There is no law that says you have to get along with your siblings, and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t. Certain family members can cause such stress in your life, and sometimes it can be hard to take a step back because of family obligations.
Siblings are often the best part of growing up, they can be lifelong friends with an incredible bond. However, it isn’t uncommon for kids to fight or dislike their siblings. As a matter of fact, my sister and I fought like cats and dogs most of the time, but now we are best friends (Hi, Danielle!)
Others are not so lucky and they wind up stuck with a truly hateful sister or brother. This is incredibly sad and it can really take a lot out of you trying to make the relationship work. You find yourself wanting to give up and walk away, but because they are family you feel bad for having these thoughts and a sense of obligation to stick it out for them.
An anonymous poster on a forum website had enough of their toxic sibling relationship and finally initiated a “break up.”
“We were having our most recent ‘episode’, an innocuous conversation that deteriorated into a war. Once again, I didn’t see it coming and was shocked at where it went. I’d had enough,” they said.
Another user said,
“I had spent many years trying to be the calm, sensible one. The one who would try to rationalize my sister’s behavior just to keep the peace … The day finally came when the weight of accepting the burden was too much to bear. No amount of talking would convince my sister that I was being reasonable. It had to be her way.”
If you find any of this ringing true for you, then your relationship with your sibling could be worse than you thought. And, perhaps, it could be time to end it or give yourself some space all together. Here are the signs of a truly toxic sibling relationship.
They Were/Are The Favorite Child
It is an unfortunate fact that many parents have a favorite child. Was your sibling constantly praised or given all the best opportunities? Did they get away with everything (esp. The things that you could not)? Did the rules not apply to them?
This sort of favoritism can lead to narcissistic behavior. When a child constantly gets everything they desire and is never made to face the consequences of their actions, it tends to give them a false sense of superiority.
They aren’t there when you need them.
You might be there when they need you but when you need them these people are nowhere to be found. They leave you to face all your problems on your own but get mad if you try to do the same to them. No matter how bad off you are, they will not be there to help you stay afloat.
You feel like nothing you do is ever good enough for them.
You do a lot for them and you try your best but your best is never good enough. They always want more and will go out of their way to make you feel bad. You are always being pushed through the washer and left out to dry.
They make you feel insecure.
They prey on you like you are a sickly calf. They make you feel more insecure about the things you don’t like about yourself, and they do it on purpose. They want to break you down so they will feel better themselves.
They are controlling
Do you feel like you always have to do everything that they want to do? And, if you don’t, do they get aggressive? In the end, is it just easier to give them the things they want?
This is a form of control! If you find that you are not able to make your own decisions without your sibling getting their way, this is a sign of coercive control.
They give you anxiety
It is normal to feel a little anxiety around your family members, even during the best of times. However, when the anxiety starts to get out of control, or becomes pervasive, problems can ensue. Genevieve Shaw Brown from AbcNews.Go.com notes, “When you are living in constant anxiety never knowing or being able to predict how any engagement is going to turn out, it is time to love yourself enough to let go.”
They try to ruin your relationship with other family members
It is not uncommon for family members to stir the pot in order to get people to turn on each other. Call it a love of all things drama, or call it crazy – it is bad no matter how you look at it. So it might be best to consider cutting ties with a brother or sister who tries to turn mom or dad against you, or a sibling who doesn’t want you visiting their kids. It is not healthy for anyone involved.
They manipulate your emotions
They use your own emotions against you to get what they want. They know how to play you and are good at it. You have to end up doing what they want sooner or later.
You have to walk on eggshells when they are around
If you are constantly walking on eggshells around this person trying to make him or her happy is there anything really even there? When you are around your family you should be comfortable and happy not the opposite. Don’t spend time with people who only want to cut you down.
They say and do mean things to you.
If someone is constantly bringing you down why waste your time on them? Surround yourself with people who say and do nice things for you. You shouldn’t let anyone who is overly negative have the time of day.
They only contact you when they need something
We all know somebody like this, but if you never hear from your sibling when it is about the good things this can be toxic. You only get a call or a text or even a visit unless they need a shoulder to cry on.