothe their egos and make themselves feel better by downplaying that person’s success. They do this by associating the achievements to things other than their skill.

That is why it is typical for these types of people to say things like – “She got that promotion because she oils the boss,” or “He has got connections with the manager.”  They will absolutely refuse to admit that you actually earned your success.

14. They Are Almost Absent During Your Moments Of Success

The last thing a jealous person desires is to be present at a get-together celebrating the success of another person. Not only does this make them extremely uncomfortable, but it also increases their sense of insecurity tenfold. A jealous person is always giving excuses to avoid moments like this. They will just disappear before you get a chance to ask them to join in the festivities.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Watch out for their social media behavior. Jealous people tend to avoid liking or commenting on your post but may dish out their love for other people. However, this observation may be invalid if they are not active on social media.

Jealous people can cause uncomfortable situations and make you feel guilty for your success. Check out the next section for simple yet effective ways to deal with jealous people to cultivate positive relationships.

How To Handle Jealous People

Handling jealous people requires understanding, tact, and patience. Here are some simple tips:

  • Avoid taking it personally as jealousy often stems from personal insecurities or past experiences.
  • Discuss your feelings openly and address any misunderstandings.
  • Politely distance yourself from overly negative or toxic individuals.
  • Keep your interactions professional and report consistent negative behaviors in your workplace.
  • Seek professional help If jealousy severely impacts your life and relationships.
  • Compliment the person on their positive traits.
  • Share your failures with them and ask their guidance on difficult tasks to help boost their confidence.

Infographic: Causes Of Jealousy

Jealousy is an emotion we all experience at some point. This emotion could be one of the reasons your friend or partner is behaving differently toward you. But why should this even happen? What causes jealousy in someone? We have listed the same in the infographic below. Check it out.

causes of jealousy (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Jealousy is an emotion that we all experience, some more than others. It is a natural human feeling, and, in little doses, jealousy isn’t something we should be overly ashamed about. If we utilize this emotion positively, it can make us re-evaluate our lives and find out exactly why we are experiencing these feelings. It can make us find out about what it is that we are actually missing that is making us feel this way about someone else. It can inspire us to work hard and attain goals ourselves.

However, an inherently jealous person is quite different from someone who occasionally experiences jealousy. The former is hard to be around as they may keep affecting you through their negativity. They may act unkindly and make the good things in your life look bad and undesirable. So, you should keep an eye out for such people as cutting them out of your life at the earliest is the best course of action.

If you find someone’s behavior exhausting and think it could be jealousy, look out for these signs. They should help you protect yourself better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you feel jealous?

You may have intrusive violent thoughts and urges when you feel jealous. This is because your mind is flooded with resentment toward that person.

How do you handle a jealous person?

The best way to deal with a jealous person is to ignore them. In time, they will learn to process their feelings and move on. If the person who is jealous of you is someone you hold dear, have an open conversation with them about their feelings toward you. You may find out that they are going through a rough patch in their life and need your support to get through it.

How do you outsmart a jealous person?

Outsmart a jealous person by being honest with them. It’s best to communicate and address the root cause of their jealousy.

Is jealousy a lack of trust?

Jealousy can be a symptom of a lack of trust, but it’s not always the case. It can also stem from insecurities, past experiences, or other factors.

What is morbid jealousy?

Morbid jealousy, also known as Othello syndrome, is a type of delusional jealousy where a person becomes fixated on their partner’s perceived infidelity, even in the absence of evidence.

Does true love have jealousy?

Someone who loves you truly will trust you. This leaves no space for jealousy. However, just because your partner feels a little jealous, it might just mean that they are still getting to know you fully or have insecurities themselves.

Is jealousy part of mental health?

It depends on how serious the jealousy is. If the person acts too violent or aggressive because of jealousy, it can be a part of mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, or delusional disorders. But not everyone who experiences jealousy has a mental health issue.

What are signs of delusional jealousy?

Signs of delusional jealousy include obsessive thoughts or behaviors regarding a partner’s perceived infidelity, irrational accusations, and distrust of others.

What happens to the brain when you are jealous?

When experiencing jealousy, the brain can become activated in the same areas as physical pain, leading to feelings of discomfort, stress, and anxiety.

What childhood trauma leads to jealousy?

Childhood trauma such as neglect, abandonment, or parental infidelity can contribute to feelings of insecurity and jealousy in adulthood. However, not everyone who experiences childhood trauma will develop jealousy in their relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • Dealing with an inherently jealous person can be exhausting or emotionally draining.
  • Jealous people may try to undermine your success by falsely lauding you, criticizing you, or downplaying your hard work.
  • Protect yourself from negative emotions that could arise as a result of jealousy by identifying the signs early on.

Are you feeling like someone is envious of you? Check out this video to learn the 15 signs that indicate that someone is jealous of you!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy and Jealousy
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Dr Nancy B Irwin

Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD

Originally from Atlanta, Dr. Nancy Irwin graduated from UWG in 1977 with a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance. She moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad and moved to Los Angeles in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes. Dr. full bio

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