Not every guy out there is bold and direct about their feelings for a girl. Some just hide how they feel, befriend the girl, and hope that one day, she’s going to suddenly notice how much they love her and eventually, she’ll love them back.
But the majority of the time, befriending your crush never turns out well.
As most guys would have learned from experience, the guy in the friend zone usually ends up being eaten up with jealousy whenever the girl gives that attention he craves to someone else.
And these moments might make him behave in weird ways you can’t explain. Sometimes his behavior flat-out leaves you wondering if he’s jealous or has genuine reasons for behaving the way he does.
Well, if you’ve experienced this as a girl, we’ve got you covered. Here are 12 signs you’ll see if a guy is jealous of your other male friends.
1. Guilt-tripping you for spending time with other guys
This is when he suddenly becomes offended because you gave your attention to someone else.
You’ll hear those self-righteous comments about how you’ve been friends for years and you don’t even do anything for him, but this new guy just came and you’re all over him, doing stuff for him for free.
Once a guy friend starts behaving like this towards you, it’s either he’s immature, or something is eating him up that he’s not just telling you.
The reason for him making you feel guilty for having a good time with other guys is because he wishes you’ll only give all your attention to him.
Of course, this is different if you’re in a relationship. If you’re spending too much time with other guys, your partner has the right to ask you what’s been going on.
2. He becomes overly critical
When a guy feels jealous of your male friends, he may begin to criticize them as a way of expressing his feelings. This criticism can take many forms, from pointing out flaws in their appearance or behavior to making negative comments about their personality or character.
At its core, criticism is often an attempt to diminish the other person’s value in your eyes. By highlighting their flaws or shortcomings, a jealous guy may hope to make you question your friendship with them or feel less positive about them in general.
One thing to understand is that criticism can be subtle or overt, and it may not always be easy to identify. Some guys can make snide comments under their breath, while others may be more direct in their criticism.
If you notice a guy being overly critical of your male friends, consider whether jealousy may be a factor. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy is being malicious or intentionally trying to hurt you or your friends, but it may suggest that he is feeling insecure or threatened in some way.
[Related: 12 Signs of a Weak Man]
3. He tries to undermine your relationships with your other male friends
This is another strategy he’s using to put himself on your good side while blocking out the other competitors.
For instance, he might tell you that he’s always the one here for you when things don’t go out well, so why are you still spending so much time with these other guys who don’t care about you?
When you start hearing statements like this from a friend, know that he wants you all for himself. This may not look that bad if he’s already making moves to make you his girlfriend. But if he’s just a friend, this attitude seems childish and irritating.
Let’s say you’re at a party with your friends. You and a couple of other guys are having a conversation about a topic that you both find interesting, and your guy friend joins in.
As you all continue talking, your guy friend begins to interject more frequently and assertively. He starts to talk over the other guys and tries to steer the conversation in a different direction that highlights his knowledge and expertise.
As the conversation continues, you notice that he is becoming increasingly competitive with the other guys there. He’s trying to one-up them in the conversation and show you that he’s a better match for you.
He starts to become aggressive or confrontational, making that discussion uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Sometimes when a guy is jealous of your male friends, he’ll try to compete with them for your attention. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as trying to one-up your friend in conversations or showing off.
And he does this because he feels the need to prove himself to you and show you that he’s better than the other guys.
[Also read: 10 Biggest Dating Mistakes Guys Make With Women]
For example, a possessive guy might become upset or angry when you mention spending time with other male friends.
He might ask a lot of questions about your relationships with these friends, or he might try to discourage you from spending time with them altogether.
At its core, possessiveness is a manifestation of jealousy. The guy feels threatened by your other male friends, either because he perceives them as romantic rivals or because he feels insecure in the relationship.
6. Constant comparison
You are telling your friend about your recent hangout with your male friend from college, and how you both had a great time catching up after a long time. Your friend nods along, but you can sense that something is off.
He then starts talking about how he has a friend from college too, and how they always do fun things together.
This is a comparison. Your friend is constantly trying to compare himself to your other male friends, to measure up and prove that he’s just as good, if not better.
7. Defensiveness or irritation when you bring up your other male friends
If your friend becomes visibly annoyed when you mention your other male friends, it could be a sign that he feels threatened by them.
For instance, if you say something like “I had a great time with John yesterday,” and your friend responds with something like “Well, I’m sure it wasn’t as great as the time we had last week,” it’s clear that he’s feeling competitive with your other friends.
He’s worried that you’ll start to prefer spending time with them over him, or that they’ll influence you in a way that he doesn’t like.
[Related: 15 Clear Signs of Low Self-Esteem In a Man]
8. He wants to monopolize your attention
Have you ever had a friend who just couldn’t seem to let you be around other people without them?
Maybe you try to hang out with a group of friends, but this one friend always seems to be vying for your attention, interrupting your conversations, or trying to monopolize your time.
When someone is monopolizing your attention, they’re essentially trying to make sure that all of your focus is on them, and them alone. They might interrupt other conversations or try to steer the discussion back to themselves.
Sometimes they try to pull you away from the group or separate you from others so that they can have you all to themselves.
9. Withdrawal when you spend time with other guys
You and your male friend (John) were both invited to a party at a mutual friend’s house. When you arrive, you see that a few of your other male friends are there as well.
You greet them warmly and start catching up, but you notice that John seems to be keeping to himself and avoiding the group.
As the night goes on, you continue to enjoy chatting with your other male friends, but you can’t help but feel like something’s off with John. You check in with him a few times, but he just gives you one-word answers and seems uninterested in joining the group.
This behavior could be a sign of jealousy. Your friend might feel threatened by your relationships with other guys and withdraw as a way of coping. Maybe he feels he can’t compete with your other male friends and so he removes himself from socializing altogether.
10. Making snarky comments
Snarky comments will catch you off guard. And they’re usually accompanied by some doses of passive aggression.
For instance, you just got pulled out of your guy friends’ company by another guy who just wanted to get your phone number, and all of a sudden, your friend has made an insulting comment about the guy.
Of course, sometimes this could just be a one-time thing. But the way you know it’s out of jealousy is the tone and the nature of the snarky comment. Was it necessary? Did he say it with some anger in his tone? If yes, then it’s most likely out of jealousy.
11. Acting distant after you spend time with other guys
If a guy is feeling jealous, he may become withdrawn or distant after you spend time with other guys.
He may stop initiating conversations or planning activities with you and may seem less interested in your life.
Sometimes he’ll become moody or sullen, refusing to communicate or spend time with you in an attempt to make you feel guilty or to punish you for spending time with other people.
Jealousy is a natural human emotion and can arise in any kind of relationship, romantic or platonic. A guy can act jealous or distant even if you’re just friends because he has developed feelings for you that go beyond friendship.
12. Acting suspicious
When a guy is jealous, he often feels threatened by someone he perceives as a potential threat to his relationship – or friendship – with you. This can cause him to become suspicious of your behavior and actions, even if there is no evidence that you’re doing anything wrong.
Suspicion can manifest through questioning, monitoring your movements, or other passive-aggressive manners. He’ll become preoccupied with the idea that you’re hiding something from him, even if there is no reason to suspect this.
Suspicion can range from mild to extreme. Some guys may become obsessive and compulsive, spending hours each day checking their partner’s phone or social media accounts or even hiring a private investigator to follow them.
Others may become more withdrawn or aloof, refusing to communicate or spend time with their partner out of fear of being hurt or betrayed. While suspicion can be a normal response to feelings of jealousy, it can get out of hand and become a toxic trait.
Recognizing that your male friend is showing some signs of jealousy is crucial and it’s even more important to address the situation early.
You can start by communicating with him about the behaviors you’ve been noticing during certain circumstances, telling him how it’s making you feel and how it’s impacting your friendship with him.
If you notice that he’s acting out of control, set boundaries. You can limit the amount of time you spend together or avoid situations that may trigger his jealousy.