8 things a narcissist will do when they’re jealous of your success

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Narcissists are life-sucking people.

They always want to be the best at everything.

And so, naturally, they hate it when other people succeed—especially the ones closest to them.

Is someone in your life a narcissist? And are they jealous of your success?

It’s time to find out!

Here are 8 things a narcissist can’t help doing when they’re jealous of your success. 

1) They’ll appear nonchalant

You announce to your GC “I got promoted. Drinks on meee!”

Everyone congratulates you except your narcissistic friend.

And when you finally meet to celebrate, they don’t seem very enthusiastic about your wins—not really.

Sure, they’d say “Wow, you deserve it!”…but then they’re too eager to switch to a different topic—something that has to do with them and THEIR own wins.

Well, they’re narcs so naturally, they don’t want to be overshadowed.

And so…why would they make you feel good about your wins when THEY should be the one winning?!

2) They’ll give you non-pliments

Non-pliments sound like compliments, except that, well…they’re not. 

In fact, they’re insults!

When you tell them you finally found a funder for your startup, they’d go “Yey. It’s about damn time. You’ve been useless for ages!”

And if you tell them your book is getting published, they’d go “Oh wow. You’re lucky. That’s such a pleasant surprise!”

Their backhanded compliments just leave a bad taste in your mouth and it’s, of course, intentional. 

Narcs want you to question your self-worth the moment you start to get a little bit confident about yourself.

On top of that, they need to plant seeds of doubt to everyone that you’re not that great at all.


Not only are they jealous of your success, they also need to put others down to feel like they’re on top.

3) They’ll compare you to others

A threatened (and jealous) narcissist will do anything to “put you in your place” so you won’t feel good about your success.

One way they do that is by praise—just a little bit to you, and a lot more to others, especially if they’re your competitors!

Let’s say you’re a musician and you told them that a record label A&R just gave you their calling card…and you’re over the moon!

They’ll say “Wow that’s so cool”…and then minutes later, they’d say “Oh, do you remember our classmate Dinah? She just released her album! She’s so cool, isn’t she?”

Or “I hope you’ll be like Alexi and really make it really big.”

Instead of just allowing you to feel good, they’ll rain on your parade by making you aware that others definitely have it better.

4) They’ll remind you of how they’ve helped you succeed

Ah well…what else can you expect from a narcissist, right?

They’ll make everything about them—even YOUR wins.

Any victory of yours, they’ll twist to make it about them and how you wouldn’t be where you are if they hadn’t saved you that time, even if their contribution was so little. 

They need to remind you and everyone else around you of that so when they need you for something, it’ll be easier to manipulate you according to their whim. 

And if they start to notice you pulling away and setting clear boundaries around them, the stage has been set for everyone to know how ungrateful and selfish a person you are. 

No matter how small their contribution was to your success, you can bet you’ll never forget it!

So if you notice someone in your circle doing this, make sure you never ask favors from them because, really, it’s a trap.

5) They’ll say “You’ve changed”

A jealous narc will try to control how you feel about your success.

By telling you “You’ve changed” after you achieved your dreams, they’re basically guilt-tripping you into unabashedly growing into the person you’ve always wanted to be.

In other words, they want you to remain the same—when you’re still just a dreamer, when you’re still on your way to success…basically, when you’re still like them.

If you now eat better and healthier, they’ll say you’ve become stuck up and elitist.

If you start exercising and doing yoga, they’ll say you’ve become vain except you know that your success owes a lot to taking care of yourself.

But if there’s one other thing narcissists hate more than people who are more successful than they are, it’s people who start prioritizing their own health and happiness.


Because that’s one less person who is unwilling to be sucked dry by them. 

6) They’ll be competitive (but in other ways)

Narcs have the need to show themselves (and others) that they’re better than everyone else.

But the really conceited narcissists are extra subtle about it.

They’ll not try to beat you at what you’re good at, of course. Instead, they’ll come up with petty competitions that you didn’t sign up for.

Let’s say you just won an award. They’d go “Yey!” but then they’ll suddenly show up to your celebration with their new partner when they know you are recovering from your recent heartbreak. 

Not only that, they’ll steal the limelight by giving a big talk on how they met even though they know the night was meant for you. 

They just can’t stand someone getting more attention than they are. 

It’s their way to feel good again after you announce your success.

It makes them happy to know that no matter what, they’re still better at you in a lot of things.

7)They’ll be extra critical of you

You just won an award for your portraits.

They’d say “Hmm. Your photos are nice but to be honest, they lack some life. I dunno why…”

What. do. they. even. mean?!

Most narcissists are also master manipulators, so they’ll make it seem like they’re actually helping you by being “honest”…when what they’re actually doing is crushing your self-esteem.

You just came out with a new haircut that makes you feel great and they start making underhanded jokes about it. 

Or you just came from your surf trip feeling strong and buoyant and they act so shocked at how terrible your tan looks on you and “Why on earth did you ruin your skin?!”

Every single time you start to feel yourself growing in confidence, you can bet they will nip it in the bud so you never get a chance to bloom around them.

8) They’ll side with your detractors

As I’ve hinted in this list, Narcs really love to bring you down.

It’s not because they just hate you per se, they just want to bring down anyone who’s on their way to the top, especially when it’s someone close to them.

They want to be number one in every endeavor they pursue…and they want to be number one in other people’s lives.

So the moment you become successful, they get uneasy.

They’ll befriend your enemies and defend your detractors.

And if you call them out the moment you notice them doing it, they’d say “Woah, don’t take it personally.”

What’s funny is that THEY’RE the one taking your success too personally.

Final thoughts:

You might think narcissists are just harmless—that they’re just show offs who love to talk about themselves.

But be careful of the covert ones

They’re extra dangerous especially if they’re jealous of you.

The closer you are to the narcissist, the more power they want to have over you.

And so if they realize that you’re getting more and more successful, they’ll find ways to crush your spirit and even take matters into their own hands.

So identify the narcissists in your life and be extra vigilant with them when you’re on your way to the top.

Remember that the only way to survive being with a narcissist is to stay small so unless you want that for the rest of your life, plan your exit and stay away as far as possible. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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