10 Signs of Jealousy: How to Tell if Someone is Jealous of You

10 Signs of Jealousy_ How to Tell if Someone is Jealous of You

Everyone has experienced jealousy. Whether a victim of it, witness to it, or whether we have been jealous of others ourselves, jealousy is a complex emotion we should all be mindful of.

Envy can be experienced in relationships ranging from lovers to friends, co-workers, and siblings.

Whether envious of a friend’s beauty, a boyfriend’s relationship with someone else, or a simple sibling rivalry, the root cause of jealousy comes from a lack of trust and affirmation in your friend, lover, sibling, and most importantly, in yourself.

A lack of trust breeds insecurity, and insecurity fosters envy. Jealous people often suffer from deep personal insecurities and try hard to suppress their true feelings. Often, jealousy can surprisingly be seen as a sign of attraction. 

One can decipher whether someone is jealous of them by analysing the way they react to your successes and your appearance.  Here are some classic examples of how to tell if someone is jealous of you:

1. They are competitive

A sure way to confirm whether a friend is jealous of you is if they compete with you at any given opportunity. Whether competing in a job, school marks, social accomplishments, or trying to look better than you, a jealous person will by nature make it their goal to outdo you in whichever way possible.

This can be incredibly frustrating and while you might be tempted to confront them, confrontation could lead to them turning the situation around and making it seem like you are the jealous one.

When a friend has a competitive nature, you should try your best to ignore their rivalry and congratulate their successes. The most effective way to fight insincerity is with sincerity.

2. They show interest when things go wrong for you

When you have a bad breakup, a fight with a friend, or lose a job, your jealous friends will always be the first to contact you. 

While they will try to seem consoling and comforting, it won’t be hard to notice their insincerity and figure out that they are genuinely happy that things aren’t working out for you. 

They might ask lots of insensitive questions and try to pry information out of you, secretly relishing in your misfortune and vulnerability as you open up to them.

3. The insincere compliment

More often than not, your jealous friends will be the first to compliment your appearance and achievements. However, they might do so overenthusiastically making it easy to determine between a real and untruthful compliment. 

They might follow their compliment with a statement signifying how surprised they are that you achieved what you did or that you look the way you do. Take, for example, a friend who tells you you ‘finally have your old good body back.’ It’s a compliment tainted with unkindness.

Even more, they might add in stories about their own success to try and overshadow your achievements with their own. 

4. They aren’t happy for you and your successes

Nothing bothers a jealous person more than you being happy, satisfied, and constantly achieving success. A major sign of jealousy is when others feel insecure when you are happy. 

They might accuse you of being a boast and make it seem like you are making a big deal out of a small achievement.

Envious people try their best to underplay your successes by comparing them to their own achievements. If they refuse to admit that you have simply outdone them by using statements such as ‘you got the job because you know the boss’, or ‘she chose you because you have money’, they are simply making a poor attempt to detach your happiness from your success.

Even more, they might credit themselves for your success and make it seem like without them, you would never have been given the opportunity to achieve what you did.

5. They boast about their achievements

Just as they downplay your success, jealous people won’t be shy to blow their own trumpets and publicise their own success. They will often flaunt their successes in your face, making it clear that they want you to know about their achievements and how clever, beautiful, or happy they are. 

Envious people will try to make themselves feel better about their insecurities by drowning out your happiness with their own achievements.

Often, even their smallest successes will be publicised across social media like a loudspeaker. They will flaunt their success and do everything in their power to ensure others think they are worthy of praise.

6. They gossip about you

It can be one of the most stressful and upsetting things to hear a rumour about yourself. Gossip and rumours are more often than not created by people who are jealous of you. 

The ones who shower you in ingenuine appreciation and affection are usually the first to talk behind your back when you leave the room, discussing your weaknesses and flaws with others.

People who envy you make it their goal to dampen your reputation, and what better way to do this than to start fake news and rumours about you. 

The worst part of these rumours is when people make it seem like they care for and are genuinely worried about you when in reality, they are just hoping for others to change their opinions of you and make you less liked.

The effects of gossip can be long lasting and can lead to depression, anxiety, and even self-harm. As a general social rule, if you know someone who seems to enjoy talking behind others’ backs, that person is likely the toxic personality who would do the same to you.

7. The copy cat

While many will tell you that imitation is a form of flattery, it is also a form of jealousy. You might experience a confidence boost when someone compliments your outfit and then buys the same dress as you, but too much copycat behaviour can be irritating and very awkward to address. 

The best thing to do when someone is copying the way you talk, walk, dress, and what you do is pay as little attention to them as possible. If it reaches a level where the person tries to copy you to better compete with you, you might have to take serious action and confront them in their tracks.

An envious person might have an obsession with you, striving to be like you, have the objects you have, share your friends, and dress better than you. As soon as it becomes a game of ‘who did it better,’ you should confront the situation. 

5 ways to know if you are being imitated:

  1. When someone keeps buying the same clothes as you and copies your personal style with an added flair, in the hope of getting more attention than you
  2. If you decide to start a new hobby such as surfing, they might be inclined to do the same thing.
  3. They might go out to get their hair done in the same style as you.
  4. If you are a great cook, they will try to be as good a cook as you are
  5. If you make a great new friend, they will try to make better friends with your friend and even sabotage your relationship.

Copycats often lack a sense of self and try to latch onto other people’s styles and personalities to make as if it is their own.

8. They give bad advice

To avoid adding more positivity and happiness to your bank of achievement, envious people will try to give you purposeful bad advice to make sure you don’t achieve what you set out to do.

As malicious as it sounds, a co-worker who is gunning for your job might go out of their way to harm your reputation and give you advice, which might destroy your chances of success in the role.

They want you to fail at whatever you are trying to succeed at and will often stop at nothing to discourage you from believing you are worthy of what you set out to achieve.

If you’re excited about a new relationship, a holiday plan, or buying a house, it’s a clear sign of jealousy when someone interjects to point out any issues you might face and any inconvenient flaws in your plan. Their main goal here is to decrease your confidence in yourself and your decisions.

9. Public humiliation

You might have met someone who jumps at the opportunity to criticize you. Public humiliation is another clear sign of jealousy.

As mentioned, jealous people try to make themselves feel better by downplaying you and your achievements as much as possible. An easy way to do this is to make fun of and humiliate you in front of other people. 

While this might seem like an effective way to reduce your credibility and make someone look bad, all it ends up doing is make the person humiliating you look weak, insecure, and envious of you.

10. Passive aggression

There is a strong connection between jealousy and aggression, and those who are envious of you will often also use occasional aggression towards you.

If someone starts responding to you with ‘no offense but,’ you should almost always prepare to take offense.

5 passive-aggressive acts of a jealous person:

  • Cutting you off mid-sentence 
  • Responding to you with an attitude showing that they think they know better
  • Using a facial expression which says they think you are talking rubbish
  • Responding in a quick and harsh tone
  • Not waiting to hear the whole story and interjecting with their opinion
  • They demotivate you and make you feel stupid

Final words

Life is hard enough without having someone put you down at every opportunity they get. 

We need to surround ourselves with people who appreciate us and our achievements and who pick us up when we are down, avoiding toxic jealous personalities as best as we can.

Natasha Bernstein

Born in South Africa, Natasha is a Masters educated writer with a passion for sustainability, travel, health and food. With experience in the hospitality, energy, production, and broadcast industries, Natasha has a rounded and unique worldview. When she isn’t writing in her favourite coffee shop, Natasha likes to spend her time travelling the world, surfing, gardening, sewing, and experimenting with fun new recipes.

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