People who are secretly jealous of your success usually display these 9 behaviors

Success can stir up a mix of reactions from those around you. Not everyone will be genuinely happy for your achievements. In fact, some might even harbor secret jealousy.

This jealousy often manifests itself through a set of behaviors, subtle but telling. Recognizing these signs isn’t about pinning labels or holding grudges; it’s about understanding the dynamics at play around your success.

In this article, I’ll guide you through 9 behaviors that people secretly jealous of your success usually display. 

Let’s get started. 

1) They downplay your success

In our journey of life, we all have those moments we’re incredibly proud of – be it a promotion, a new house, or simply a personal milestone. And it’s natural to share these joyous moments with those around us.

However, people who are secretly jealous often have a clever way of downplaying your achievements. They might pass off your success as sheer luck, or attribute it to something or someone else. The underlying intent is to make your accomplishment seem less significant.

This behavior isn’t about you; it’s a reflection of their inability to celebrate others’ achievements.

Your success is valid and worth celebrating – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And spotting this behavior is the first step to understanding the dynamics around you.

2) They become overly competitive

Have you ever noticed a sudden shift in someone’s behavior when you achieve something? I have.

A friend of mine, let’s call him Jake, and I were always supportive of each other. However, when I landed a promotion at work, I noticed a change in our dynamics. Jake suddenly became overly competitive. From casual games to intellectual debates, he pushed to outdo me in every possible way. It was as if my success had triggered an unconscious need in him to prove his worth.

This kind of behavior is another key sign of hidden jealousy. It’s not about healthy competition or pushing each other to do better; it’s about them trying to overshadow your achievements with their own.

3) They celebrate your failures

It’s human nature to feel a twinge of disappointment when we see others succeed where we’ve failed. However, people who are secretly jealous of your success take this a step further.

They don’t just feel disappointed; they may actually celebrate when you fall short. It’s as if they find solace in your failures because it makes them feel better about their own shortcomings.

This behavior is not about you, it’s about their internal struggle. 

4) They imitate you

Imitation can be a form of flattery, but in some cases, it can be a sign of covert jealousy.

People who are secretly envious of your success may start to mimic your style, your work ethic, or even your mannerisms. It’s as if they believe that by copying you, they can achieve the same level of success that you have.

The key here is to understand the difference between someone who is inspired by you and someone who is trying to become a carbon copy of you.

The latter often stems from a place of insecurity and envy, rather than genuine admiration. 

5) They spread rumors about you

Unfortunately, success can sometimes attract unwarranted negativity. One of the more malicious behaviors displayed by individuals secretly jealous of your success is the spreading of rumors or false information about you.

This is often an attempt to tarnish your reputation and diminish your achievements. It’s crucial to remember that this behavior is a reflection of their own insecurities and not a comment on your character or worth.

Handling such situations can be tricky, but standing your ground and not engaging in their game of whispers can be an effective way to maintain your dignity and integrity.

6) They avoid celebrating your achievements

One of the most heart-wrenching signs of covert jealousy is when those close to you avoid celebrating your achievements.

When you share good news, the reaction you expect from those who care about you is joy and celebration. However, if they’re secretly jealous, they may react with indifference or even annoyance.

This can be hurtful, especially when it comes from people you hold dear. But remember, it’s important not to let their inability to share your joy affect your own happiness or self-worth. Your success is yours to celebrate, regardless of others’ reactions.

7) They distance themselves from you

When I got my first book published, it was a dream come true. I was over the moon and wanted to share this joy with my close circle. However, I noticed one of my friends started to distance herself from me.

She stopped initiating conversations and even started declining my invitations to hang out. It took me a while to realize that my success had unintentionally created a rift in our friendship.

People who are secretly jealous might distance themselves from you. It’s their way of coping with the emotions they’re wrestling with. 8) They are quick to criticize

Criticism can be constructive; it can help us grow and improve. But there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and unnecessary negativity.

People who are secretly jealous of your success may often cross this line. They might be quick to point out your flaws, criticize your decisions, or undermine your achievements.

It’s important to remember that such criticism is more about them than about you. It reflects their need to make themselves feel superior at your expense. 

9) They rarely give you genuine compliments

Receiving a genuine compliment can make your day. But when it comes to those secretly envious of your success, such moments might be rare.

They may struggle to acknowledge your achievements openly and sincerely. If they do compliment you, it often feels forced or comes with a backhanded comment.

This lack of genuine recognition can be disheartening, especially when you value their opinion. But it’s crucial to remember that their inability to appreciate your success doesn’t diminish the value of your achievements. You’ve earned every bit of your success, and no one’s lack of acknowledgment can take that away from you.

Final thoughts: It’s about empathy

Understanding human emotions and behaviors is a complex journey. When it comes to deciphering the telltale signs of people secretly jealous of your success, it’s important to remember that this is more about them than you.

In an insightful study by the American Psychological Association, it was found that jealousy often stems from feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. This doesn’t justify their behavior but offers a perspective that can help us navigate these situations with empathy.

Facing covert jealousy can be challenging and, at times, hurtful. But recognizing these behaviors is the first step towards understanding the dynamics around you.

Remember, your success is a reflection of your hard work and determination; don’t let anyone’s inability to appreciate it diminish its worth. Keep shining, keep succeeding, and remember – empathy goes a long way in turning envy into admiration.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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