How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling

Are you interested in how to deal with a narcissistic sibling? Then this guide is for you.

Growing up with a narcissist can dramatically impact your self-esteem.

If one of your siblings is a narcissist, this can leave you feeling unworthy and less than acceptable, leaving you wondering what is wrong with you to be treated so poorly.

Remember, you don’t deserve the treatment dished out to you by a narcissistic family member.

If one of your siblings is a narcissist, there’s a good chance that one or both of your parents is as well, which makes it so much easier for your sibling to take out his or her insecurities on you.

You most likely went through your younger years with your sibling, gaining the most attention from your parents and being praised for the smallest accomplishments.

On the other hand, you were probably punished for even the tiniest infractions while your narcissistic sibling looked on with glee.

Your sibling is always the center of attention, makes you feel inferior, has a sense of entitlement, has no empathy for others, tells lies about you or others, and doesn’t take any responsibility for his or her actions.

Siblings of the same sex may also take your clothes, often pointing out how much better he or she looks in them than you do.

This person is also very competitive and may also try to or succeed in stealing away your friends or romantic interests.

Suppose any of this sounds familiar to you. In that case, you probably want to know how you can better handle situations that involve contact with your sibling to protect yourself from further abuse.

1. Learn all you can about narcissism.

Read up on the traits of the narcissistic individual and learn the manipulative tactics that they’re likely to use so that you know what to watch out for when the situation arises.

Because narcissists are master manipulators, it’s easy to get caught up, especially when they’re being so charming.

Watch out for tactics such as gaslighting and hoovering to avoid being sucked back down into the rabbit hole.

2. Avoid contact when it’s possible.

If you no longer live with your narcissistic sibling, you’ll be better able to reduce the amount of contact you have. Avoiding contact prevents your sibling from gaining control over you.

However, if you still live with your sibling, you’ll want to find ways to get away for a while.

This can mean going to a friend’s house regularly or taking time for yourself if you have your bedroom.

3. Don’t call your sibling out as a narcissist.

Once you’ve learned the signs of a narcissist and have established that your brother or sister truly fits the bill, it can be quite tempting to call him or her out during the expression of traits.

A narcissist can’t see what’s wrong with himself or herself.

Your sibling will find a way to turn it back on you, making you feel like you’re the one with the problem or that you’re crazy.

Placing blame is one of the narcissist’s tools, and there’s no way you can ever reach the level of deception that a narcissist can.

If you attempt to call your sibling a narcissist, it won’t be long until this person paints himself or herself as the victim and you as the abuser.

Always remember that your sibling has a personality disorder that he or she can’t control and may never be able to until he or she is willing to change with the help of a qualified therapist.

This scenario is highly unlikely, so don’t hold your breath expecting a change.

4. Identify your choices.

When possible, know when you can avoid your narcissistic sibling. If you can’t because you still live together, know that you can decide whether or not to get sucked into his or her nightmare.

Your sibling wants you to be a certain way that fits in with his or her drama. You don’t have to play the role that he or she writes for you. Make it a point to choose the way that you want.

The more you learn about the tools narcissists use, the easier it will be for you to know when your sibling is trying to manipulate you, other people, or situations. You can choose not to be involved.

5. Point out the narcissist’s choices.

If you get into a conversation where the narcissist is playing victim, you’ll need to decide if it’s in your best interest to agree or provide them with potential options.

Pointing out the choices available to your sibling can keep you from getting pulled into his or her drama by showing you’re not falling for this victim mentality.

You’re putting the decision back onto your sibling so that he or she must choose whether to continue or not.

Responding in this manner can shut down the negative conversation. If the narcissist keeps making excuses as to why he or she can’t do the choices you’ve pointed out, you can choose to change the topic or leave the situation.

6. Set boundaries.

As with any narcissistic relationship, setting boundaries is of utmost importance. However, once you do put your foot down, it’s important that you stick with any boundaries that you set and follow through with any consequences.

A narcissist doesn’t care about boundaries. Your sibling may always take your possessions, barge in on your privacy, or somehow cross any boundary you may try to establish.

There will be a lot of resistance at first since your sibling has a set pattern and a habit of doing what he or she does. This is why making consequences and sticking with them is so important.

Once your sibling realizes that you mean business, he or she may respect your boundaries a bit more because he or she will be more focused on finding other means to get what he or she wants.

7. In the same manner, set limits.

Be sure to set limits on what you’re willing to do for your narcissistic sibling.

Perhaps you’ve always done his or her homework or taken care of his or her chores while your sibling goes off and does what he or she pleases.

This is sort of a combination of setting boundaries and identifying your choices. In some cases, it might be easier on you to take out the trash rather than have to deal with the narcissist’s abuse.

However, you can let your sibling know that you’re no longer going to do his or her dirty work. Although this is likely to be met with resistance, you must learn to take care of yourself first.

8. Don’t argue with your sibling.

When you start to initiate changes to improve your well-being, this will be met with resistance. Be prepared for that.

Under no circumstances should you let your narcissistic sibling draw you into an argument.

Your brother or sister will try to point out why things should stay the same. He or she will turn everything around to make you out to be a monster while they’re the victim, as always.

Additionally, because the narcissist is a master manipulator, you’ll never be able to win an argument with him or her. Your sibling must always feel superior, so it’s best to avoid confrontation.

You don’t have to explain yourself or argue just to defend yourself. You know that you’re doing the right thing, and your sibling can choose to accept it or not.

9. Get support.

There are a couple of different ways that you can get support.

Try to find a trusted friend or source to be with you when you need to be around your sibling. Your brother or sister is less likely to show their dark side around another person they want to impress.

On the other hand, if the narcissist does act up, you’ll have a witness to the encounter to talk with you after the fact to prove that you’re not the one at fault.

Find someone you can talk to in confidence about the situation. It’s important that someone hears your side of the story, as the narcissist has likely painted you as the bad guy in all of your disagreements.

It’s also helpful if this person has witnessed some of narcissistic behavior.

Get counseling. Although you’re not the one with narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll need someone familiar with this condition to help you overcome your insecurities and feelings of worthlessness.

You don’t have to live the rest of your life under the dark shroud of your narcissistic sibling.

When you attend counseling, you’ll be able to find out who you are and learn ways to validate yourself to increase your self-awareness and self-esteem.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

You don’t need to go through this alone. There’s no shame in getting help!

Thousands of people get tailor-made support from a kind, empathetic, helpful therapist when faced with difficult life situations.

I recommend BetterHelp, which is a sponsor of Personality Unleashed.

It’s private, affordable, and takes place in the comfort of your own home.

Plus, you can talk to your therapist however you feel comfortable, whether through video, phone, or messaging.

Are you ready to break the negativity cycle?

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