Here’s Why People Get Mad When You Achieve Success

There’s no denying that success comes in different “shapes and sizes”. There are many ways to be financially successful, whether you’re looking for love, money, or health. And if you’ve always found yourself to be advantaged in some way, then you must already know that some people feel a little envy towards you, (and may want to take what you have), but you can understand where they are coming from. However, what is perplexing is when the people you’ve always known suddenly become jealous when you begin to win or shine more. And when you think about it, the logical conclusion would be “they should be happy for me now that I’ve achieved success”, but this is not the case at all times and that’s the harsh reality of life.

Were you wondering why?

Why are people so resentful of your success?

The thing about success is that it creates a huge – and very noticeable – gap. It is very different to make $10,000 per month and earn $1,000,000 monthly. A significant difference exists between one person and someone who is not only dating, but is also married. A huge difference exists between someone who’s obese and one who is supermodel. This goes on and so forth.

And that gap brings about a lot of awkward feelings – even for those who still wish you well.

Success (in any endeavor) is by nature hard to reach, and achieving it automatically places you in a higher position – no matter how humble or friendly you might be. It would be easy for everyone to achieve it. And, since it might be something other people in your industry want but can’t get to, it makes sense that they feel a bit distant from you (as they feel like you are now above them), which breeds envy.

An envy is the desire to have something that someone else does not. Not everyone would feel envious about you – especially if they do not value, or want what you have. For instance, getting a Ph.D. may cause fellow students to feel a bit envious, but it won’t faze an athlete  – because having a Phd. This is not something that they desired or a landmark.

But, on the other hand, even people who do not need nor want what you have may still feel jealous over your success; not necessarily because you have succeeded, but because you have become “successful”.

You see, jealousy comes when they don’t want you to keep what you already have. A friend may begin to feel jealous because you now get to hang out more with other people (who are now in your new “higher” league) and less with him/her. You may get jealous from your family that you moved to big cities. And unhealthy friends may feel jealous that you now look more fit and visit the gym more often whilst spending less and less time in the bar and McDonalds…

Whether envy or jealous, they all happen because of your success, and they can’t be helped by those feeling them. In fact, if someone denies feeling a bit of those – i.e. if they deny not feeling a bit jealous or envious – chances are that they are lying to your face. As natural as anger or laughter, envy and jealousy can be.

When things become out of control, the problems only appear.

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth

Some people aren’t happy with your success

Envy and jealousy at toxic levels can lead to severe consequences. 

Jealousy or envy is popularly referred to as the “green-eyed monster” because it actually feels like another being emerging from inside. You need to have self-control, and the ability to think clearly in order for the green monster to be defeated. To transform envy and jealousy into motivation and drive, you need to have a higher level of personal growth.

There is a famous saying which goes, “There are two ways to build the tallest building in town: Build a taller building, or tear down all the other buildings around it.”. Most people will allow their jealousy (or their inability to do anything) to fester, but few will go to great lengths to ruin your party by throwing you under the bus, or even crash it altogether.

Some may attempt to minimize your successes, press your buttons, spreadrumors about your, connive and betray you. Others might even try to punish or withdraw from you. All of these actions can lead to chaotic results.

How do you handle it?

How do you deal with someone jealous?

Experiencing jealousy and envy are common in life – especially for those who are always looking to improve their lives – hence it is crucial that you know how to deal with jealous people (especially if they are family, friends, or colleagues). These are some simple ways I have found to deal with envy. 

  • Show compassion: Accept that it is a natural response that most people can’t help. Don’t feel disappointed by their jealousy. You can empathize and understand their feelings.
  • Don’t Take It Personal: If they might have said or done something out of jealousy, it is important to realize that it is not about you; rather it is about them – and their own insecurities.
  • Don’t Apologize: Don’t feel bad for succeeding. You can succeed. You can make a difference in the world and your life by being successful. If someone is lagging behind, it’s not your fault they’re behind. You have shown them it is possible, so they need to do the hard work.   
  • Don’t Attack: In most cases, the envious or jealous person cannot do much to you if you don’t dwell on them. It is better to ignore their attempts at triggering you.
  • Inspire them: You can become the bigger person by sincerely encouraging them – this is particularly important if the people who are jealous of you are under your leadership. Make friends not foes.

So when next you see someone acting out of envy or jealousy, don’t be quick to think they hate you. This is a normal part of being successful. This is one of the things that makes success exciting. It’s just another flavor to your life.

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