A guide on how to deal with jealousy

It’s no secret that we live in a world that encourages constant competition and comparison. From the moment we can walk and talk, it’s all about who is the smartest, quickest, strongest or funniest.

As you get a little older, the competition heats up: Who will be the first to be in a relationship? Who has the best body, flashiest life, nicest car? It’s exhausting!

Take into account the explosion of social media and all of a sudden we’re led to believe that everyone else is livin’ it up while we’re just lagging behind.

The good news is that while jealousy is a normal reaction, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one. There are ways you can get a handle on where your head’s at, and learn to feel content rather than confused, when it comes to feeling jealous.

guy in cap looking at friend

What causes jealousy?

Jealousy is one thing we all have in common, but what makes us feel this way?


When you put yourself out there – whether in a relationship, at school, or when hanging out with mates – and don’t get the response you were hoping for, chances are you’ll feel pretty bruised. Being rejected leads to feeling not good enough, and that can kick off a cycle where you’re convinced you’ll always end up in the same situation. Why does this always happen to me? is a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some time when we’ve been struggling.

The blame game

When you’re aware of your negative feelings, it’s tempting to pin them on someone else. When the friends around you couple up and you don’t have a date, you might feel angry at them, even though they’ve done nothing wrong.

It makes sense: when you feel like you're being left behind, you want to direct that anger and frustration outwards. Blame is a powerful tool, and one that can offer a little breather at the time, but is a bad idea in the long run.

Can’t help but compare

Whether it’s scrolling and eye-rolling as you see a bunch of buff guys posting on Instagram about their amazing holiday, or hearing your mates brag about their latest date, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others.

Add to that, as we get older there’s an endless culture of comparison. Are you getting the best results at school? Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend? How much do you bench? This culture of comparison can easily lead to feelings of jealousy.

Plus, social media has turned FOMO into an actual issue, with everyone feeling forced to put forward the flashiest version of their lives. For tips on limiting your social media use to help you not compare yourself to others, check out this helpful guide.

How to overcome jealousy

Talk it out

When it comes to working through feelings of envy, honest chat is the MVP. Sit down with a family member or friend, and try to put into words whatever is making you feel jealous. Sometimes by simply giving a voice to your frustrations, you can see them for what they are.

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to talk about what you’re going through.

Unfollow the leader

If the highly filtered fantasyland of TikTok, Insta and Snapchat is starting to send you into a spin, we recommend you start unfollowing. You don’t have to ditch every famous person you follow, but if their posts are leaving you feeling envious, seething with jealousy, or feeling FOMO - maybe hit pause on them for a while..

The same goes with your own social circle. It can be tough to see people you know doing fun stuff, especially if you feel left out. Most social media platforms let you mute people, so you can hide certain feeds for a period of time. You could also try limiting your daily social use.

Challenge your jealousy

Sometimes the best way to overcome jealousy is to channel that energy into a fun challenge. Each time you catch jealous vibes, set yourself a task. Do ten push ups, watch a hilarious YouTube clip, text a friend or listen to your favourite track.

List the best bits about yourself

Jealousy is fuelled by feelings of self-doubt, so if you can get in the habit of bigging yourself up, it will go a long way towards helping you get on top of your resentment. As awkward as it may seem (we know it might feel a little odd at first, but trust us), try writing down three things you like about yourself - this guide can help you make a start!

Each time you clock a jealous thought, add another thing. Not only will you build a solid list of all your best traits, but you’ll also perfect the art of distraction. By associating jealousy with a list of good stuff about yourself, you can learn to shift its impact on you.

How to deal with jealousy in a relationship

Even with the above tips, dealing with jealousy in a relationship can be uncomfortable because it asks us to look inward and maybe see things we don’t want to see about ourselves or others.

How to deal with a jealous partner

Dealing with a jealous partner can be tricky depending on how safe you feel addressing their jealousy directly or identifying if it’s part of an unhealthy pattern and leaving the relationship is the best thing. You can always seek professional advice if you’re unsure about how to approach them or what to do.

What to do if you’re jealous of your partner?

The first thing to do when you notice you’re jealous of your partner is to take some time to understand what’s causing it. When you better understand where your jealousy is coming from, you can share how you’re feeling with your partner and also work on the root cause.

What if I’m jealous of friends or family?

Jealousy in friendships and with family can be challenging to deal with. It really depends on your relationship and how openly you’re able to communicate with the other person. Jealousy can arise as you grow more into yourselves, make new friends, move in different directions and achieve goals at different times. Whether you’re the one feeling jealous, or notice a friend or family member is, addressing jealousy early can help stop those relationships from.

There’s no way of completely ending feelings of jealousy

Ultimately, knowing how to deal with jealousy is all about learning how to handle it, as opposed to trying to phase it out completely.

The feelings that lead to jealousy are regular emotions – resentment, anger or frustration. The important thing to realise is that you already have all the tools you need to control the impact jealousy has on you.

What can I do now?

  • Get some tips on talking yourself up.

  • If you're not loving your social media time, find some ways to tame your usage.


Positive mindsets