People who are jealous but won’t admit it usually display these 9 behaviors

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | March 5, 2024, 9:39 pm

Jealousy is a natural human emotion, but few people want to admit they’re green with envy.

Instead, they often display certain behaviors that give them away.

In fact, these signs can be so subtle that you may not even realize they’re rooted in jealousy.

I’m here to help you decode these telltale actions.

In this article, we’ll explore the nine behaviors typically exhibited by people who are jealous but won’t admit it.

Keep reading to gain a better understanding of these silent indicators of envy.

1) Excessive praise

Jealousy is often disguised as excessive or insincere praise. Funny enough, it’s one of the ways jealous people try to mask their feelings.

This kind of praise usually feels forced and over the top.

It’s as if the person is trying too hard to convince you – and themselves – that they’re genuinely happy for your success.

Why does this happen? Well, when someone is jealous, they’re acknowledging your achievements – which they secretly wish were theirs.

As a result, they might overcompensate with lavish compliments.

2) Minimizing your achievements

Here’s a personal experience of mine. I once had a friend who would consistently play down my accomplishments.

When I got a promotion at work that I’d been striving for, instead of congratulating me, she said, “Well, promotions are easy to get in your line of work.”

This type of behavior is another classic sign of hidden jealousy.

Instead of celebrating your success, a jealous person might try to minimize it or make it seem less significant than it really is.

They do this to make themselves feel better about their own situation.

It took me some time to realize that my friend’s comments weren’t about me at all.

They were about her and how she was feeling.

It’s important to remember this if you encounter someone who seems to devalue your achievements consistently.

It’s likely not about your worth, but their hidden feelings of envy.

3) Mirroring your behavior

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so the saying goes. But did you know it can also be a sign of hidden jealousy?

When someone is jealous, they might start to copy your mannerisms, your style, or even the way you talk.

It’s a subconscious way of trying to match your success by adopting aspects of your personality and appearance.

This behavior is rooted in the psychological concept of mirroring, which is a social behavior where individuals unconsciously imitate the gestures, speech pattern, or attitude of another.

4) Unnecessary competition

Have you ever noticed someone constantly turning the smallest things into a competition? This might be a sign of hidden jealousy.

And research corroborates this notion. 

People who are secretly envious often feel the need to constantly prove that they are better.

They might turn insignificant situations into contests just to feel superior.

For example, if you mention that you’ve started running, they instantly brag about how they’ve been doing marathons.

Or, if you share a new recipe you tried, they one-up you with their gourmet cooking skills.

This constant need for competition stems from their desire to overshadow your accomplishments, making it a clear indicator of underlying jealousy. 

5) Frequent criticism

Jealous individuals often resort to constant criticism, another key sign to watch out for.

This can manifest in different ways.

They might nitpick your decisions, openly criticize you in front of others, or make passive-aggressive comments.

Whatever the method, their goal is to bring you down to elevate themselves.

For instance, if you choose to pursue a new hobby or interest, they might belittle it by saying it’s a waste of time or not worth the investment.

This negativity stems from their own insecurity and jealousy.

6) Lack of support

In any relationship, whether it’s friendship, romantic or professional, support plays a crucial role.

When we succeed or make strides towards our goals, we naturally expect our loved ones to share in our joy.

However, a jealous person might withhold their support or react with indifference to your accomplishments.

This can be heart-wrenching, especially when it comes from someone you’re close to.

For example, you may have just achieved something significant – like landing your dream job or finishing a challenging project.

But instead of sharing your excitement, they might react with apathy or quickly change the subject.

7) Suddenly becoming distant

Not too long ago, I had a really close friend. We shared everything, from our deepest secrets to our silliest thoughts.

But as I started advancing in my career, I noticed a shift in our relationship.

She began distancing herself and our conversations became less frequent and more superficial.

This is another behavior often displayed by those harboring feelings of jealousy.

When you’re successful or happy, they might start pulling away instead of being happy for you.

This distance can be their way of dealing with the envy they feel but aren’t willing to acknowledge.

8) Frequent comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say. An individual who’s jealous but refuses to admit it often falls into the trap of comparing themselves to you.

They constantly measure their success, appearance, or lifestyle against yours.

If you buy a new car, they might suddenly feel the need for an upgrade.

If you embark on a fitness journey, they might start sharing their own workout routines.

While it’s natural to compare ourselves to others occasionally, consistent comparison is often a sign of hidden envy.

It’s important to recognize this behavior and not let it affect your self-esteem or personal growth.

After all, everyone’s journey is unique and cannot be compared.

9) Negative energy

The most profound indication of hidden jealousy is a noticeable shift in energy.

When someone is secretly envious, they might exude a negative aura, even if they don’t voice their feelings explicitly.

You might feel a sense of unease, discomfort, or negativity around them, especially when discussing your achievements or happiness.

This change in vibe isn’t just in your head – it’s a real phenomenon often linked to concealed jealousy.

The takeaway: Understanding trumps judgement

Peeling back the layers of human behavior is a complex process.

People often display emotions like jealousy in indirect ways, making it difficult to understand their true feelings.

Recognizing these signs can be enlightening, but remember: understanding should always be the goal, not judgment.

Jealousy, in many ways, is a reflection of one’s insecurities, fears, or unfulfilled desires.

It’s a cry for acknowledgment and validation that often goes unheard.

Next time you encounter these behaviors, instead of feeling hurt or confused, view it as an opportunity to understand the person better.

Perhaps you could engage them in a conversation about their feelings and aspirations.