Jealousy is something that we all experience now and again.
It’s a natural human emotion and, in small doses, feeling jealous isn’t something we should beat ourselves up about.
It can encourage us to reflect on our lives and figure out exactly why we’re experiencing these feelings.
It can make us think about what it is we’re missing that leads us to feel that way about someone else.
But, there’s a big difference between experiencing occasional feelings of jealousy and being a jealous person.
If someone you’re close to or often interact with is consistently jealous of you, it can take its toll, whether they’re jealous of your professional or personal life, or both.
Continually feeling and displaying jealousy makes someone hard to be around and can create a bad feeling between the two of you.
It might lead them to be unkind to you, or they might try to play down your achievements and make the good things in your life look bad.
It might mean that you feel awkward and guilty around them and find yourself trying to hide good things about your life so that they won’t become even more jealous of you than they already are.
And, it can mean that you don’t get to really enjoy your successes and moments in the sunshine, because there’s always someone there casting a black cloud over things.
But it can be tricky to figure out whether someone is actually jealous of you and the things you’ve got going on in your life.
After all, as we’ve established, we all act out of jealousy now and again, and it can be hard to know who’s just having a moment of weakness and who is actually jealous of us to the point that it becomes a problem.
If you’re finding someone’s behavior hard to deal with and think it might be down to jealousy, then looking out for these signs should help you figure it out.
1. They compliment you – but you know it’s insincere.
Someone who is jealous of things that are going well for you will often be the first person to offer you congratulations when you get some good news…
…but, something about the things they say will be a bit off.
They might seem overenthusiastic, in an attempt to pretend to everyone that they’re not jealous.
Or they’ll try to play down or diminish the things you’ve achieved, even whilst seemingly patting you on the back.
They can do an excellent job at pretending that they’re not jealous of you at all, but deep down you’ll know that something is not quite right.
2. They love it when things go wrong for you.
No one’s life is perfect, and when things inevitably go wrong, only people who are jealous of you will seem genuinely pleased about it, no matter how much they try to hide it.
You’ll probably spot this in the form of a satisfied smile that they quickly wipe off their face when they see you looking.
3. They downplay your achievements.
If things are going well for you, they’ll find a million reasons why that’s the case before admitting that it might be down to your own personal merit.
They’ll attribute it to external circumstances and tell you and anyone else they talk to that of course you only got that promotion because you were flirting with the boss.
4. They make sure you know about their successes.
Whilst they make sure to let you know that your successes aren’t anything to get excited about, they’ll also broadcast anything positive that happens to them.
The smallest of achievements are turned into the biggest of deals.
5. They point you in the wrong direction.
If you turn to someone who’s jealous of you with a problem, they might deliberately give you bad advice.
After all, if they’re already jealous of you now, they’re hardly likely to tell you how you could do even better.
They might even make it their mission to discourage you from putting yourself out there or trying new things.
If you excitedly suggest a plan, they’ll probably be the first person to point out any possible flaws in it, just to take the wind out of your sails.
6. They copy you.
In these cases, it’s important to remember the old adage that imitation is the highest form of flattery rather than letting it get on your nerves.
If someone is jealous of you, it’s normally because they want what you’ve got. By copying you, they hope to get it for themselves.
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7. They gossip about you.
Even if they’re pleasant to your face, they might well let their jealousy of you show when it comes to talking to others about you.
Some people will make you look bad subtly, but some are happy to blatantly spread gossip about you or make snide comments behind your back.
8. They make you look bad in front of other people.
They might do it cleverly, but someone who’s jealous of you may find ways to humiliate you in front of others, to make themselves look better, and knock your self-confidence.
9. They disappear when things are going well.
When you’re on a high, they’ll probably be conspicuous by their absence. They won’t want to be present if you decide to celebrate your success.
Whereas you’ll find that some friends will only be there for you when it’s all plain sailing, in the case of jealous people the opposite will probably be true.
When things are going badly, they’ll be the first one to pull up a chair and buy popcorn.
10. They’re competitive.
Anything you can do, they can do better. And they’re on a mission to prove it!
This will especially be the case if the person who’s jealous of you is someone you work with.
They’ll always try to score points in an attempt to prove to themselves that they’re better than you.
How To Deal With A Jealous Person
Living with a jealous person in your life is never easy.
Sometimes, you’ll be able to avoid contact with them. But that’s not always the case.
For whatever reason, you might have to stay in contact with this person who’s becoming such a negative presence in your life.
But the good news is that there are some things you can do to help turn things around and neutralize that jealous streak.
1. Give them genuine compliments and praise.
If someone is being insincere with you and giving you ‘compliments’ that are in fact thinly-veiled put downs, then the best way to deal with it is to do exactly the opposite.
Give them genuine compliments whenever you feel that they deserve them. It’ll be hard for them to keep resenting you if you’re genuine, kind, and thoughtful.
When it comes to jealous people, the best course of action is to do to others what you would like them to do to you and set an example for them to follow.
In this way, you teach them how to treat you.
2. Encourage them when they’re doing their own thing.
Imitation is a big part of jealousy, but if you’ve spotted this behavior in someone, addressing the matter head on might not be the best course of action.
A good way of dealing with it is to encourage them when they’re not imitating you but standing on their own two feet and blazing their own trail.
This gives them a little self-confidence boost and eases any doubts they have about what they are doing.
3. Don’t rise to the bait.
If they’re implying that your achievements aren’t down to your merits but to luck or circumstances beyond your control, don’t take the bait.
You know why you deserve the good things that have happened to you, and you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.
And the more you try, the more it’ll look like you’re exaggerating the truth.
In the same way, if a jealous person behaves insensitively or tries to upstage you, don’t get upset with them.
4. Don’t boast.
Be humble about the things that you achieve.
When you want to gush about your good fortune and the payoff for all your hard work in a way that some people might interpret as boasting, make sure you do it with friends you trust who will be delighted about your achievements.
5. Remind them that it’s not a competition.
For a naturally jealous person, everything becomes a competition, but they often don’t realize it.
If they boast to you about beating you in some way, try to calmly remind them that the two of you aren’t in competition with each other.
Whenever they try to provoke you into competing with them, take a deep breath and a step back. Rise above it, and they’ll soon stop trying.
6. Talk to them about it.
If you know that they’re spreading rumors about you or that they struggle with their jealous behavior in general, it might be worth sitting them down for an honest chat about how you’ve been feeling.
Just make sure you’re calm and collected.
They might not be fully aware of their behavior and pointing it out to them will be a difficult conversation to have, but it could be the key to turning things around.
Is there an envious person in your life?
Identifying the signs of a jealous person and taking steps to deal with the situation could make a huge difference to both of you, whatever the circumstances.
All it takes is a little time and patience.