Narcissists usually have a deep need to be better than everyone else. This makes them likely to become jealous of anyone they perceive as better than them in any possible way. Surprisingly, you don’t have to be better in a real sense for you to trigger their jealousy. As long as you have any advantage they don’t have, that’s enough to make them jealous. Sometimes jealousy can force narcissists to take serious actions to harm the person they are jealous of. Unfortunately, a jealous narcissist is not that easy to spot. One of the signs that a person is jealous of you is that they will never congratulate you when you achieve something.
Jealousy knows no blood relations. A narcissist can be jealous of his wife, child or his closest friend.
Jealousy is one of the emotions that make narcissists dangerous. Even if they don’t take serious actions to harm the person they are jealous of, they can still take less obvious actions to make his life miserable. For example, if you depend on them for something important such as financial support, they may withhold their contribution to make sure that you are never happy.
What Makes Narcissists so Jealous
- A sense of competition: a sense of competition, real or perceived, can trigger jealousy even in non-narcissists. For example, if a particular narcissist is a businessman, he may not be jealous of his friend who is a popular musician. But if his brother is also in business and suddenly starts becoming more successful, the narcissist would feel that he is losing a competition even if there was no real competition going on. Surpassing a narcissist at anything that you are both involved in or succeeding at something he failed at, can make them really jealous. See: Narcissistic smear campaign.
- They have low self-esteem: a narcissist will not be jealous of someone who is good looking as long as he is confident in his looks. But if he is not confident in his ability to socialise, he may always be jealous of his social and popular friend. Because narcissists have a very fragile self-esteem behind the mask of ultra-confidence, they become very jealous of anyone who has genuine confidence.
- You are happier than they are: when a narcissist is depressed or feeling down, they don’t like to see someone happier and excited around them, especially if he is close to them. This is because they know that a happy person is powerful. When you are happy you become more confident, assertive and clear-minded. On the other hand, when a person is sad or depressed, he usually feels weak and vulnerable. When a narcissist is depressed, feelings of vulnerability that accompany depression make them see a happy person as a threat, especially when it’s a person that they don’t get along with.
- They are insecure: for example, in a relationship, feelings of insecurity usually stem from being unsure of your worth. Insecurities make a person doubt his ability to keep his partner interested. If a narcissist thinks that his wife would leave him when she becomes more successful, then the narcissist would be very jealous if she starts succeeding at something. Similarly, if he is financially unsuccessful and believes that his wife likes financially successful men, he may be very jealous of his wife’s successful male friends as well. See: why are some narcissists so mean.
- They wish to be better than everybody else: narcissists hate it when people around them are better in any possible way. They need to be above everybody else in order to feel superior. For this reason, they become very jealous of anyone they see as superior than them especially when there is a sense of competition.
- You are stealing their attention: narcissists need so much attention. Because they think that they are better than common people, they believe that they deserve more attention than the average folks. Getting the attention that a narcissist believes deserves can cause a lot of jealousy. See: why do narcissists need so much attention.