How to Deal With Jealous People (18 Tips)

Whether it’s a friend, a coworker, or even a family member, the sting of jealousy can sour relationships and create an uncomfortable atmosphere. But remember, it’s not about you.

Now, I’m not here to tell you to ignore it—because, let’s be real, that’s not easy. But I will share some straightforward pointers on handling these tricky situations.

Ready to learn how to keep your shine even when others throw shade?

Understand Insecurity’s Role in Jealousy

When someone seems to be perpetually green-eyed over your life, it’s often about their own insecurities rather than anything you’ve done. They start to wonder if they’re good enough, and that’s what feeds jealousy.

Now, I’m not saying that every jealous person has self-esteem issues, but in my experience, a lot of jealous feelings come from that place of insecurity.

Instead of getting frustrated, try to see if there’s a way you can help them feel more secure. It’s not about showering them with empty praises but rather about encouraging them to recognize their own worth.

Communicate Openly and Honestly

Dealing with jealousy requires some serious talk, and I mean the kind where both parties feel safe to express their thoughts. No sugarcoating, no beating around the bush—just pure, honest dialogue.

You might say something like, “I feel like when I share my successes, it makes you uncomfortable. Is there something I’m doing that bothers you?” This opens the door for them to share what’s on their mind without you pointing fingers or making assumptions.

Here are things to remember when communicating:

  • Keep it direct but friendly
  • Listen as much as you talk
  • Try to understand their perspective

Set Clear Boundaries

Imagine you’ve got a friend who, driven by their jealousy, starts crossing lines, perhaps mimicking your style a tad too closely or asking uncomfortably personal questions about your achievements.

It’s time to gently but firmly draw the line. You might say, “I love that you find inspiration in what I do, but I noticed X and Y. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Can we talk about it?

This is you taking care of your well-being, and that’s super important. So, don’t be shy about marking your emotional and mental territory. You have every right to decide where your limits lie in every relationship.

Prioritize Your Well-Being

Just like what I mentioned above, when you cross paths with jealousy, it’s important to keep your own health and happiness at the forefront.

Imagine a situation where a friend’s jealousy starts to weigh on you, making you feel guilty for your own successes. In moments like these, remember to put yourself first.

This might involve some me-time, pursuing hobbies that make you happy, or simply carving out moments in your day to unwind and reflect. And if you need to, don’t hesitate to seek support from others. Sometimes just talking to someone who gets it can make all the difference.

Don’t Take Jealousy Personally

When someone throws a jealous jab your way, it can sting. What’s essential is to remind yourself that their jealousy says more about what they’re feeling about themselves than about you.

Like if your friend takes a dig at your latest achievement, it’s probably not that they think you don’t deserve it. More likely, they wish they were celebrating their own wins.

Here’s how to keep your cool:

  • Acknowledge their feelings without absorbing the negative energy.
  • Remind yourself of your own journey and struggles—everyone has them.
  • Set a mental reminder that their behavior is not a reflection of your worth.
"Nothing you do will satisfy a jealous person. Despite your best intentions, they are focused on spreading hatred and negativity. It has nothing to do with you; the problem lies with them. Do not let them affect you or damage your self-confidence." 

— Michelle Devani | Founder, LoveDevani

Celebrate Your Success

Now, here’s the fun part! You worked hard, and you achieved something great—that deserves a celebration. Just because someone else might not be clapping as loud as you hoped doesn’t mean you should tone down your party.

How to enjoy your wins:

  • Share the news with those who genuinely support you.
  • Treat yourself to something special—you’ve earned it.
  • Reflect on what you’ve learned from the experience.
"It is not your job to shrink your achievements so that they feel more comfortable around you. This is true of personal and professional relationships."

— Jean Tien | Intuitive Coach and Creator, The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Method™

Be Confident in Your Worth

Confidence is about internal assurance in your own value, even when others might not see it. And when you truly understand your worth, jealousy from others becomes like background noise instead of a personal attack.

It’s not always easy to maintain this mindset, but it’s about reminding yourself daily of your abilities, your kindness, and your hard work—all the things that make you unique and valuable.

"Try to be the bigger person, disarm them with positivity, and constantly remind yourself that they are the problem, not you."

— Sameera Sullivan | Relationship expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

Maintain Your Independence

Making choices based on what makes someone else happy or less jealous isn’t the way to go. You’ve got your own path.

For instance, if you love painting but you’re worried about showing your art because a friend might get jealous, paint anyway. Share your work. Your passions, choices, and happiness shouldn’t be on hold for someone else’s sake.

Remember, maintaining your independence doesn’t just mean doing things by yourself; it’s also about making choices that are right for you, even if they don’t always please everyone else.

Surround Yourself With Support

When you’re dealing with jealousy from others, having people who’ve got your back can make all the difference.

I’m talking about those friends who uplift you, the family who supports your dreams, and mentors who believe in your potential. These are the folks who’ll drown out any negativity with their encouragement and positivity.

Building up this support network takes time and effort, but it is time well spent. Keep an eye out for these qualities in your support crew:

  • They celebrate your wins as if they were their own.
  • They’re there for you during the rough patches.
  • They offer honest feedback with your best interest at heart.

Encourage Self-Reflection

We all have moments when we get tangled up in our own emotions. That’s why it’s super beneficial to encourage self-reflection, both in ourselves and in those around us who might be struggling with jealousy.

When you start feeling a twinge of envy, or you notice someone else might be, it’s a good cue to pause and ask some key questions: “Why do I feel this way? What’s missing for me right now? How can I address that?

This helps to unearth the deeper issues behind jealousy, giving us the chance to work on them.

Practice Empathy

When someone is dealing with jealousy, putting yourself in their shoes for a moment can give you insight into their struggle. It’s like understanding that their harsh words might come from a place of disappointment in their own lives, not necessarily malice towards you.

Here are a few ways to show empathy:

  • Listen actively when they express their emotions.
  • Validate their feelings without judgment.
  • Share your own experiences with insecurity when appropriate to show they’re not alone.
"Help them examine the reasons and emotions that underlie their jealousy. Support them to self-evaluate and reflect. Reassure them that they are enough, worthy, and belong, making you not a threat. With a willingness on their part to self-evaluate, and your encouragement and reassurance, there’s likely to be an increase in self-awareness, esteem, and efficacy that can inspire them to rise to a point where they feel enough and adequate." 

— Angela Karanja | Adolescent Psychologist | Founder, Raising Remarkable Teenagers Movement

Avoid Jealousy Triggers

In a world that’s always watching and comparing, it’s wise to be mindful of what could potentially spike someone’s jealousy. This isn’t about walking on eggshells or hiding your light; rather, it’s about being aware of others’ sensitivities.

For instance, if you know a friend is going through a tough time professionally, flaunting a recent work success might not be the best idea.

Here are three quick tips on how to sidestep these triggers:

  • Gauge the situation before sharing news that might stir envy.
  • Be considerate in how and when you share your achievements.
  • Encourage conversations that focus on common interests rather than personal wins.

Refrain From Gossip

Gossip is like adding fuel to the jealousy fire. It can twist facts and amplify misunderstandings, making jealousy even worse. If you find yourself in a situation where gossip starts to creep in, try to steer the conversation towards something more positive.

Here’s how you can keep it at bay:

  • Gently shift the topic if it veers towards gossip.
  • Highlight positives about the person being talked about.
  • Encourage direct communication to clear up any misunderstandings.

Be Assertive When Needed

Sometimes, when dealing with jealous individuals, you’ve got to stand your ground. This doesn’t mean you’re being mean or confrontational; it’s about clear and respectful communication regarding your limits and expectations.

How to be assertive effectively:

  • Speak up if jealous behavior is affecting you negatively. Let the person know how their actions make you feel.
  • Use clear “I” statements, such as “I feel uncomfortable when…” to express your feelings without blaming.
  • Stick to the facts and avoid getting emotional, even if it’s challenging.
"By taking control of the situation and showing that their negative words do not harm you, you are showing them that you are standing tall. They can direct comments at you, but you will keep your composure. This shows that you have respect for yourself."

 Arianna Kaminski | Poet and Podcaster | Author, Earthly Thoughts

Seek Professional Help for Toxic Jealousy

Sometimes, you’ll meet people whose jealousy goes beyond the occasional envious glance or offhand comment. We’re talking about jealousy that feels heavy, constant, and downright toxic.

At this point, it’s wise to suggest getting help from someone trained for this, like a counselor or therapist.

They can create a safe environment and can really dig deep and figure out where all this jealousy is coming from. Plus, they have a toolbox full of ways to handle these emotions, which can be really valuable.

Limit Interactions

So, you’ve tried the heart-to-hearts, you’ve been the reassuring friend, and you’ve suggested getting outside help. But the jealousy is still there, making things awkward. This is the point where you might need to pull back a bit and limit how much you interact with the person showing jealousy.

Here’s a game plan for doing this tactfully:

  • Choose your get-togethers wisely—you don’t have to say yes to every coffee invite.
  • Keep conversations light when you do meet up; no need to discuss the next greatest thing in your life.
  • Use distance to give both of you some breathing room.

Know When to Walk Away

There will be times when, no matter how kind or patient you are, someone’s jealousy just won’t budge. And that’s when you need to know it’s okay to walk away.

This isn’t giving up; it’s recognizing that you’ve done what you can and it’s time to step back.

Walking away could look different depending on your situation. Maybe it’s spending less time with that person, or maybe it’s ending the relationship altogether. It’s not the easiest choice, but it’s sometimes necessary for your peace of mind. 

Practice Forgiveness

Forgiving those who let jealousy get the best of them doesn’t mean you’re saying what happened is okay. It means you’re choosing not to carry the weight of resentment.

Why forgiveness is powerful:

  • It frees you from negative emotions.
  • It opens the door to healing and possible reconciliation.
  • It shifts your focus from past hurt to future peace.
"Remind yourself: You cannot control others. Know that you cannot control others’ behaviors or emotions. You cannot make someone stop feeling jealous. That is an internal job for that person to work on and hopefully be able to establish their own sense of worth." 

— Emily Griffin, MA, LCPC, LPC, RPT | Mental Health Therapist, Clarity Through Counseling

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to respond to jealousy on social media?

If jealous behavior appears online, use the platform’s features to block, unfollow, or restrict interactions with the person. Focus on engaging with positive content and communities that support and uplift you.

How do I stop someone from sabotaging my achievements due to their jealousy?

Maintain professionalism and document any instances of sabotage or unfair treatment. It might be helpful to have a direct conversation with the individual if possible or involve a mediator or superior to discuss the situation in a safe and structured setting.

What if the jealous person is my boss or supervisor?

Dealing with jealousy from someone in a position of power requires a delicate approach. Maintain professionalism, document any unfair treatment, and if necessary, seek advice from HR or a mentor. Keep doing your job well while also exploring potential opportunities elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Remember that dealing with jealousy is not just about managing someone else’s feelings but also about maintaining your peace and confidence. It’s a delicate dance between understanding where they’re coming from and standing firm in your own self-worth.

And while you can’t change how people feel, your response can transform a potentially toxic situation into a learning opportunity for both sides.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.