Types of Jealousy

Types of Jealousy

You might know it as the green-eyed monster or better yet, the psycho girlfriend disease.


We’ve all experienced jealousy at some point in our lives. I’m sure you’ve seen the levels of lunacy that jealousy can lead people to. Or maybe you were the jealous one at some point and you got to act psychotic for a while.


Jealousy can make otherwise sane people act completely insane.


But what are the different types of jealousy?


First, Get The Facts Right: What is Jealousy?


Jealousy is not envy. Many people confuse the two, but there is a distinct difference. Envy is wanting what someone else has. Your friend has a new iPhone and you wish you were the one having a new screen to crack. That pseudo-celebrity has a new private jet and you go to bed wanting to be the next Bow Wow. That’s envy.


On the other hand, jealousy involves people and relationships, not things. Jealousy is the fear of losing the affection or attention of someone to another person. You’re checking your girlfriend’s phone because you’re afraid she might have a side squeeze. You’re giving your friend the silent treatment because she hung out with other girls instead of you. That’s jealousy.


Now, some people say a little bit of jealousy is good for relationships. Apparently, jealousy makes you work harder to maintain your relationships.


You will get that contouring kit and sharpen those cheek bones to stay pretty for him. You will get the latest Prada heels and the Victoria Secret lingerie to keep him looking at you and only you. And that might improve the chances that he stays.


But then, of course, there’s the other end of the spectrum. No one wants to be suspected of cheating if they just breathe the same air that someone else breathes. And that’s what jealousy can lead to.


suspicious man, jealous look


As Many Different Types of Jealousy As There Are Relationships


The dynamics are always different. Each new person that enters your life brings along their own bag of emotions to chuck into your heart. The jealousy that you see in your friendship squad will be different from the one that made you drop your ex-boyfriend.


Each type of relationship prompts its own unique kind of jealousy. And sometimes there are different sub types of jealousy within the same kind of relationship.


Some types of jealousy, of course, receive more attention than others. Like this one:


1. Who’s Your Daddy — Romantic Jealousy


When you think of the word jealousy, you probably think of this kind. Cupid’s arrow is often laced with the green enemy.


Sometimes you’re just being paranoid. I mean, if he’s talking to the girl packing the cans of beans on aisle number three, he’s probably not cheating on you. He just wants to know where the tuna is.


If he liked a picture of a girl that has over 100 million followers on IG and looks like she’s had her body plucked and snatched seven different times, he’s probably not cheating on you. That’s just Kim Kardashian.


A lot of times being unnecessarily jealous can push your partner away. Nobody likes to be distrusted and suspected all the time.


Usually, when you’re being overly jealous for no reason at all, you’re projecting your own insecurities on your partner. You think you don’t deserve the love that your partner has for you, and that’s why you’re constantly afraid you’ll lose it to someone else.


Sometimes you have good reason to be worried. If your girlfriend cheated on her previous boyfriend (possibly with you) then I’ll give it to you. You have good reason to be suspicious. If you smell someone else’s cologne on her clothes, and she tells you that she just hugged her dad earlier, that was most probably her daddy not her dad. If she still has the Tinder app on her phone even though you’ve been dating for six months, you should probably pop the question: Are you cheating on me?


romantic jealousy, a couple kissing, and a third wheel


2. Who’s Your Daddy For Real — Parental Jealousy


Two otherwise good parents can start vying for the love of the kids.


The kids love mommy more than daddy. And daddy gets jealous. It happens.


Mom is a housewife and she gets to spend more time with the kids. When you come home, you’re so tired you hardly get to spend quality time with them. And when someone asks them who’s their favorite, mommy or daddy, they always say mommy. You get jealous.


She reminds you that you can’t expect any different. After all, she did grow them inside herself for nine months. She has a special bond with them. You love your wife, but you just can’t help wanting the kids to love you more.


You’re divorced parents. He has legal custody of the kids. And you don’t get to spend as much time with them. You see how they’re starting to show you less and less love when you visit. You start to feel jealous. Who knows, he might be poisoning them against you.


You are a step-parent. And you know they will never love and respect you as much as they do their real parents. You do your best to make them love you, but they don’t.


You’re a strong working woman. And the children get to spend more time with their caretaker than with you because you just can’t be around. You see how they show her more love than they do you. You see them look at her as if she was their real mom. And you start getting resentful.


parental jealousy, two parents and a child


3. Who’s Your Favorite Child — Sibling Jealousy


Parents will tell you they love all their kids equally. But a lot of times, that’s not even close to the truth. The kids notice it and start to compete for the love of the parents.


It starts when they’re young. You can see it when a new sister or brother joins the family. The older sibling sees that they’re not getting all the attention anymore, and they start acting out. In fact, jealousy is one of the earliest emotions seen in children.


Apparently, we don’t grow out of that jealousy. As children get older, they might still compare presents and lap time to gauge who is loved more. And they might consciously sabotage each other in their struggle to become the favorite child. You know you got something going on when you see your child break something on purpose and immediately point to their sibling and say, “He did it!”


When they’re older they might still compare successes. They might compete to get married first or to get the better degree or to see who’s the first to give mommy a grandchild. One might rush to pay off the mortgage and the other might retaliate by buying dad a new beach house.


Sometimes it’s the parents’ fault. There are some parents who I think would have been better off without the ability to have children. These are the parents that constantly compare kids. I met a girl once who told me her mother always asked her, “Why can’t you be as pretty as your sister?” And of course, the child ended up feeling jealous of her sister. Her self-esteem was shattered.


They may end up hating each other. Another girl once told me she believed her sister was the devil incarnate. When I spoke to her some more, I realized she only hated her sister because her sister always managed to cry her way into the parents’ hearts.


two siblings, sibling jealousy


4. Who’s Your BFF – Friendship Jealousy


I think every time a butterfly flaps its wings, another girl starts feeling jealous of the new kid her BFF is hanging out with. Jealousy in friendships is almost as common as Cupid’s jealousy but Cupid is a cute chubby kid so he gets all the attention.


You see it especially in squads and cliques.  In the Taylor Swift-like friendship groups, there are always twisted dynamics. The day they find water on Jupiter will be the day you find a group of friends that “love each other equally.” There’s always someone who is the ringleader, and the rest either compete to be the ringleader’s favorite or to become the ringleader themselves.


Have you ever met a group of friends and immediately felt the tension between them? I’ve seen it way too many times and always wish I could just take a needle and pop that tension.


Two best friends might be jealous of outsiders. If your best friend gets a new boyfriend and now no longer has time for you, you might find yourself feeling jealous of her new man. You might even get sassy or resentful towards him.


Sometimes, you find yourself feeling jealous of less threatening third parties. You might have seen your best friend having lunch with some other random girl and you start to feel some type of way.


5. Who’s Getting That Promo — Workplace Jealousy


At the workplace, you can find one of two types of jealousy:


Coworkers can compete to be the boss’s favorite.  And sometimes people have quite interesting ways to compete for the “favorite employee” award. If they are female, and the boss is a straight male, you might see them pulling that shirt just a little further down. More cleavage to be seen. Better chances of winning the boss’s heart.


Sometimes, they might be a tad less petty. They might bring the boss his favorite donuts every Friday, a birthday present here, a card there.


Sometimes coworkers want to be the favorite among other coworkers. Have you ever had a coworker go around promising everyone, “If you ever need help with anything just ask me?” And then the minute you ask someone else for help instead of them, they come up to you and show you how the other person was actually wrong and you should have asked them instead. If jealousy was always so clearly shown.


At least this is one of the few types of jealousy that can be beneficial. It might get you somewhere career wise.


workplace jealousy, two female workers in office


6. Who’s Your Pet — Student Jealousy


Have you ever seen somebody kiss up to the teacher so badly, that you were just like, “Oh my God, I wish we could exchange bodies just so you see how ridiculous you look?” I’ve had that way too many times.


There’s that kid that always has her hand like Lady Liberty in the class. The one that’s always ready to answer every single question. And then the minute someone else raises their hand and answers, Lady Liberty gets jealous. She wants to be the only apple of the teacher’s eye.  So she raises her hand right after the other kid and says, “Ma’am I just want to say, it’s supposed to based on not based off as Matt said,” even though they’re in biology, not English.


Sometimes it gets so bad, that they resort to buying the teacher presents just so they can stay the teacher’s pet. “Ma’am I just saw this scarf in the shop yesterday and I thought it might look really good with your red blazer.”


She’s not going to give you a higher grade just because — you know what, some teachers actually will so go ahead, sweetheart. Get that A.


Another winner in the types of jealousy.


7. Who’s The Better Human — Strangers’ Jealousy


Did you know that strangers can sometimes compete to get the “better human” title from you? Apparently, they can. I experienced this when I went to South Africa earlier this year.


I was renting a cabin in this other family’s house, and they were literally competing to see who I would consider the most helpful. Me being a complete stranger to them.


While the one was inviting me for tea in the main house, the other bringing me a boiling kettle and tea leaves and telling the first one, “No she wants to rest clearly. Here’s some tea for you. You can drink it right here in your own comfort.” One was bringing me and extra throw for my couch while the other one was saying, “This one is prettier, Nelu. Take this one instead.”


I was like, “Umh… okay.”


Now, why would they want to fight for the affection of a complete stranger? Why were they letting the tension in their own relationship play out on me? Sherlock Holmes, resurrect please and figure that one out.


stranger jealousy, helping, holding hand


In all the types of jealousy, this one wins the “Most Amusing” award for me.


What are the other types of jealousy?


I’ve managed to come up with seven, but what other types of jealousy you can think of? Which ones have I missed? Which ones have you experienced in your own daily life?


Put it all in the comments below.





84 thoughts on “Types of Jealousy”

  • Wow, this article defining put some things into perspective for me. I had always attached jealousy with relationships as well as things so I appreciated that at the beginning of your post you spent the time to define the word so that everyone was on the same page moving forward.

    • I just thought it would be best to clarify things first so we all know what we’re talking about, yeah. Thanks for noticing my efforts & for reading!

  • I have never actually thought about jealousy and how many different types of it there are. But it does make sense, some are natural while some are raised out of fear i guess.

  • You’re right, jealousy is based on experience and does come in different types. I truly believe there’s no such thing as a ‘jealous person’ because it’s all down to the different situations when you feel jealous – like how you’ve listed. Definitely some food for thought in this post!

  • Wow what a list, there are so many types of jealousy out there, we have a problem with one of the boys who thinks Dad loves the other more than him, which is totally not true and he knows it really but he still mentions it at times x

  • Great post. MY children are very fickle and say they prefer one parent to the other to wind us up and make us jealous, luckily we do not fall for it!

  • Very insightful post, I had no idea at the depth of levels jealousy had. You’re right we have all encountered it at some point. However I do feel some people are able to let go of it more than others.

    • Exactly. Like with other emotions, some people are more prone to it than others. Thanks for reading, Amit!

  • This is a really well-written article! It really drew me in and although the info was nothing I hadn’t heard before I really enjoyed reading it.

  • This is a very informative post. Very well written! I personally think jealousy is a result of not being confident in one’s self and the relationship they are in. Trust is a big factor too. If that trust is not in a relationship, jealousy will always be a cause of arguments.

    • Confidence is a big factor. When we’re jealous of people we’re often projecting our insecurities on them. Thanks for reading!

  • This is so interesting, especially the definition and differences between jealousy and envy . I had never thought of them as being defined as something separate! also the amount of different types of jealousy is also incredibly fascinating – I can relate to the sibling jealousy seen as I’m a triplet – so the three of us were always competing with each other! Thanks for sharing this post!

    • You’re a triplet? That’s so cool. And I’m glad you could relate to the post. Thanks for stopping by, Jade!

  • Omg, interesting read. All of these are at least happened to me except the sibling jealousy as my family members are all like best friends. Made me laugh too, kinda embarrased now that I think about it.

  • Reading through this has really made me think about whether my feelings are jealousy and why I am jealous. Thanks for the perspective.

  • I’ve definately experienced the friendship jealousy and I still do today. Back at secondary school it was always me and two other friends. We were always together. I always used to get jealous when they would do things together without me. We haven’t done things together for years. And I still feel a bit jealous if they do something together! I don’t even know why, we are adults now!

  • Great post. I have experience BFF jealousy and it was horrible to have your friends fight over who is the true BFF. One says because they’ve known you longer, the ther says because they know you better. Can’t they both be right? Why must I choose one, and why should I have too? Jealousy is such a scary thing to experience because it can make a person irrational very quickly. My ex went to great lengths to ruin my reputation, just because I chose not to be with him any longer. What a great way to show love. It amazes me when people do this and expect the person they’ve humiliated to come back to them. This must be some type of chemical imbalance. Thanks for sharing

    • Yeah, jealousy is really bad for relationships. I usually think that friendships are a little more immune, but apparently not. And it seems like your ex was just immature. You’re lucky you got rid of him 😉

  • Human nature can be such a funny and complex thing. Jealousy is not the best trait but we all feel this way from time to time, probably based on our our fear of missing out. This is certainly a pretty comprehensive list and description and I agree that stranger’s jealousy would be the most amusing of all of them!

    • Jealousy can ruin relationships for sure. And yes, that is a good thing. Thanks for reading, Angela!

  • i experienced sibiling feud, rivarly in my life and till this day i feel like that. i don’t want to get too personal, but sometimes i feel like a outsider majority of the time.

    • Many of us feel that way at some point. Just don’t let it affect your self-esteem or confidence. Best of luck!

  • Great food for thought. I’ve never thought about the difference between jealousy and envy before. Nor had I realized there were different types of jealousy as well. It sounds like no matter when we feel it coming on, that how we respond to it is truly what matters

  • sounds really petty but my parner and I get jealous about who the dog loves most – we both try and get the dogs attention and affection.

    • Oh that’s one I didn’t think about! Thanks for sharing, Gemma. I hope the jealousy doesn’t get too serious though. Best of luck!

    • There is a difference, even though we always confuse the two words. And yeah, everyone feels jealous every once in a while but how you handle it makes all the difference. Let it make you better, not bitter.

    • That’s the positive way to deal with jealousy. But a lot of times, people let it affect their relationships. Thanks for reading, Shan!

  • What an awesome post and this is so Interesting. Sometimes I get jealous of my husband friends or workmate I always think that his friends was the most important than me.

    • Exactly. Mostly, you’re projecting your own insecurities on other people. Thanks for stopping by, Nayna!

    • Someone mentioned animal/pet jealousy which I missed. Oops! Haha, I tried to be as inclusive as possible. Thanks for reading!

  • There really are so many different types of jealousy. I think that if you let it, it can really ruin your relationships.

  • A lot of people get jealousy mixed up with envy. I think my mummy suffers more with the latter. Thanks for listing the different types and I hope this post helps someone identify and move on x

  • Jealousy is a natural instinct – originally needed to alert prehistoric humans to the danger of their mates being stolen – but it’s just not needed so much in the modern world. Small amounts can inspire and drive us forward, but large amounts can hold us back; the trick is finding that right balance! x

  • I always hated “that kid” in the classroom. Always kissing up and always loved more than the other. Conversely, being an athlete most of my life I saw the same thing in sports. “That guy” who isn’t the most talented but a good “locker room presence” so he sometimes gets more play time than more worthy teammates.

    • They are annoying!!! No offense. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks that. Thanks for stopping by.

  • i can easily say i haven’t really been jealous of anything since i was a kid – i just enjoy following my own thing and i think as a result of those early feelings growing up

  • This is such a well written post & you have explained the different factors that come with jealousy amazingly! We all have our demons are we all battle with them everyday! Jealousy didn’t use to be on of my monsters but since being in a relationship the green eyed monster in me has grown! I have learnt to control her but she still niggles away at my mind.


  • A lot of people would say that jealousy is toxic but I think it’s just part of being human. Although there are times wherein people would take it so far as to ruin something good. It’s all about balancing it all out. Getting the peace of mind that you need from your partner or whoever is in question is important.

  • I’d like to think I wasn’t the jealous type, but there have been a few times my other half has been sat texting someone ALL night, and I’ve resented it and wished he’d spend more time paying me attention. I’m sure he feels the same way about all the attention the kids get from me though!

    Louise x

  • You definitely hit it spot on when you stated that jealousy is not necessarily envy. There are so many types of jealousy. I know that we have all felt at last one or more.

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