How Do You Deal With a Jealous Brother? Here’s What I Personally Did

Ever feel like you’re winning at life, but your younger sibling just can’t seem to be happy for you? I know how that feels.

Growing up, our (let’s just say, very narcissistic) mom showered my brother with praise and convinced him he’d be a superstar. Meanwhile, I got stuck being the scapegoat.

Fast forward a few years, and guess who’s actually doing well? This awkward and so-called loser middle child!

But instead of celebrating with me, my brother seems, well, feeling envious.

Sound familiar? How do you deal with a jealous brother when your family dynamic threw fuel on that fire in the first place?

Below, I’ll share with you what worked for me and how I moved forward positively despite the cards I’ve been dealt with.

  • Talk to your brother openly and honestly about his jealousy. Let him know you want to understand and see if there’s anything you can do to support him.
  • Focus on what you can control. Set healthy boundaries to protect your well-being.
  • Prioritize your happiness. While you can’t control your brother’s feelings, you can focus on living your best life.

15 Powerful Ways on How Do You Deal With a Jealous Brother

Building a healthy relationship with a jealous sibling can be complicated.

As an older sister who believes in second chances, I tried various approaches before realizing some people just can’t change.

But that’s my experience. It doesn’t mean the same will happen to you.

If you don’t want to be dragged down by his negativity, here are my powerful ways to deal with your brother and his feelings of envy:

1. Communicate Openly and Honestly With Your Brother

The best way to deal with jealous and toxic siblings is to talk to them openly and honestly.

I know from experience that sibling dynamics can be tricky, but it becomes even more complicated when jealousy comes into play.

Before you write your brother off completely, let him know you want to address the elephant in the room – his negativity towards your success.

In my case, I framed it as me wanting a better relationship, not rubbing my achievements in his face.

I reminded him that we have different choices and paths, and maybe by understanding each other better, we can build a stronger relationship.

2. Empathize With Your Brother’s Feelings

It’s easy to get frustrated when your adult sibling is jealous of your success. But sometimes, putting yourself in their shoes can help.

With my brother, I told him maybe he feels like our mom’s favoritism messed with his confidence, or maybe he’s just struggling to find his path.

Whatever it is, a little empathy goes a long way. So, try to find ways to empathize with what he feels.

For example, let your sibling know you see his struggles and don’t feel bad about your success. Who knows? It might inspire him to chase his dreams!

3. Set Clear Boundaries for a Healthy Relationship

It’s unfair for you to constantly walk on eggshells because of your brother’s bad behavior. However, letting his jealousy dictate your life won’t help anyone.

So, set healthy boundaries and protect your peace of mind.

Maybe certain topics trigger his envy, or maybe he needs space when he’s feeling down. Talk it out and figure out what works for both of you.

4. Invest in Quality Time With Your Brother

Now, I’m not saying you have to force a best-friend bond with your brother, but sometimes quality time can work wonders for sibling relationships.

Maybe grab dinner and reminisce about the good times you actually had together.

It might surprise you both how much you still have in common, even with the jealous stuff clouding things. You might even manage a few laughs!


Quality time doesn’t have to be forced. Just make sure you focus on the present. You might even find that you get along better now than before.

5. Recognize and Highlight Your Brother’s Strengths

Jealousy often comes when you feel insecure about yourself. To make him feel better about himself, acknowledge his strengths and accomplishments.

It might sound cheesy, but a little recognition can show him you see his value, even if you’re both successful in different ways.

6. Consciously Avoid Making Comparisons

I know you might be tempted to brag about your achievements, especially when your brother seems jealous.

But trust me, that rivalry stuff only fuels your sibling’s jealousy. So, avoid comparing yourselves. Your successes are yours, and his are his.

Instead, celebrate each other’s wins. It might feel weird at first, but it can positively shift the dynamic.

7. Seek Support From Other Family Members

Before my brother, it was my jealous sister who drove me crazy. But venting to supportive people, including my cousins, helped me a lot.

They won’t necessarily solve the problem with your brother. Instead, they can listen and validate your feelings and empower you to move forward in a healthy way.

8. Encourage Your Brother to Pursue His Own Interests

Maybe your brother’s jealousy stems from a lack of direction in his own life.

Encourage him to take some time to explore his interests! Maybe there’s a hidden passion waiting to be discovered.

Supporting his personal growth can be a win-win for both of you, boosting his confidence and overall wellness and hopefully easing the envy.


Help him find his spark! Explore hobbies together or suggest activities related to his interests.

9. Reassure Him That He’s Capable of Achieving Good Things

Even with my mother’s constant praises, deep down, I knew my brother doubted himself. So, in my attempt to help him, I reminded him of his talent.

No idea how to do this? You can say something like, “Hey, you’re really good at [insert specific skill]. Maybe you should focus more on that?”

A genuine reminder of his capabilities can spark motivation and hopefully chip away at that jealous chip on his shoulder.

10. Practice Patience in Your Interactions

I understand how frustrating it can be when your brother makes snide remarks or brings down the mood. But patience is key here.

Don’t rise to the bait in those moments. When things get heated in a convo, take a step back.

Certain things just aren’t worth the extra negativity in your life. Focus on keeping your cool and the animosity might eventually ease up.

11. Ask Him if It’s OK to Offer Him Constructive Feedback When Necessary

If you think some constructive criticism could help your brother,  ask him first if it’s okay.  Maybe there’s a blind spot he’s unaware of.

The key here is coming from a place of support, not malice. Phrase it as wanting him to succeed, not trying to override his ideas or choices.

A genuine desire to help him improve can actually boost his sense of pride.

12. Encourage Him to Be Independent

Is your brother overly reliant on others? My brother was, so I tried encouraging him to be more independent.

Sometimes, a little tough love can be a good thing. Don’t be afraid to say things like, “I believe in you. You can handle this on your own.”

This might make them feel challenged at first. But the more he experiences the satisfaction of personal achievement, the less he might feel overshadowed by your success.

13. Celebrate Your Brother’s Achievements Wholeheartedly

One thing I learned dealing with my jealous brother is that when a person feels seen and supported, their jealousy can lessen.

So, no matter how big or small the win, find the time to tell your sibling how proud you are of him.

It might surprise you, but sometimes a simple, “Hey, that’s awesome!” can really shift the dynamic in a positive direction.

14. Bring in a Trusted Family Member to Help if the Situation Escalates

Sometimes, sibling envy can escalate beyond what we can handle on our own.

If things get heated or communication breaks down completely, don’t be afraid to bring in a trusted family member to help mediate.

Maybe an aunt or uncle you both respect can offer a neutral perspective. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help.


It’s okay to ask for help. A little family intervention can go a long way in calming the situation and finding a path forward.

15. Put Yourself in His Shoes and Reflect on How You’d Feel

The best way to understand someone is to walk a mile in their shoes. As the older sibling, I really wanted to see things from my brother’s perspective.

Maybe he felt like he didn’t get the same chances I did, or maybe our mom’s favoritism put too much pressure on him to succeed.

Perhaps he once dreamed of similar achievements but feels lost now.

By understanding his journey, you may be able to connect with him on a deeper level and find ways to move forward together.

Why Does Your Brother Feel Jealous of You?

Your brother might feel jealous because he compares himself to you and feels inadequate. It could also stem from a desire for the same attention or recognition you receive.

My own experience exemplifies this. You see, despite my mother’s constant praise of my brother, I ended up achieving more.

This challenged the reality he was conditioned to believe and created a situation where he couldn’t admire my success. Instead, it threatened his perceived sense of self.  

His jealousy manifested in subtle ways –  through backhanded compliments, dismissive comments, or even a general lack of enthusiasm for my achievements.

Sometimes, they would accuse me of using external help to downplay my hard work.

It wasn’t just about grand accomplishments. It manifested in little things, too. Even small celebrations of my success felt like attacks on him.

No matter how small or big, these behaviors can be a person’s way of coping with feeling inferior.

Long-Term Consequences if Sibling Jealousy is Left Unaddressed?

Ignoring sibling jealousy can be like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Over time, the unresolved negativity can poison your relationship and impact both your well-being.

Here are some potential consequences if this toxic dynamic isn’t addressed:

  • Persistent jealousy can lead to ongoing conflict and resentment between you and your brother. Simple conversations become battles, and past hurts constantly resurface. These will make it difficult to build a healthy relationship.
  • Unresolved jealousy conflicts with your brother may result in you struggling with self-esteem issues. His constant negativity and comparisons might chip away at your confidence, leading to feelings of inferiority where you question your wins.
  • Unresolved jealousy can hinder your brother’s social skills and emotional regulation. He might feel like everyone is out to get him and that he can’t help but become defensive or angry. These behaviors can push people away.
  • Chronic jealousy can contribute to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or personality disorders. These may include symptoms like social isolation, low mood, and difficulty coping with stress.
  • Unaddressed jealousy might lead to problematic behaviors. In an attempt to feel better or prove himself, he may resort to putting others down, manipulating situations to his advantage, or constantly seeking attention in unhealthy ways.
  • Your brother’s jealousy can impact family dynamics. This can lead to missed opportunities for genuine connection and shared experiences that strengthen family bonds.
  • The effects of your brother’s jealousy can extend into the workplace. This might lead to difficulty collaborating with colleagues, taking criticism poorly, or overall negativity that affects job performance.

You Can’t Control Him So Live Your Life

So, how do you deal with a jealous brother? As I’ve learned from experience, there’s no magic solution. After all, you really can’t control his feelings.

What you can do is focus on yourself and learn ways to minimize the negativity.

You can establish healthy boundaries, try to encourage him to find his path, and even get support from others.

He might come around, he might not, but you deserve a fulfilling life regardless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there signs that indicate your brother is feeling jealous?

Your brother may become overly critical or competitive or avoid conversations about your accomplishments. They might also show signs of resentment or try to undermine your success.

What emotion does jealousy come from between brother and sister?

The jealousy between siblings often stems from feelings of insecurity or a perceived lack of attention or recognition. It can also arise from comparisons or a sense of unfairness in parental treatment.

Can addressing jealousy improve your overall relationship with your brother?

Yes, addressing jealousy can improve your relationship with your brother by promoting understanding and empathy. It can also reduce conflicts and improve overall communication.

How can you communicate with your brother about his feelings of jealousy?

Communicate openly and acknowledge his feelings without judgment. Share your perspective and work together to find solutions that benefit both of you.

What if your efforts to address jealousy don’t seem to work?

If efforts to address jealousy don’t work, consider seeking professional help or ask other family members for bits of help. Sometimes an impartial third party can offer insights and strategies for resolving conflicts.

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