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​How to Deal With Jealous Family Members

by Kyla Cruz

Jealousy is a powerful emotion that can cause significant distress in any relationship, especially within families.

When a family member feels jealous, it can create tension, and conflict, and even lead to a breakdown in communication. Whether it's a sibling, parent, or in-law, dealing with jealousy in a family can be challenging.


In this article, we'll explore effective strategies for dealing with jealous family members and maintaining healthy relationships within your family. From setting boundaries to practicing empathy, we'll provide practical tips for navigating jealousy and fostering a more positive family dynamic.


According to Psychology Today, “A little jealousy in a romantic relationship is undoubtedly natural. We feel jealous in such moments because of our sense that a cherished connection we have with another person is threatened.” However, with platonic relationships or family dynamics, it is different—this is often rooted in insecurity. Insecurity is the most common source of jealousy.


Another thing to consider is envy. While both terms can be used, envy pertains more to situations or qualities, (i.e., the quality or situation over which I am feeling envious…) For example, a friend who bought a new car or a family member who bought a new house or had children while another family member is waiting or cannot have children. Either way, you want to do a few things to help maintain your peace.


One may feel immediate anger towards a person who shows envy or jealousy towards their relationship or a person they communicate with. However, it's important to practice empathy. According to Ahmed Faisel, "understanding the reasons behind their jealousy and showing compassion may help alleviate their negative feelings and prevent any unwanted interference." Although it may be easier said than done, forgiving and letting go is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your relationship.


Omar Hassan added, “Instead, focus on building a positive relationship with your family member. Show them that you are there for them and that you care about them. It is important to remember that you cannot control how another person feels or behaves.”


SOCIAL MEDIA

It may not be discussed enough but according to one of our readers, social media fueled the jealously in her family. “As you know we do not often post about failures online, we post the positive things. I was at one point going through a very hard time; I couldn’t afford my rent or pay my bills and so I ended up creating profiles on websites like FeetFinder and OnlyFans to earn some extra income.


Things I know for a fact members of my family would have frowned upon had they known. But through those two platforms, I was able to earn extra income and take myself out of debt and buy things I want. Now, I have a cousin who hates me and an aunt who encourages it,” says Andrea Martin, a 23-year-old subscriber from Dayton, Ohio. “Dealing with this is hurtful because sometimes people will be jealous of you without knowing what is going on behind closed doors. And more importantly, without communicating with you first.”


We thank Andrea for sharing her story.


While jealousy among family members can be a challenging issue, there are some solutions, Hanif from EcosGuide tells us:

BE ASSERTIVE: Set boundaries and stand up for yourself. Being assertive and communicating in a calm tone can send a powerful message, and let jealous family members know that such behavior will not be tolerated.


CONSIDER THERAPY: If the jealousy is stemming from deeper emotional and mental issues, it may be best to encourage your family member to seek professional help. Therapy can help them process their emotions and move toward a healthier mindset.


LISTEN: Listen to your family member’s concerns and try to understand their perspective. Sometimes just listening and showing empathy can de-escalate the situation.



LIVING TOGETHER

What if you’re living with a jealous family member? Going no contact with him or her could be a possibility—this is not only good for romantic relationships. Verbal distance between you and the other party can also do wonders to improve your relationship. If the family member is jealous, perhaps it’s because you speak highly of the things going on in your life daily or often. Sadly, this may come across as dimming your light to make someone else happy, but in the long run, you’ll thank yourself.


Dealing with jealousy is more than just someone feeling discontentment. It can energetically impact you as well. "Take a step back as being there all the time is not a good idea, and do not feel guilty. It's easy to feel bad when you are just trying to protect yourself and your peace, but you have to look at the situation from all angles to get a better understanding of why it could be happening," Relationship Expert Sameera Sullivan said.


Overall, do not allow their feelings to consume you. Myra Baralvi advises that “chances are it’s not about what you have, it’s about what they don’t have." If no contact is not an option, "it may be necessary to have a frank conversation with them about how their behavior is affecting you. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and avoid attacking or blaming them."

Related articles: Signs of Unhealthy Jealousy


Lastly, Dr. Brandon Santan reminds us that “jealousy is a complex emotion and often has more to do with the other person and their insecurities than your actions or accomplishments. Try not to take it personally, and instead focus on finding a solution that works for everyone involved.”


We hope this article has been helpful, and if it has, please share it with someone else who may need this information.

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