5 Questions People Will Ask When They Are Jealous Of You

Remember that if someone is jealous of you, it is often a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem.

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Jealousy and envy — these are common feelings a lot of twenty-somethings and adults experience. We all try to get ahead and bring our egos up by comparing ourselves to others.

It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, as we are conditioned to do so. In school, we compare our grades. And in life, we often compare our accomplishments and accolades with others, which can make us jealous.

Now, think of the last person you thought was genuine but then pulled a 180 on you. You may have been talking with that person and realized that something just didn’t sit right. And most likely, it was jealousy.


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Here are five phrases people will say when they are jealous of you:

1. “Oh, that’s no big deal.”

Let’s say you just did something you felt very proud of. You may have gotten a job offer and shared the news with a colleague or friend. They reply, “Oh, but everyone gets that role” or “Oh, but everyone goes for that job.” You may feel sad as soon as you hear that phrase because you worked so hard to obtain the new opportunity.


In reality, when people say these phrases, they feel threatened by the fact that you got a new opportunity. Therefore, they want to bring themselves up by putting you down and reminding themselves that your opportunity is “no big deal for them.”

2. “Wow, congratulations. I never expected you to get that award.”

Ouch. This is another backhanded compliment.

Don’t get me wrong: someone may say this when they are surprised by the result. But the fact that someone is surprised about your accomplishment shows that they were undermining your abilities in the first place. That’s why they didn’t expect you to get the award.

3. “Why don’t you do more with your life?”

Many people will say this phrase when they feel miserable about their own lives and need to deflect. But in reality, you may have some skills they desire to have. And to put you down, someone may throw in this phrase.


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4. “What is the award about? How much do you get paid for the new job?”

These are some questions people may ask you about a job you’ve obtained. Although it may sound like they want to know more about the opportunity, they may also be asking you this question to compare their own accomplishments to yours.

Many people equate salary to success. And since you got a new position, they want to see how much you make to compare the prestige of your new job to their job. Sneaky, right?

5. “Wow, you know your accomplishment reminds me of the time I did _____.”

Everyone’s accomplishment is unique. One person passing their driver’s license test isn’t the same as the other person getting their license. Moreover, one person graduating from university isn’t the same as another person’s graduation. We all have our own circumstances and barriers.


However, when someone says, “Oh, your accomplishment reminds me of the time I did this,” they compare themselves to you. But whenever people compare, it’s unfair and most likely based on assumptions.

They don’t know the barriers you’ve navigated to succeed, so they assume you had it easy. And in this case, they’re undermining your success and trying to downplay your achievements. People only do this when they’re jealous.

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So, how can you reply?

When you share your accomplishments, and someone says one of these five phrases to you, simply ask them for clarification. Ask them questions such as: “What do you mean?” or “How do you know I went through this and that?”


See if they’re willing to give you an answer. But you’ll mainly notice that the answer they’ll give you is based on themselves, not on you.

Overall, remember that if someone is jealous of you, it is often a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem. When someone tries to control your emotions and undermine your feelings and accomplishments, they’re simply projecting their own concerns about the future onto you.

It may be a lot to take in at first. But next time someone says these five phrases to you, realize it’s not your fault, and your accomplishments are deserved. Continue to move forward despite how much others try to put you down since you’ll always be the bigger person.


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Candice Zhang is a writer and frequent contributor to Unwritten whose bylines have been featured on Her Campus, The Strand, and others. She writes primarily about health and wellness, relationships, and current events.