My Sister Is Jealous of My Success: Here’s What I Did

Growing up as the middle child, I was either neglected or constantly blamed for every family hiccup.

Compared to my golden child sister who was showered with praise and admiration, all I got was criticism.

Fast forward to today, and things are, well, different. I’m happily married, found career success, and living an overall amazing life.

The problem is that my success hasn’t exactly gone down smoothly with my sister. Yes, for lack of a better term, I would say my sister is jealous of my success.

Sound familiar?

If you’re facing the same drama, let me share with you what I did to deal with this situation with grace.

  • Celebrate your sister’s achievements, big or small. This helps counter potential self-criticism and boosts her confidence.
  • Focus on genuine examples of her successes. Highlight her unique talents and remind her of her accomplishments.
  • Help your sister focus on her journey. Don’t pressure her to feel a certain way, but encourage her to celebrate her individual successes.

9 Things You Can Do When Your Sister Is Jealous of Your Success

Speaking from experience, having a jealous sister can add unwanted stress to your life. Good thing, I learned not to let her envy steal my joy. How did I do it?

Here are nine things you can do that will allow you to celebrate your achievements without feeling guilty:

1. Listen to Her Feelings Without Judgment

It can be tempting to dismiss your sister’s jealousy as unfounded or petty, but ignoring her feelings will only make the situation worse.

Her envy likely stems from deeper insecurities or feelings of inadequacy. So, instead of reacting defensively, approach her with genuine empathy.

Just like you would listen to your closest friend, create a safe space for her to express her emotions without judgment.

For me, this meant acknowledging my sister’s struggles and frustrations, even if I didn’t fully understand them.

Also, resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice or try to “fix” her emotions. Simply listen attentively and validate her experience.

2. Avoid Flaunting Your Success When She’s Around

In dealing with my sister, I learned that sometimes, less is more.

While I was naturally excited to share my successes with my family, I realized that constantly talking about my achievements around my sister only added fuel to the fire.

Instead, I adopted a more sensitive approach.

For example, when conversations naturally steered towards my work or personal life, I’d gently change the subject or focus on her experiences instead.

It wasn’t about hiding my happiness. I just want to avoid unintentionally causing her discomfort or reinforcing any feelings of envy.

Remember, true joy doesn’t require constant validation or comparison.


Be mindful of your conversations. If it feels like bragging, shift the focus to her or find another topic.

3. Don’t Include Her in Any of Your Achievements

Excluding your sister from every celebration might seem harsh and counterintuitive, but hear me out.

You see, when dealing with a sibling, especially an older one who might feel envy, celebrating every milestone in their presence can backfire.

Their focus might shift from your success to their own perceived lack, potentially amplifying their negative emotions.

On the other hand, by giving her space to process her emotions independently, you allow them to avoid feeling pressured or compared.

In my case, I chose to celebrate my success with supportive friends and family members who could genuinely share my joy without the burden of comparison.

This approach allowed me to enjoy my accomplishments, while also respecting my sister’s emotional space. 

4. Actively Celebrate Her Accomplishments

My sister, like many people who struggle with envy, might have been overly critical of herself and her achievements.

Sadly, this is just one of the many long-term effects of growing up as a narcissistic mother’s golden child.

To counteract this, I made a conscious effort to celebrate her accomplishments, big or small.

Whether it was a work promotion, a personal milestone, or simply a new skill she mastered, I actively acknowledged and praised her efforts.

This not only helped shift the focus away from my success but also potentially boosted her self-confidence and reminded her of her unique strengths and capabilities.


Be as specific as you can. Instead of just saying “Good job,” mention what impressed you about her achievement.

5. Plan Regular Sister Time

Despite the complexities surrounding her envy, I never lost sight of the importance of trying to maintain a good relationship with my sister.

Regularly scheduling sister time, whether it’s grabbing coffee, going for a walk, or simply catching up over the phone, will allow you to connect on a deeper level.

These moments of shared experiences will help you understand each other’s perspectives and struggles, reminding you of the value you bring to each other’s lives.

It’s always a good idea to carve out dedicated time for meaningful connections. It will help you identify areas where you can offer support or encouragement.

6. Ask Her Why She Thinks You’re Better Than Her

As the younger sister who was labeled as the family’s black sheep, I initially struggled to comprehend my sister’s envy.

I couldn’t help but think, “Why would my golden child sister, who always received praise and admiration, feel that way about me?”

But then, I realized that judging her feelings wouldn’t solve anything. So, I opted for honest and open communication.

In other words, I gently asked her why she felt I was somehow “better” than her.

My intention wasn’t to place blame or seek validation. I just wanted to understand the underlying emotions fueling her envy.

7. Stay Positive and Encourage Positivity in Her

It’s easy to fall into the trap of negativity when you’re surrounded by someone harboring envy.

Witnessing my sister struggle with being jealous of everything and everyone, I recognized the potential for these feelings to spiral and make her resentful.

Unfortunately, this is a path I had also walked down during my childhood.

Growing up as the scapegoat of a narcissistic mother, I was constantly bombarded with negativity. Over time, this led to me feeling like I’ve got nothing to offer the world.

Thanks to therapy, though, I learned the power of staying positive and having a growth mindset. Now, I strive to encourage the same positivity in my sister.

I hope to inspire her to embrace her strengths and find joy in her unique journey, just as I had learned to do for myself.


Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. Choose to be the light that illuminates your sister’s path, even when their emotions seem clouded by envy.

8. Keep Feeding Her Evidence That She’s Also Successful

When trying to do this, don’t say things like, “You should be happy for me because you have X, Y, Z, too.” This can come across as dismissive or condescending.

Instead, focus on genuine and specific examples of her successes. Did she recently master a new skill? Did she receive praise at work?

Highlight these moments and celebrate her unique talents and accomplishments.

By genuinely acknowledging her achievements, you can shift the focus away from comparisons and remind her of her own level of success.

Sure, sometimes, I can’t help but feel like I’m responsible for my sister’s happiness. But ultimately, there’s nothing I can do to control her feelings or dictate her journey.

While I can offer support and encouragement, I cannot force her to feel a certain way. 

In the end, the goal is to help her realize that we are both capable individuals on our unique journeys. Her happiness and success don’t diminish mine, and vice versa.


Your sister can’t be happy if she constantly compares herself to others. Help her focus on her journey and celebrate her unique successes.

9. Set Healthy Boundaries in Your Relationship With Your Sister

While I strive to be supportive and understanding, I also have to prioritize protecting my emotional well-being.

In a nutshell, this means establishing clear boundaries that I won’t compromise.

If my sister engages in hurtful behavior, such as making passive-aggressive remarks or constantly comparing herself to me, I gently but firmly address the issue.

I communicate that such behavior is disrespectful and creates emotional strain on our relationship.

This might also involve limiting certain conversations, taking breaks from communication, or politely declining invitations that I know will trigger negativity.

Is It Normal for a Sibling to Get Jealous of Your Success?

It’s not uncommon for siblings to feel jealous of one another, but it’s important to remember that it’s not healthy or productive.

Sometimes, the help of a trained professional may be needed to move past this complex situation.

But why does it happen in the first place?

In my case, our contrasting childhood experiences likely played a significant role.

Growing up as the “golden child” might have instilled a sense of entitlement and insecurity in my sister.

This, coupled with the pressure to maintain the “perfect” image, could have manifested as jealousy when my success challenged her perceived position within the family.

In fact, her jealousy might not even be directly related to my success.

It could be a symptom of deeper issues like unresolved childhood trauma, feelings of neglect, or a lack of self-worth.

Remember, sibling relationships are complex and multifaceted.

While your success might be the trigger, the underlying causes of jealousy can be much more intricate and require careful exploration.

Seeking professional guidance can equip you with the tools to handle these challenges effectively.

Don’t Let Sibling Jealousy Belittle Your Success

Even if my sister is jealous of my success, I refuse to let her envy belittle my achievements or define our relationship. And if I can do it, you can, too.

Your success is a culmination of your hard work, dedication, and unique journey.

It’s something to be celebrated, not diminished by anyone, especially not a sibling struggling with their own insecurities.

Focus on what makes you happy, pursue your goals with passion, and remember, a supportive and healthy relationship with your sister can exist alongside your well-deserved success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there common patterns of behavior indicating jealousy in family dynamics?

Yes, common signs of jealousy in family relationships include constant criticism, belittling achievements, and trying to undermine success.

Should you address the issue directly with your sister, or are there alternative ways to manage jealousy?

Directly addressing the issue can help you understand each other. But if she’s resistant to direct communication, try setting boundaries or seeking family therapy.

How might jealousy impact your sister’s behavior and your overall relationship?

Jealousy can make your sister resent you and strain your communication. Her being competitive may also damage your relationship and create tension and conflict.

What age does sibling rivalry stop?

Sibling rivalry can continue into adulthood. However, it often lessens as siblings mature, gain perspective, and develop more independent lives.

How do you deal with sibling resentment?

To deal with sibling resentment, communicate openly and seek understanding. Both siblings should be willing to build a positive and respectful relationship.

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