Jealousy and the Narcissist

Do you find yourself always being the one “taking” the photos and never in them?  Are you constantly on the defensive regarding who you speak to?  Do you get criticized mercilessly for how you act in public?  Or, have you ever noticed that when something good happens, you get very little (to no) kudos??

Narcissists are, by nature, jealous individuals.  They are only happy if they are the one in the spotlight – in the center of the photo, the life of the party, and the one with all the successes, personally and in business.  They have a very small tolerance for anyone else to be on the receiving end of admiration and will get angry if it happens often.

Because of this deficiency in their personality, narcissists are difficult people to befriend.  They will only ever show any interest in getting to know you if you offer them something in return.  This is called a “supply.”  If there is a way that you will benefit them – make them look good, professionally, or, you constantly offer them praise, they will keep you around for the ego boost that they need.  However, if they ever feel that your loyalty is faltering or you are no longer worthy of them, you will quickly and succinctly be fed to the wolves.

Jealousy can rear its ugly head from the smallest infraction; perhaps he was embarrassed because you didn’t pay him the proper amount of attention while out in public, or something much larger like you did not make a big deal about his promotion.  Maybe he’s jealous about something that someone else has or a job that he feels he is entitled to.  The narcissistic injury may result in the silent treatment, anger, yelling or it may turn physical if you’re unfortunate enough to be ensconced in a personal relationship.  Once the green monster is unleashed, anything is possible.

Something important to understand is that this person might be jealous of you!  Perhaps not situations one would think of in the classic sense but rather things that a healthy spouse would be happy about.  The possibilities are endless:

  • Jealous of the relationships you have and time spent with friends and family;
  • Jealous of any time you spend on your own self-care – going to the gym, getting your nails done, getting a massage, going to the hair salon;
  • Jealous of your career, accomplishments, and any friends you have made through work;
  • Jealous of your relationship with the children, even though they make no effort with those relationships;
  • Turn the table and call YOU jealous when you question their behavior – i.e., you comment on his flirting and he will immediately accuse you of jealousy

Behaviors you may experience if they are jealous of you:

  • They go through your phone but you are not allowed to go through theirs;
  • They cut you off from seeing friends and family – they may even be able to turn them against you;
  • They make false allegations about your behavior;
  • They blame you to establish and excuse their jealous controlling behaviors

Jealousy is all about control.  It is often used as a weapon to make you feel like you have done something wrong.  This is gaslighting, utilized as a delusional distraction to ruin parties, holidays, relationships, and life in general.  For example, at a party, they might say you were flirting when you were simply talking to a friend.  The seed is then planted to make you question yourself – was I flirting?  It will then be blown completely out of proportion to control you and make you feel like you need to defend yourself.  In fact, often when they accuse you of being jealous (or flirting, or whatever), it is typically a projection of what they are doing.

The gaslighting you may experience to explain away their jealousy:

  • I love you so much I couldn’t bear to lose you;
  • My ex cheated on me and I can’t go through that again so I will speak up when I see it happening;
  • I don’t want to talk about how you acted. It was inappropriate, all our friends saw you flirting and you embarrassed me.

Unfortunately, the jealousy will be a recurring cycle that will never be broken – unless a conscious effort is made to take the time and put in the work to separate yourself from the situation.  It will not be a quick turnaround and relapses will undoubtedly be had.  It’s a process but certainly, a goal that all of us should aspire to meet.

It is important when you do decide it is time for a change, to do proper research.  Find a therapist.    Educate yourself by reading articles and watching as many videos as you can get your hands on.  Read books that are dedicated to the narcissist relationship.  Join a support group. Talk to and get support (emotional and perhaps financial, if necessary) from friends and family.  You might be surprised to find others fighting a similar battle.

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