13 signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks (and what to do about it)

Jealousy sucks.

It uses up so much time and energy figuring out why someone is jealous and how to respond.

One of the shallowest reasons to be envious is because of somebody else’s looks.

Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common reasons for somebody to be jealous.

This article will help you figure out if somebody is jealous of you for your handsome or beautiful appearance.

13 signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks (and what to do about it)

1) They pepper you with fake praise

One of the biggest signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks is that they shower you with fake compliments.

They tell you how they like your new bag with a slight roll of their eyes, or they praise your new hair color by saying “where did you get that done? Quite the statement!” with an edge of sarcasm.

Fake compliments are hard to call out, because there’s usually nothing outwardly “wrong” with them.

It’s also key to note that fake praise is sometimes more about how someone delivers a compliment than what they say.

As Vanessa Van Edwards writes:

“It doesn’t matter what you say, but how you say it.

“Sounds obvious, right?

“But picture someone saying the following phrase—first with an excited voice and then with a bored one: ‘You look so beautiful.’”

2) They copy your style and looks

If you’re looking for signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks then look no further than imitation.

When somebody wants to have a similar appearance to you, it means they look up to your appearance and the way you dress and accessorize.

This can be taken in a positive or negative way – or both.

At the end of the day, it’s flattering that somebody looks up to you enough to dress (and even talk) like you.

But it can also become toxic and creepy.

After all, unless you’re a professional style consultant or designer, you never signed up to be a model in your daily life.

3) They give you awful fashion advice

This is the mean version of the previous tip.

Sometimes when someone is secretly jealous of your looks, they try to sabotage your style.

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They may tell you that a certain dress looks amazing when in fact it looks bulky and awkward.

Or they may praise your new cargo shorts that actually look like you’re auditioning for the world’s biggest douchebag.

The most common way is to praise clothing that’s objectively nice but doesn’t actually suit you.

“Style is like that in a sense.

“Anyone can wear the same type of clothing just like anyone can pretend to be James Bond. But not everybody can succeed – and send the right message – with that item,” advises Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style.

Since the secretly jealous person can’t make you look less good, they do what they can, which is to undermine your style.

4) They take joy in your bad hair days

One of the weirdest signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks is that they may seem a little happy when you’re down.

Your bad hair day is a day of joy for them.

This can be hard to notice at first, but you will likely see it if you look carefully.

Even the best-looking of us have days when we just look like sh*t. For those who envy good looks, those are their good days.

Taking joy in other people’s misfortune is called schadenfreude.

As Nathaniel Lee and Jessica Orwig write:

“Whether it’s laughing at fail videos or relishing those times when a rival sports team lost the big game, we all enjoy watching others’ misfortunes…

“It sounds twisted — and it is. Even more than you might think.

“Schadenfreude is nothing new.

“Chances are it’s been hardwired into our way of thinking for millions of years.”

5) They accuse you of unfair advantages due to your looks

Another of the top signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks is that they accuse you of gaining unfair advantages because of them.

Whether it’s a job, a relationship, or getting out of a speeding ticket, the jokes keep coming about how your looks are your secret weapon.

Are these just jokes or is there a hint of jealousy underneath them?

Usually, it’s the latter.

After all, unless you yourself have been talking about your appearance a lot then there’s no real reason for it to be the focus of any interaction.

Someone else’s choice to focus on your appearance is a strong indicator that they’re fixated on your looks for some reason and are feeling envious of them.

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6) They complain about you having romantic success due to your appearance

Related to the last point, often secret envy pops up around romantic success.

If you’re generally considered “good looking” and have had luck in love, the envious person may write this off as being due to your physical appearance.

This will often come up in discussions about romance and relationships.

“Yes, well you know, with you it’s obviously different, I mean you’re like a supermodel,” they might say…

Or they might just come straight out with something like:

“Honestly it’s just so much easier for good-looking people to get what they want in dating.”

This hurts, because it reduces you down to your looks.

7) They try to make you look shallow in front of friends

Reducing you down to your looks leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

What’s even worse is when it happens in front of your friends.

The reason that envious people do this is to magnify their put-downs.

Getting undermined one-on-one sucks, but in front of a group of your friends is even more devastating, especially if it’s jokes about your looks.

For example, the jealous person may joke that you’re such a “perfect Barbie” or “Mr. Muscle man.”

It makes you want to disappear.

As counsellor F. Diane Barth observes:

“A common response to being humiliated is to want to hide, to sink into the ground, or to disappear.”

8) They gossip about you

Gossip can be extremely destructive.

Sometimes it comes from the places you least expect, and sometimes it’s motivated by simple jealousy over your looks.

It’s sad when this happens, but unfortunately, even our closest friends can sometimes be the source of gossip about us.

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It can also happen that a secretly envious person barely realizes that they resent our looks and acts out of subconscious motives.

“Even your closest friend is only human.

“When they see you doing your thing and genuinely enjoying the perks of a happy, successful life, envy overcomes them. It happens,” writes Christine Keller.

9) They tell you that you could never understand their struggles

This is one of the most hurtful signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks.

They tell you that you could never understand their struggles because of your appearance.

Honestly, maybe there’s a certain part of this which is true.

Being ugly isn’t easy, and you can’t truly know what it’s like to feel that you look bad and walk through life that way unless you’ve been there.

At the same time, there are probably many struggles of this secretly envious person which you as a “good looking person” would understand.

It’s their loss that they can’t see this…

10) They see the world through a beautiful vs. ugly lens

Another of the top signs someone is secretly jealous of your looks is that they judge everything by beautiful vs. ugly.

Cars, restaurants, clothing, furniture, hats, landscaping, everything is either beautiful or ugly.

That same lens extends to the people you come across, for whom their appearance seems to be the main metric of value judgments.

The thing is that this is a very shallow way to see the world.

The truth is that being physically beautiful or handsome isn’t all good.

As David Robson’s fascinating report for BBC shows, good-looking people actually face a unique set of challenges that others may not consider.

This includes sexism in the workplace and medical inequality:

“While attractive men may be considered better leaders, for instance, implicit sexist prejudices can work against attractive women, making them less likely to be hired for high-level jobs that require authority…

“More worryingly, being beautiful or handsome could harm your medical care.

“We tend to link good looks to health, meaning that illnesses are often taken less seriously when they affect the good-looking.”

11) They guilt you by lamenting their own looks

Another one of those things that people do when they secretly resent your attractive appearance is complain about theirs.

They just can’t catch a break with their skin, their hair, or their ugly nose.

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And they want you to know about it.

The implication will be very clear: you look great, so you wouldn’t get what it’s like to look awful.

12) They tell you dieting and skincare is unfairly easy for you

How do they know what’s easy for you or not?

Unless you’ve told them, how does this person even know whether you’re dieting or doing a skincare regime?

This is just another way of undercutting you based on your appearance and implying that it’s easy for you to look good.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

13) They’re full of catty comments about how you look

Catty comments are the calling card of the individual who’s secretly jealous of your looks.

They give you disingenuous or partly sarcastic compliments that just rub you the wrong way.

Like I mentioned in the first point, these can be very hard to stand up to because there’s nothing noticeably “bad” about them on the surface.

But the feeling they leave you with is obvious: feeling undermined and resented in some way.

It’s important to retain your own mental and emotional frame here and not give in to the negativity of others.

As Amy Morin notes:

“Allowing others to control the way you think, feel, or behave gives them power over you.

“And you certainly don’t want to let negative, snarky comments to influence how you feel about yourself or what type of day you’re going to have..”

What should you do if someone is jealous of your looks?

The following four tips are suggested responses for what to do if someone is jealous of your looks.

1) Try to understand them

Understanding can often be the key that opens the door to resolution.

Do your best to uncover the roots of the jealous individual’s feelings.

Try to empathize with the experiences and struggles that led to them putting so much importance on physical looks.

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You may find that you can relate in some ways as well.

2) Open up about your challenges

Another one of the best things you can do if someone is secretly jealous of your looks is to open up about your own life challenges.

You can preface this with a comment about your looks as well, maybe something like:

“Even though some people think it’s easy for me to get what I want in life ‘cause of my appearance, I actually grew up in a really abusive household…”

Opening up in this way can be hard due to the vulnerability, but it can go a very long way to building bridges with the envious person and showing them that your life is not just what they might imagine on the glossy surface.

3) Boost them up

Someone who envies others based on their looks almost always has low self-esteem and poor self-image.

Whether or not they’re objectively good or bad looking, they have decided that something about their appearance is insufficient or unattractive and it eats them up inside.

By complimenting their appearance, style, or even superficial things like their nails or hair, you can go a long way to healing this hurt of theirs.

4) Call them out on it

If someone’s behavior is becoming too much and none of the above steps have done anything to improve things, then you may have to call them out on it.

Tell them that there’s more to life than good looks. Tell them you don’t feel comfortable being seen in such a simplistic way.

Tell them that you would like to be treated with more respect.

The truth about physical beauty

Physical beauty is real and cultures around the world have praised and noted it in many different ways and by many different standards.

If you exemplify the standards of beauty and handsomeness in your culture it can be both a blessing and a curse.

If somebody is jealous of your looks it is their own issue, not yours.

By following the above steps, you can ensure that things don’t get out of hand.

But at the end of the day, anybody who chooses to focus too much on jealousy or celebration of physical looks will have their reward when time takes its toll.

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