Growing up, I never fully comprehended the toxic and complicated web of dysfunction my family weaved around my narcissistic brother.
But as the years passed, I began to recognize the telltale signs that something was not right.
When you read this article, you’ll find the journey of self-discovery and understanding that led me to confront the unsettling reality of my sibling’s narcissistic tendencies.
This story is a personal account of dealing with the complex dynamics and emotional toll of having a narcissistic brother, offering insights and guidance for those facing similar challenges.
- If your brother consistently dismisses your feelings and opinions and participates in your parents’ campaigns against you these may be signs of a narcissistic sibling.
- To effectively deal with a narcissistic brother, establish strong boundaries and enforce them. Don’t engage in his dramas, ever!
- Seek help and support from therapists, support groups, or trusted friends who understand the challenges of coping with narcissistic family members.
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7 Ways on How I Dealt With My Narcissist Brother
If you don’t know how to deal with a narcissistic brother, start by educating yourself about narcissistic personality traits and behaviors.
Understanding the underlying dynamics can help you grasp their motivations and limitations.
Here are more strategies to navigate the complexities of this relationship so you can finally prioritize your emotional well-being:
1. Set Strong Boundaries and Be Firm With Them
Among the most obvious signs of a narcissistic sibling is overstepping boundaries, a pattern I encountered frequently in my relationship with my brother.
Fortunately, I learned that setting strong boundaries and firmly enforcing them can help you protect your emotional well-being and regain control over the dynamic.
This approach allows you to define the terms of your interactions and, most importantly, safeguard your mental health.
By setting and upholding these boundaries, you will gain a greater sense of autonomy and reduce the impact of their behavior on your life.
2. Don’t Give Into His Dramas
When faced with a narcissistic sibling who excels in creating unnecessary drama, remember that you can maintain your composure and well-being.
Don’t give in to their theatrics. Avoid getting entangled in endless conflicts and emotional roller coasters.
If you stay composed and focused on your own emotional health, you regain control over your reactions.
Over time, this approach diminishes their ability to manipulate their emotions and contributes to a healthier dynamic.
3. Evaluate Your Relationship With Your Brother and Choose the Best Option
Wondering how people heal from narcissistic abuse when it comes from their own family?
Start by reflecting on the impact of the relationship on your well-being and whether it’s causing more harm than good.
Sometimes, distancing yourself can be a necessary step to protect your mental and emotional health.
Seek support from trusted individuals, like friends or therapists, to make this evaluation and decision more manageable.
4. Do Not Attempt to Change His Behavior
When dealing with a narcissistic sibling, it’s crucial to understand and accept that you cannot change their behavior.
Their personality, because of the toxic traits associated with narcissism, is deeply ingrained.
Instead of trying to change them, focus on setting boundaries and protecting your own well-being.
Attempting to change a narcissist is often futile and can lead to frustration and emotional exhaustion.
5. Don’t Take His Actions Personally
Even when I already tagged my brother as a narcissist, I still find it hard not to take some of his actions to heart.
But for our own well-being, we must understand that this behavior is rooted in our own issues, and it’s not a reflection of our worth.
Just like my older narcissistic sister, he may have moments of insight, but these are often short-lived.
By not internalizing his actions, you can protect your self-esteem and maintain a healthier emotional state when dealing with his behavior.
6. Seek Help and Support Whenever You Feel Is Necessary
Dealing with a covert narcissist brother can be incredibly challenging. So, seek help and support whenever you feel it’s necessary.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to therapists, support groups, or trusted friends who understand the dynamics of dealing with covert narcs.
Their guidance and validation can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of this relationship and preserving your mental and emotional well-being.
Just like what I’ve realized, you don’t have to face this alone.
7. Don’t Try to Win With Him, Save Your Energy
Dealing with a narcissist, especially a sibling, can be emotionally draining. Their need for dominance and control can turn even minor interactions into exhausting battles.
Instead, focus on setting boundaries, preserving your emotional well-being, and not getting entangled in futile power struggles.
Your peace of mind is more valuable than trying to “win” against a narcissistic brother.
What I Did to Cut All Ties With My Narcissistic Brother
Growing up in a family shadowed by narcissism is like living in a distorted mirror maze. My brother, unfortunately, took after our narcissistic mother perfectly, embodying traits that made our home more of a battleground than a haven.
My brother’s insecurities were as deep-seated as they were paradoxical. He was perpetually scared of confronting others, fearing physical retaliation.
This fear stemmed from a belief that he would always be on the losing end of any physical confrontation. Yet, within the confines of our home, he was a different person. He would puff up his chest, raise his voice, and act tough, especially towards me and my father.
It was a classic case of a bully who, in reality, was a wuss at heart. Unlike my father, I fought back.
His sense of superiority was another trait that made interactions with him unbearable. He genuinely believed he was better than everyone else. This wasn’t just annoying, it was harmful.
It meant that he never valued others’ opinions, feelings, or needs. He would date women whom he thinks are beneficial to him financially.
Conversations with him were one-sided, always circling back to his achievements, his views, and his life. Thank god, I’m not in contact with him anymore.
Selfishness and entitlement were the pillars of his personality. He lived as if the world owed him something, never once stopping to consider the needs or feelings of those around him.
His selfishness wasn’t just limited to material things, it extended to emotional and mental spaces. He demanded attention and validation, draining everyone around him.
His laziness was another source of friction. He avoids any responsibilities, leaving others to pick up his slack. This lack of respect for anyone around him was not just frustrating.
It was also deeply disrespectful. It showed a complete disregard for the efforts and time of others, further straining our already tenuous relationship.
Given this backdrop, my decision to cut ties with him was not just easy, it was inevitable. Our relationship was never great to begin with, so when the time came, it felt like a natural progression rather than a drastic measure.
The process was simple yet profound. I stopped all forms of communication with him. This meant no calls, no texts, no social media interactions, nada.
I made this decision while living with my dad, and it became even more concrete when I moved out.
This silence was not just the absence of words. It was the creation of a space where I could breathe, grow, and heal. It was a declaration that I no longer would allow his toxicity to infiltrate my life.
It was an acknowledgment that while we shared the same blood, we did not have to share the same path.
In cutting ties, I found peace. It was a peace that came not from hatred or anger, but from the understanding that some relationships, no matter how biologically close, are too harmful to maintain.
It was a peace that came from prioritizing my mental health and well-being over familial obligations. It was a peace that taught me the importance of setting boundaries, even if it meant walking away from a family member.
Severing ties with my narcissistic brother was a journey of self-preservation and growth. It was a difficult decision, but one that was essential for my personal development and mental health.
It taught me the value of boundaries and the importance of surrounding myself with people who respect and nurture me, rather than those who drain and belittle me.
17 Signs of a Narcissistic Brother
Life at home with a toxic narcissistic brother was no easy feat.
From a young age, I realized that my sibling’s sense of entitlement, his belief that he was the smartest, and his constant need for praise were clear red flags.
As the youngest in our family, he was lavishly spoiled by our mother, who saw him through a lens of unconditional love due to his good looks and the novelty of being the only son.
This was how his status in the family hierarchy was created.
Over time, his narcissism led him down a troubling path of financial dependency, as he lived off our 75-year-old dad and pursued relationships with women he believed should foot the bill.
If you suspect you have a narcissistic sibling, here are 17 signs to watch out for:
1. He Dismisses Your Feelings and Opinions
As I try to unravel the unsettling truth about my brother, one of the most common and distressing red flags I noticed was his consistent dismissal of my feelings and opinions.
It was as if empathy had no place in his repertoire of personality traits.
Every time I attempted to express my emotions or share my perspective, he would swiftly invalidate them, leaving me feeling unheard and unimportant.
This constant disregard for my feelings became a significant obstacle in our relationship.
It highlighted the stark contrast between his self-centered nature and my desire for mutual understanding and support.
2. He Participates in Your Parents’ Bully Campaigns Against You
Discovering that my brother actively engaged in our mother’s campaigns against me was difficult to accept.
While I sought solace and support within our family system, I found myself a target of manipulation and cruelty instead.
No matter how much I longed for familial unity, he willingly joined in their schemes to undermine my self-esteem and well-being.
It was disheartening to realize that my own sibling, instead of being a source of comfort, had become an enabler of the toxic dynamics that permeated our household.
This revelation underscored the depth of dysfunction in our family, compounding the emotional toll I endured.
3. He Agrees With Your Parents’ Abusiveness Toward You
With a narcissistic mother at the helm of the household, narcissistic abuse was a constant presence. And my brother’s alignment with her only intensified the turmoil.
I craved solidarity and understanding within my family, but my brother chose to be complicit in our mother’s hurtful actions.
It seemed he would do anything to maintain favor with our mother, even if it meant endorsing her cruel treatment of me.
This collusion in the face of my suffering felt like an emotional betrayal.
It amplified the sense of isolation and despair in the toxic environment I was desperately trying to escape.
4. He Thinks He’s Smarter Than You
My narcissistic brother’s belief that he was smarter than me was a defining aspect of our complex sibling relationship.
As the golden child due only to his birth order, he always received preferential treatment, which fueled his already inflated ego.
His relentless need to assert intellectual superiority became evident in various instances.
For example, during family discussions, he’d dismiss my opinions condescendingly, often questioning my grasp of the subject matter.
This dynamic created an enduring sense of inadequacy on my part.
My brother may have excelled academically, but his arrogance overshadowed his intelligence, leaving an indelible mark on our relationship and my self-esteem.
5. He Feels Entitled to Your Success and Achievements
My narcissistic brother’s entitlement to my success and achievements was a glaring symptom of his narcissistic personality disorder.
His competitive nature and constant need for validation led him to view my accomplishments as his own.
I recall a particular incident where I received a prestigious award for my accomplishments. Instead of celebrating with me, he questioned why I deserved it.
This attitude was not only hurtful but indicative of his overwhelming need for validation and his inability to acknowledge others’ achievements genuinely.
6. He Expects Everyone to Take Care of Him Without Reciprocating
Is it normal to expect others to cater to your needs without giving in return? In moments when my narcissistic brother’s self-centered nature became apparent, this question loomed large.
His belief that everyone should take care of him while he offered little in return was a defining aspect of our relationship.
This one-sided dynamic illustrated how his narcissistic tendencies had likely developed.
His relentless expectation of care and support, devoid of reciprocity, left me feeling emotionally drained and unappreciated.
Understanding this imbalance in our relationship was important in learning to set boundaries and manage the toll his behavior took on my well-being.
7. He’s Verbally And/or Physically Abusive Towards You
Growing up with a narcissistic brother introduced me to the harrowing reality of narcissistic rage. At times, our interactions took a distressing turn as he resorted to verbal and physical abuse.
This rage, often stemming from our shared experiences of growing up with a narcissistic parent, left deep emotional scars.
The verbal attacks were laced with cruel words, belittling, and manipulation. On rare occasions, they escalated to physical confrontations.
Living in such an environment, I was forced to develop resilience and learn to protect myself from the wrath of a sibling consumed by their own ego.
8. He’s Judgmental Towards Your Choices and Lifestyle
My brother’s narcissistic behavior often took the form of relentless judgment toward my choices and lifestyle.
It seemed there was no aspect of my life that my brother didn’t find fault with. From my career decisions to my personal relationships, his judgments were a constant presence.
His critical comments and unsolicited advice left me feeling inadequate and invalidated.
But over time, it became increasingly evident that his need to control and belittle was driven by his own insecurities.
9. He Doesn’t Respect Your Partner
In my complex relationship with my narc brother, his lack of respect for my partner was a recurring issue.
No matter who I was with, he would always find reasons to criticize and belittle them. His constant disapproval of my partners left me questioning the stability of my relationships.
I vividly remember a family gathering where he openly insulted my significant other, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere.
This behavior of a narcissistic brother would consistently strain my love life and force me to confront the delicate balance between loyalty to family and defending the person I cared about.
10. He Hates Criticism Because He Thinks He’s Perfect
My narcissistic golden child brother was fiercely averse to criticism, firmly convinced of his own perfection.
This trait reverberated through our tumultuous relationship, as any suggestion that he might have flaws or areas for improvement was met with hostility.
It seemed my brother may have moments of vulnerability, but his fragile ego couldn’t withstand any perceived attack on his self-image.
This made constructive communication nearly impossible, as it forced me to tiptoe around issues, lest I provoke his wrath.
The irony lay in the fact that his inability to accept criticism was one of his most glaring imperfections, perpetuating the cycle of dysfunction within our family dynamic.
11. He Takes Advantage of Others’ Kindness Whenever He Can
Your brother is a narcissist if he disregards the feelings and needs of others and instead takes advantage of their generosity and compassion.
My own brother’s unrelenting tendency to exploit others’ kindness is not new to me. In fact, it often felt like fairness from your narcissistic sibling was a concept foreign to him.
In stark contrast to other family members, like my father, who valued reciprocity and respect, he would seize any opportunity to take advantage of the goodwill of those around him.
This behavior compelled me to be cautious in extending assistance, guard my boundaries, and carefully balance compassion with self-preservation.
12. He Will Sabotage You Whenever There’s Opportunity
Whenever an opportunity for my success or happiness arose, my brother would find a way to undermine it.
One particularly distressing incident comes to mind when I was on the verge of a significant career breakthrough.
Instead of celebrating with me, he initiated a smear campaign to tarnish my reputation.
It was a stark reminder that my role as the family scapegoat made me a prime target for his manipulations.
This was the tipping point.
That’s when I decided to go no contact with my narcissistic brother and finally prioritize my own well-being over maintaining a toxic relationship.
13. He Doesn’t Think You’re Deserving of Your Success
My journey with a narcissistic younger brother was marked by his consistent refusal to acknowledge my deserving of success.
His narcissism blinded him to my achievements, and he often downplayed or dismissed them.
Whether it was a career milestone, personal accomplishment, or even my happiness, he couldn’t stand to see me thrive.
His actions were a reminder of the deep-seated insecurities that often drive narcissistic behavior.
It was a challenging dynamic to navigate. His inability to celebrate my success revealed the extent to which his narcissism overshadowed our sibling relationship.
14. He Lacks Empathy Towards You and Everyone Else Around Him
Even to this day, both my mother and brother still fail to develop empathy and internalize the belief that vulnerability is a weakness.
This enduring lack of empathy has left a lasting impact on our family dynamics and my personal relationships.
Their inability to genuinely connect with the emotions and needs of others perpetuates a challenging environment, where understanding and support seem distant.
They may use your vulnerability against you, too.
Navigating relationships with individuals who prioritize a facade of strength over empathy remains a complex journey.
15. He Has an Unhealthy Relationship With His Partner
I know from experience that learning to cope with a narcissistic person isn’t easy. What’s even more challenging is having a romantic relationship with them.
If your partner doesn’t care about your needs, it can be emotionally draining and disheartening.
This is exactly how I would describe my brother’s relationship with his partner, as his self-centered nature often left them feeling overlooked and unheard.
16. He Lacks Self-Awareness and Self-Reflection
Growing up, my narcissistic brother’s lack of self-awareness and self-reflection played a central role in our tumultuous relationship.
Parental favoritism of one child over another can be a significant factor that makes someone more likely to develop a narcissistic personality.
My brother’s inability to recognize his own behavior and its impact on those around him exacerbated the already challenging family dynamics.
He often remained blind to his own actions, leaving little room for self-improvement or personal growth.
17. He’s Very Arrogant and Projects Anger as His First Reaction to Any Problems
Does your brother consistently assert a sense of superior status in the family hierarchy created by your parents?
My own brother’s arrogance and tendency to project anger were prominent character traits. And it was this arrogance that often fueled his reactions to problems.
Instead of seeking constructive solutions, his default response was anger, making any issue a battleground for his ego.
This dynamic was not only challenging to navigate, but it also created an atmosphere of tension and hostility within the family.
Understanding that his arrogance and anger were rooted in his narcissistic brother traits was key to developing strategies for self-preservation.
It’s how I finally mustered the courage to set boundaries in order to protect my own emotional well-being.
It’s Time You Heal From Your Brother Narcissistic Abuse
Recognizing your need to heal when dealing with a narcissistic brother is a pivotal step in reclaiming your emotional well-being.
When you hold on to the hope that these deeply ingrained narcissistic patterns lose or fail over time, you can allow room for compassion and self-preservation.
In your quest for healing, remember that it’s not a sign of weakness to protect yourself from a toxic dynamic.
Setting boundaries, seeking support, and prioritizing your mental and emotional health are acts of strength.
Healing doesn’t mean forgetting the past.
It means finding the power to move forward and build a healthier, happier future, free from the shadows of a narcissistic sibling’s influence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can your narcissistic brother change?
While it’s possible for anyone to change, a narcissistic brother can only do so if he acknowledges his behaviors and seeks professional help. Remember, you’re not responsible for his progress or recovery.
Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with your narcissistic brother?
While it can be challenging, it’s possible to maintain a relationship with your narcissistic brother by setting clear boundaries and managing expectations. However, you should prioritize your well-being and mental health if the relationship becomes too toxic.
What should you do if your narcissist brother is trying to sabotage your life?
If your narcissistic brother is trying to sabotage your life, you should prioritize setting clear boundaries and limiting your interaction with him. Consider seeking professional help or support from trusted friends to navigate this challenging situation.
Can your brother get the narcissistic traits of your parent?
Yes, your brother shows narcissistic traits inherited from your parent. Narcissistic traits can be learned and passed down through family dynamics and upbringing.
If the child is male, is he more likely to develop narcissistic traits?
While gender can influence the expression of narcissism, it doesn’t conclusively determine whether one will develop narcissistic traits. Your personality, upbringing, and environmental factors play a significant role in this development.