“I would rather drown myself in the waters of the Sabarmati than harbour hate or animosity in my heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The powerful quote above should warn us about the dangers of holding onto hate and resentment. Feeling jealous or disliking someone only brings you down, so why put yourself through that misery? Nothing good ever comes from bottling up feelings, especially hateful ones. Negative emotions lower one’s vitality, while positive feelings such as love and kindness raise it.

All of us should strive to feel universal compassion and understanding for humankind because, without a shred of generosity in our hearts, humanity could not exist. However, some people seem to thrive on bringing others down, unfortunately. Perhaps you encounter someone in your life who you suspect doesn’t like you for whatever reason. If they display any of the signs listed below, they may have hidden jealousy of you.

Here are 15 red flags that someone feels secret animosity towards you:


  1. They have closed off body language.

Experts say that people who secretly dislike you or aren’t interested may show the following red flags:

  • pointing their feet away from you
  • avoiding eye contact
  • crossing their arms (though that could be a self-comforting technique, according to ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro)
  • their pupils constrict
  • they shift their jaw a lot
  • they touch their neck, especially the base at the front of the neck, often
  • their reactions seem forced or disinterested
  1. Their smile or laugh seems forced around you.

Another sign of secret hatred or jealousy forced happy emotions could mean that they have something to hide. For example, if you’ve just gotten a raise at work and told someone close to you, they most likely would feel thrilled and excited for you. However, a person harboring resentment may feign smiles just to appease you, but you don’t feel authenticity from their reaction.

Of course, they might just suffer from depression, causing them to have to fake smiles around people. Most of the time, though, you can tell when someone doesn’t have good intentions with you.

  1. They give compliments that seem insincere.

A person who harbors secret jealousy may give you compliments, but they add snide remarks or brag about themselves afterward. Their compliments never seem to come from a place of genuine kindness or love, instead of having an air of passive aggression about them. If someone praises you regularly, they might have a secret plan and just want to get on your right side. Be wary of these types of people, as many narcissists have a charming, friendly nature in the beginning.

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  1. If someone feels animosity toward you, they’ll downplay your achievements.

Do you know someone who always undercuts your accomplishments? For example, maybe you lost a lot of weight recently and wanted to share your success with your friends. Instead of congratulating you, they might’ve said something like, “I lost X more pounds than that last year.” No matter what you achieve, they will always find a way to downplay it.

  1. They brag a lot around you.

Expanding on the point above, people who have secret animosity toward you will find a way to dominate any conversation. Every time you bring up something you feel proud of yourself for, they’ll switch it around and make it about them. When you’re around them, you may find that you can’t get a word in edgewise because they always talk about themselves and their achievements.

People who do this feel jealous of you and only brag because they have to defend their ego. Don’t give in to their mind games; simply remain humble and try to distance yourself, if possible.

  1. They seem happy when you fail.

Someone who harbors jealousy toward you will only seem happy when your life isn’t going well. If you notice that they seem joyful when things take a turn for the worse, you might find that you have an energy vampire on your hands. These types of people feed off people’s negative energy and have low vibration. Because they don’t like their own lives, they only seem to come around when your own life is in shambles.

  1. Your friends tell you they’ve been gossiping behind your back.

You hear rumors that they’ve been talking about you when you’re not around. Someone who holds feelings of animosity toward you will gossip about you any chance they get, and won’t care if it hurts your feelings. They would never have the courage to tell you directly to your face, though, because they need your friendship to feed their fragile, damaged ego.

  1. This person never seems truly happy for you.

If a person never seems happy for you, they probably dislike you or feel jealousy toward you. Sadly, even if you talk about it with them, they will likely not change because the issue lies within themselves. People who bring others down have a problem deep inside themselves that they won’t address, instead of causing havoc and destruction in anyone who crosses their path.

  1. They always want to get a rise out of you.

Does this person seem to get off on making you angry or irritated? Do they purposely bring up sore subjects just to get a reaction out of you? If you find that this person loves to stir the pot and often says things to upset you, they probably feel hidden jealousy toward you.

  1. They get passive-aggressive with you.

If someone doesn’t like you, they may harbor a lot of resentment because of pent up feelings. Therefore, if an issue comes up that you need to talk about with them, they may just shut down and not communicate with you. Passive aggressiveness is a very immature, manipulative tactic used by people to get their way when they feel threatened or undermined. Don’t give in to this type of behavior, especially if you’ve done nothing wrong.

passive aggressive

  1. If someone feels jealous of you, they’ll talk about themselves a lot.

Because they secretly feel threatened by you, they want to take the attention off you and put themselves in the spotlight. If you’ve recently accomplished something huge in your life, such as landing a new job or starting a business, they will try to one-up you in any way they can. Nothing you do ever seems good enough in their eyes, but they have low self-esteem and take it out on you.

  1. You just feel in your gut that something is off.

If your gut tells you that you shouldn’t trust them or you feel on edge around them, you should listen to your instincts. You can tell within a few seconds of being around someone if you match with their energy because you’ll pick up on their vibes. Feeling anxious or depressed around someone for no reason may indicate that you have picked up on their evil intentions.

  1. If you try to talk to them about it, they flip out on you.

If you try to have a mature conversation with them about how they’ve been behaving, and they deny it or try to gaslight you, then you’ve probably hit a nerve with them. A person who feels guilty about their behaviors or actions will usually try to shift blame or react passive-aggressively. You might not be able to break through to them, but if they don’t come around, take it as a warning from the universe that you should move on from the relationship or friendship.

  1. They make a lot of “jokes” about you around friends or coworkers.

Do they make snarky remarks around your friends about you? We all know when someone is just playing with us or when they mean what they say. If it seems like they make distasteful or hurtful “jokes” about you every time you see them, they probably have intense animosity toward you. Sometimes people display it in covert ways, such as covering up their feelings with sarcastic jokes or rude comments.

  1. They never truly listen to you, and you don’t feel comfortable opening up to them.

Does it feel like they’re in a different world when you talk to them? Or, does it feel like pulling teeth when you want to talk about something important? If you feel like they’re not interested in conversations with you, they might have animosity toward you.

Final thoughts on signs someone feels animosity about you.

Sometimes, we don’t catch it when people dislike us because they won’t come right out and say it. You may even have a close friend in your life who you get weird vibes from, but you can’t put your finger on the problem. Unfortunately, some people choose to stay in our lives just to use us or make themselves feel better by putting us down.

If you notice any of the red flags above in people in your life, make sure to set clear boundaries with them. You should surround yourself with those who lift you and inspire you, not those with secret agendas who don’t care about your well-being.