Four Signs Someone Is Jealous of You & What to Do About It

Remember, your awesomeness has nothing to do with their jealousy.

Published May 13, 2024
Jealous Woman Listening With Envy To Her Friend Bragging About Great Life

We've all had that one friend (maybe back in middle school) who insulted what we had or did but kind of tried to copy us at the same time. As you get older, the signs someone is jealous of you get a little harder to read, but they're still there.

Knowing how to tell if someone is acting out of envy can help you understand the motivation behind those weird interactions and protect yourself from being hurt. You've got everything you need to deal with this, we promise.

A Jealous Person May Downplay Your Accomplishments

When you do something great, say get a promotion or win an award, most of your friends will treat it like the big deal it is. Someone who is jealous may try to minimize the awesomeness of what you did. This can take on a few forms, but you don't have to let them make you feel bad.

  • They may downplay the amount of work you had to do to get where you are. Remind yourself how hard you worked.
  • The person might say that the award or honor is given away too easily, so getting it isn't that major of an accomplishment. Don't forget that your achievement is awesome.
  • They might say you received some kind of special treatment to earn the honor. Remember, you earned this.
  • They may not react at all when something great happens to you. If this happens, keep in mind that one person's reaction doesn't have the power to change how you feel about this amazing thing.
Quick Tip

Keep in mind that your awesomeness is not related to anyone else's opinion. It can feel kind of nasty when someone acts out of jealousy, but the truth is, it doesn't change anything about how great you are or what you have achieved.

A Person Who Is Jealous May Imitate and Try to One-Up You

Two surprised women wearing similar jump suits looking at each other over gray background

Knowing how to know if someone is jealous of you means tuning in to behaviors like one-upping or imitation. Remember in preschool how some kids copied other kids? If this person is acting like a copycat, they might be jealous. Sometimes, a person struggling with envy might take that even further and try to one-up your work or accomplishments. Here are some signs this could be happening and ways you can remember your awesomeness.

  • They pay a lot of attention to you and your behavior, but it might not feel like good attention. If you can, try to ignore this or spend less time with the person.
  • They may try to do the same things, make the same things, or buy the same things you do. When you see this, try to keep that old adage in mind: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • The jealous person might try to have a "better" version of what you have (such as the same vacation but with a better hotel or the same shoes but with custom touches). If possible, try not to get sucked into comparing and just enjoy what you have instead.

Related: Dealing With Jealous Family Members Effectively

A Jealous Person May Not Compliment You

Paying people compliments is a natural way to make them feel good about themselves, and most of us point out awesome things about our friends all the time. Whether you're complimenting their hair or their work, saying those nice things is just part of being a great friend — unless you're jealous. Knowing how to tell if someone is jealous of you means paying attention to whether they pay you compliments. Here are some ways that can look and what you can do about it.

  • The person might not compliment you at all. In this case, compliment yourself and spend your time hanging out with people who point out your awesomeness from time to time.
  • They might give you tiny compliments about big things, which can feel like they're minimizing the big stuff. For example, you might have just finished a short story you're proud of and given them a copy, and they might compliment the paper you printed it on. Just remember that what you did is amazing, and you don't need their approval.
  • They might compliment you sarcastically instead of genuinely. A sarcastic compliment is really an insult, but you can always respond with a "thank you" and walk away.
Quick Tip

Another sign someone is jealous of you is that they might seem uncomfortable or try to direct attention away from you when someone else pays you a compliment in front of them. In this case, just focus your attention on the person who paid the compliment. It's no less wonderful to hear because the jealous person reacted negatively.

Someone Who Is Jealous May Make a Lot of Comparisons

You might not be comparing yourself to other people that much, but a jealous person very likely is. That's because jealousy really is all about comparing and finding something lacking. The person may not even know they're doing it, but there are a few signs to watch for (and ways to avoid the comparison).

  • They might make a direct comparison, like, "You got an A, and I got an A+." In that case, you can respond by simply saying, "We don't have to compare."
  • The person could compare themselves and you with a third person. Once again, stating that you don't need to compare can go a long way.
  • They could phrase the comparison as a question, such as, "I got these shoes for $50. How much did you pay?" Remember, you don't have to answer the question and can just go back to the common ground by saying something like, "They're great shoes, aren't they?"

Related: 80+ Jealousy Quotes to Rise Above the Haters

Knowing How to Know if Someone Is Jealous of You Gives You the Power

Jealousy doesn't feel great for anyone, whether you're the person experiencing it or the person they're jealous of. Knowing the signs that someone is jealous of you can help you become aware of this feeling and the behaviors that go with it, and that gives you the power to keep the negative impact to a minimum.

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Four Signs Someone Is Jealous of You & What to Do About It