According to Seth Meyers, a clinical psychologist with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, three main reasons why people often struggle with jealousy issues is because of insecurity, obsessive thinking, and paranoia. Insecurity, being the most common reason people get jealous, stems from an inferiority complex, in which the individual suffers from low self-esteem and self-image issues. People with an obsessive cognitive style also tend to exhibit jealous behavior because their overthinking often blows their fears and imagination out of proportion.
Paranoia plays a factor as well because it prevents people from being able to trust others openly. Those who identify with a paranoid personality also have a hard time looking inward and holding accountability for their own downfalls and mistakes. Consequently, they hold onto feelings of jealousy and refuse to be vulnerable with their romantic partners. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Psych2Go shares with you 5 subtle signs someone may be jealous of you:
1. They suddenly start avoiding you.
If you notice they start to bail out on plans the both of you made or they grow distant in communication, it may have to do with their jealousy. Pay attention to when their ghosting behavior became frequent. Did it start after you aced your job interview or when you entered a new, fulfilling romantic relationship? When people see that you’re moving forward to exciting chapters in your life, they may start to fear falling behind.
Whether they’re scared of you forgetting about them or they’re afraid of never getting where they want to be, your happiness and success is a threat to them—mainly because they haven’t worked through their own internal struggles yet. Just remember that your own accomplishments matter, too. You worked hard and came a long way. Don’t feel obligated to always console them. Give them time to cool off.
2. They make jabbing remarks that makes you wonder what they really think of you.
Did you think they were nice, only to reconsider the thought later on? Whether they do it directly in your face or behind your back, they say things to put you down just to make themselves feel superior. Unfortunately, I’ve had bad experiences with this. Whether they were coworkers who I thought accepted me or people I once called my friends, their jealousy felt like a betrayal.
Over time, however, I learned not to take their comments personally. Know that their criticism isn’t a true reflection of who you are, but rather a representation of their own insecurities. Remember, you can’t please everyone, but you can always be the bigger person.
3. They get angry at you when you give them advice.
Whether the both of you are exercising together or taking part in similar hobbies, if they get angry at you after giving them some pointers or suggestions, they might be jealous of your progress. This may especially be the case if you were being gentle and supportive with your advice, but they decide to lash out or throw a fit. It sounds childish, yes, but jealousy comes from the realm of impulse and emotions, which doesn’t always listen to rational thinking or logic.
4. They start copying you.
When someone is jealous of you, they often want something you have that they don’t. Whether you have a great sense of fashion, just bought a new car, or recently got a haircut, if you notice that they start to wear similar clothes, buy better gadgets, or get a makeover, it might mean they are competing with you. Jealousy comes from a dark place of desire. Sometimes, when it gets the best of others, they become obsessed with results, materialism, and projecting an image of self-importance, even if it means losing themselves for a while.
5. They seem content when things go wrong in your life.
If you notice someone is strangely happy when they hear bad news about what’s going on in your life, chances are, they were waiting for you to have a downfall. This is the worst kind of jealousy that makes people turn heartless. When someone is glad to see you struggling, they may be plotting to take you down. Sounds scary and immature, right? But, this isn’t just jealousy. It’s a sign of toxic behavior, and it’s best to avoid people who want to bring you down, rather than help you grow.