17 Traits of Highly Jealous People

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By Jonathan Trent

Jealousy and envy are similar in that they both involve an intense feeling of desire for what another person possesses, although the feeling of jealousy has slightly more negative connotations. It’s not a good look, so watch out for these 17 traits of extremely jealous people.

Constant Comparison

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Those who are jealous will constantly compare themselves to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy. Rather than appreciating what they already have, they will look at the appearance or possessions of others, hoping to have them for themselves and resenting that person in the process.


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Insecurity and jealousy go hand in hand; self-doubt can fuel jealous thoughts, and these individuals fear losing what they have or being rejected. The New York Times reveals that unhealed wounds from childhood, such as growing up with inconsistent caregivers, can make you more sensitive to rejection and, thus, insecurity.

Low Self-Esteem

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Those with low self-esteem may be more prone to jealousy as they regularly seek validation from external sources. They may bombard other people, fishing for compliments in a bid to measure up to them or even venturing to social media to recover their egos through likes and comments.

Suspicious Nature

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Highly jealous people tend to be suspicious of others’ intentions and actions, often assuming the worst. They are acutely aware of how they regard other people with jealousy and are therefore afraid that they will receive the same treatment. As a result, they tend to close themselves off from social interactions.

Controlling Behavior

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Jealousy breeds controlling behavior, such as constantly checking up on someone’s whereabouts, as these people fear their partner or friend leaving them. Instead of letting people be, they will track their movements or keep an eye on what they are doing, showing jealousy for any social interactions.

Lack of Trust

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Feelings of jealousy often stem from a lack of trust in oneself and others, leading to doubt and suspicion. As a result, their relationships could suffer as they will put a barrier between themselves and others, creating a weird tension that can’t be explained.

Fear of Loss

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Jealousy is often driven by a fear of losing someone or something valuable, leading to possessive behavior. Psychology Today highlights that jealousy always involves a third party seen as a rival for affection or attention, so victims will always try to eliminate this threat quickly. It’s an unfortunate affliction for everyone involved.


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Although jealousy and envy aren’t exactly the same, jealous individuals will still experience envy towards those they perceive as having more success, happiness, or possessions. As they constantly compare themselves to others, they may want to emulate the lifestyle of other people to feel better.

Difficulty in Celebrating Others’ Success

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While most of us rejoice in other people’s happiness, jealous individuals will not feel happy about others’ achievements. Instead, they may feel resentful or bitter, as they see others’ success as a direct attack on them, diminishing their self-worth. Trust us–it’s not a good look.


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Paranoid thoughts are common in jealous people, which can lead to erratic behavior, imagining scenarios where others are conspiring against them. This can make other people distance themselves as they don’t want to be around this type of person who may accuse them of something they have nothing to do with.

Overanalyzing Interactions

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Similarly to paranoia, extremely jealous people may overanalyze social interactions, searching for signs of betrayal or disloyalty. They may pick up on minor things said by others and blow them out of proportion or look for hidden messages in conversations instead of taking everything with a pinch of salt.

Emotional Instability

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Emotional instability is synonymous with feelings of jealousy. This emotion can be difficult to grapple with, making individuals experience intense mood swings. As any little thing can set them off, they are likely to plunge into a depression if they become upset, something that only therapy can resolve.


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Projecting onto others comes naturally to jealous individuals who may accuse people of behaviors they themselves engage in. In friendships, they could accuse someone of being jealous of them even if they are the ones with jealous thoughts, as it helps them to deflect from their feelings. Even they don’t want to seem jealous.

Negative Self-Talk

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Jealousy can contribute to negative self-talk, with individuals constantly criticizing themselves and comparing unfavorably to others. Thankfully, there are ways to rectify this, as Psych Central advises that practicing positive self-talk, looking at situations objectively, and trying to identify your triggers can all help. Therapy is also always worth looking into.

Difficulty in Building Healthy Relationships

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Excessive jealousy can sabotage relationships, as it makes trusting connections with others difficult. Jealous people are frequently passive-aggressive, and this behavior can also drive other people away, making everyone uncomfortable. Don’t be that guy because, understandably, it can push people away!

Obsessive Thoughts

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Jealous feelings often lead to rumination, with individuals obsessively dwelling on perceived threats or injustices. They are kept in a loop of obsession and doubts, with these thoughts often spiraling into relentlessly interrogating or questioning others even if they haven’t done or said anything bad. It’s not fun for either party. 

Physical Symptoms

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Finally, many people don’t realize that extreme jealousy can manifest in physical symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. Business Insider also points out that unchecked jealousy can have a detrimental impact on your mental state, leading to depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, aggression, and the end of meaningful relationships. Yikes.