Know if Your Friend Is Jealous of You

Sometimes friends let the green-eyed monster get the better of them. If a friend is jealous of you, there are many ways to take note of this. Pay attention to your interactions and evaluate whether your friend is being condescending or standoffish. Notice your friends overall behavior. Someone who seems pessimistic is more likely to be jealous. If your friend is jealous of you, talk it out and work on a mutual solution. A strong friendship can survive feelings of jealousy.


Monitoring Your Interactions

  1. Watch out for backhanded compliments. A jealous friend may try to look supportive by giving you compliments. However, their jealousy will show through because the compliments may come off the wrong way. If you pay attention to certain compliments, you may noticed passive aggressive put downs. These types of compliments can indicate jealousy.[1]
    • For example, a friend may find a way to make it sound like they're complimenting you, but work in an insult. Say you get a new job. A backhanded compliment may be something along the lines of, "That's great. They don't usually hire people with so little experience, but good for you."
  2. See if your friend diminishes your achievements. A jealous friend likely feels bad about themselves. Therefore, they are eager to downgrade the achievements of those around them. If you experience good news, your friend may look for something negative to say or a way to make you seem undeserving.[1]
    • For example, say you get an "A" on a paper. A jealous friend may say something like, "Don't get ahead of yourself. We still have half the semester to go, so I wouldn't get too confident yet."
    • Along with diminishing your achievement, some jealous friends may even go one step further and make comments that upstage any achievements you have. These friends may make comments that put emphasis that they somehow have gotten something bigger and better than your own achievement. For example, “I remember that tough calculus class I took. It was much harder than this class and I got “A’s” on all of my assignments and tests. I had the highest G.P.A in class.”
  3. Notice a lack of overall encouragement. Secure friends celebrate one another's achievements. While other friends may give an enthusiastic congratulations if something goes well for you, a jealous friend will react differently. They may say something curt like, "Ok. Cool." It will not sound like a sincere or excited congratulations.[2]
  4. See if your friend is pulling away. A jealous friend may start to pull away from you. If they are experiencing jealousy, they may see your success as representing what they don't have. You may notice a jealous friend slowly pulling away.[1]
    • A friend you once saw often may claim to be "really busy" and constantly make excuses not to see you.
    • You may notice your friend makes time for other people in your social circle, but rarely has time for you anymore.
  5. Pay attention to whether your friend listens. A jealous friend will get tired of hearing about your success. You may notice your friend seems disengaged when you talk about things like your job, school, or a new relationship. They may look away, play on their phone, and not make comments or ask questions about your life.[3]

Paying Attention to Your Friend's Behavior

  1. Pay attention to pessimism. Jealous people tend to have a negative outlook overall. They may feel other people succeed easily while they struggle for everything. If your friend is jealous, you may notice general pessimism during regular interactions.[2]
    • A pessimistic friend will be generally dismissive of your new endeavors. If you want to, say, teach yourself a new skill, a jealous friend will list reasons why you should not, for example.
    • A jealous friend will be pessimistic about themselves too. If you try to suggest the solution for a jealous friend's problems, they will be quick to find reasons why this will not work.
  2. Notice if your friend is copying you. Jealousy can often manifest in imitation. If your friend is jealous of you, they may want to copy some of what you're doing to try to have a similar life to yours. You may notice your friend dressing like you, imitating your tastes and mannerisms, and talking and joking about the same subjects you do.[2]
    • You may also find your friend tries to upstage you while imitating you. If you start running for 20 minutes a day, for example, a jealous friend may start running 30 minutes a day.
  3. Listen for claims of unfairness. Your jealous friend may make frequent claims to you about how things or situations they feel are unfair. For example, they might say something like, “It is just so unfair that things come so easy for you. You get all the good paying jobs and I am stuck in this dead-end one.” Pay attention to these frequent references to unfairness, as many times they are blaming outside circumstances for why they cannot have or achieve what you have.
  4. Think about whether your friend craves attention. Jealous people are often attention seekers by nature. Pay attention to how your friend acts around others. A jealous friend will always try to be the center of attention.[2]
    • A jealous friend may do things like show off on social media. They may post overly happy or positive things about their own life. You may also notice them friending your friends as they're eager to gain social approval from those close to you.
    • A jealous friend may seek attention in a group. They may try to make the loudest jokes or tell the funniest stories. A jealous person is likely to jump in and try to top someone's anecdote with something more outlandish.
  5. Monitor your friend's social behavior. A jealous friend may begin excluding you. You may notice your friend is hanging out with others and not you. You may suddenly stop receiving invitations. You may also notice your friend is blowing you off. They may claim to be busy with homework one night, only to have you find out they went out with someone else.[2]

Coping with a Jealous Friend

  1. Put yourself in your friend's shoes. Think about why your friend may be feeling jealous and about where your friend is emotionally. If they're in a bad place, they may be more prone to jealousy. Without realizing it, you may be talking too much about yourself and your own achievements and accidentally encouraging some of the jealousy. In that case, you can try to make small changes to how you talk to your friend. The main idea, though, is to understand where they're coming from so you can talk to them about the issue effectively.[1]
    • Maybe your friend is going through a rough time. Have they had any recent setbacks? Difficulty at work or in romantic relationships can make someone more prone to jealousy.
    • Reflect on how you could be contributing to their jealousy. While your friend may be happy things are going well for you, if they're in a rough spot they may find it harder to be openly encouraging. You may be bringing up yourself and your own achievements a little too much.
  2. Realize your friend's insecurities. Do your best and try to come from a place of compassion and understanding. Chances are that your friend may be harboring many insecurities about herself that are expressed through jealous behavior. There could be a lack of self-esteem, low self-confidence, and maybe an undertone of sadness. Maybe she never had the same opportunities in life that you or others had.
    • Usually, people who are more comfortable with themselves have good self-esteem and do not exhibit jealous behavioral patterns. However, for people who are hiding insecurities, they are more likely to show jealous behaviors.
  3. Talk it out. After putting yourself in your friend's shoes, talk it out. Wait until a time when you're both free and let your friend know you want to talk. Say something like, "I feel like you've been acting really jealous lately. I want to work through that because I value your friendship."[4]
    • Go into the situation with an open mind. While you may feel your friend is being unreasonably jealous, they may have complaints on their own end. Maybe, without realizing it, you've been insensitive to their situation.
    • After sharing your feelings, give your friend time to express themselves.
  4. Find a solution together. If you want to preserve your relationship, you should figure out a mutual solution. Tell your friend how they need to change and agree to change as well if you're contributing to the situation.[1]
    • For example, you could agree to ask first before sharing good news. At certain times, you friend may not want to hear about your successes.
    • Your friend can agree to let you know when they're feeling jealous so you do not go overboard talking about your own successes.
  5. Pull away if necessary. If your friend continues to behave in a jealous fashion, it's okay to give the relationship a break. You can gradually taper off contact or confront the friend directly. Say something like, "I think, given your jealousy, we could both use some space in this relationship right now. I hope you understand." It hurts to lose a friend, but jealousy can be toxic. It's okay to distance yourself from it when necessary.


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