To ask how you should deal with a self absorbed family member?

(28 Posts)
CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 13:14:30

My DB seems to exist in his own little bubble where he is the centre of the universe and no one else's needs are as important as his. I accept that some people are just like this, but I'm beginning to find being around him very difficult and I'm struggling to hold my tongue. I know that if I loose my cool and say something he will effectively cut me out of his life because that is what he's like, and obviously us falling out would put out parents in a difficult position and obviously I don't want that to happen.

I'd be here all day if I listed examples of his behaviour, but he will often bark orders at people or make unreasonable demands and then be horribly offended when people don't drop everything to help him. He will help others out but only if it fits in with his lifestyle or more frankly, if he can be bothered.

We are quite a close family, but this is starting to become a problem for me as I despise selfishness in anyone. Does anyone else have any advice on dealing with this sort of thing?

FelineLou Thu 27-Mar-14 11:41:41

Much of what you describe is toddler behaviour so respond as if he is 4 years old.
"Come over and bring some cake".
"Not today bro I'm very busy. Can you buy some, dear?"
You are smiley and friendly but don't respond by to demands.
It will help you feel better to see him as childish rather than selfish.

CrystalJelly Thu 27-Mar-14 11:26:33

I think what annoys me the most is that he will not help either me or our parents out unless it absolutely suits him, but is always happy to take from us and will get offended if we don't drop everything to do something for him.

I don't want to say too much because it may out me but a good example is when he wanted a lift to his works Xmas do last year, he asked my mum who she said she'd take him but only at a certain time because there was something she wanted to watch on TV, he then chucked a strop and said he wasn't going to go in that case. I was very surprised that she stuck to her guns, but she did and in the end he had to get a taxi but he wasn't pleased. Other times he's agreed to give them lifts places and dropped out at the last minute and he couldn't give a shit that he's dropped them in it.

Like another poster's brother he's very materialistic, only wears the best clothes, brags a lot etc. I really dislike the person he's become as an adult.

Soditall Thu 27-Mar-14 10:09:59

There's only 3 of u,I'm the only girl and the youngest my oldest brother is 15 years older than me.I've cut him and his children(they're all adults)out of my family,we've had nothing to do with them for over 2 years now.

It's the best thing I ever did and it's been along time coming.Him and his adult children and his partner did something unforgivable and I just couldn't justify they're behavior anymore.

Our parents are elderly and seriously ill now,myself and my other brother(who is 13 years older than me)are both really ill ourselves and both now registered disabled yet were the one's that are doing everything for our parents.The oldest shitbag is doing nothing to help them at all.He's left it all to us and the way our family works it means as they're only daughter the majority of the care and sorting everything out for them has fallen to me.

He could have used this time to prove himself to try and become a decent human being at long last and so could his offspring but they've just all got worst.

I think life is far to short to make nice with people that treat you badly weather they're related to your or not!

Mintyy Thu 27-Mar-14 08:19:02

If neither of you live at home, I'm curious as to when and how you are exposed to his selfish behaviour? Presumably you only have to see him at family gatherings ... how often do they take place?

I love my family but can't spend loads of time with them, so I don't!

nilbyname Thu 27-Mar-14 08:13:45

Family dynamics are really hard. I find it really hard not to revert to the Harry Enfield teenage strop character whenever I am with my mum and brother. I get so irritated by both of them! They still treat me like I'm 14 and tease me mercilessly, then Get all put out when I tell them they are being nasty!

I have limited contact with my DB, and sIL (piece of work) and although it's a shame in some ways, it is by far the healthiest thing I can do for me and my family.

DB is a very defensive, sensitive, materialistic person and gets slighted very very easily. It's just too much like hard work to be around. But it does make me sad when the holidays come around.

Limit contact, be cordial.

Sneepy Thu 27-Mar-14 08:03:25

Just ignore and stay away. Had a bit of upset this Xmas with my entitled brother and realized just how happy I am not to see him every day.

If you'd like to be a bit more proactive, might I suggest rolling your eyes or sharing pointed glances with your DP every time he does something awful? It's passive aggressive but it does make one feel better.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 27-Mar-14 00:50:55

I agree with EverythingCounts. Keep contact to a minimum, avoid when possible. Christmas Dinner, Mum & Dad's birthdays, that would be about it if I were you.

Although he's begging for it, confrontation wouldn't do a bit of good as he won't change. Why upset your parents with a rift between their children if you can just avoid him?

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Thu 27-Mar-14 00:32:02

I agree with other posters about limited contact - see and speak to him on a need to know basis. People that toxic never change so it's best just to avoid them. My SIL is exactly this way at the moment. Without going into detail (I could get caught out as her situation is so specific!) she has done some truly evil things lately and treated people like her own husband and kids like absolute shit. But the sun shines out of her arse according to the in laws and if you say anything bad about their precious angel and her actions you get stricken from the family tree like I'm even bothered. It seems that these kind of people are so much worse when those around them indulge their bad behaviour.

stickygotstuck Thu 27-Mar-14 00:04:26

OP, your DB is my DSis! She's the eldest so I don't think it's to do with them being the youngest.

I have limited contact with her and when we see each other we talk about the weather. It is tough though, I miss my nieces terribly, and it saddens me that they are fast growing up and I'm not there. And that DD barely has any contact with her cousins.

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 23:55:56

My mum always defended him, however I've noticed her becoming more critical of him recently. She seems to have accepted he's selfish, dad has always agreed with me, but neither will voice it.

EverythingCounts Wed 26-Mar-14 23:23:47

If you don't want to move to straight talking (or not straight away), I would become much harder to get hold of, and a lot more vague. So let his calls go to voicemail and then if he's issuing an order, don't ring back till it's too late to carry it out, or until you have a reason why you can't do it. If he asks you face to face, then either be very vague about when you can do it, or instantly tell him that you can't because of (use one of prepared list of excuses). He can still get offended if he wants but you will be 'innocent' in that. I'd also cut down your contact with him massively. Go to your parents when he won't be there and so on.

How do your parents react to this behaviour nowadays? Do they indulge it or make excuses for it?

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 23:02:04

No, neither of us live at home and haven't done for some time.

thebody Wed 26-Mar-14 23:00:05

so don't bother with him. how old are you both? do you all live at home?

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 22:46:20

The problem with my DB is that he can be hugely charming and charismatic to the outside world, most people outside the immediate family think that he's wonderful, but half the time he's spiteful and mean behind their backs.

AdoraBell Wed 26-Mar-14 17:25:10

You are describing my FIL.

We moved half round the planet but I appreciate that may not work for everyonewink.

Just don't engage much, say Hello when you/he arrive at parent's but don't Get dragged into his life. If you need help don't bother Asking him. You know he has a only a handful of GCSE's so laugh inwardly when he gets snooty about other people. In short, let him enjoy his little bubble and don't give it much of your attention.

MadameLeBean Wed 26-Mar-14 16:07:52

Ugh my sister is like this she is such a brat. To the point where dp's family have commented to us about her behaviour. And my mum totally enables it.

haveyougotanyleechesforthis Wed 26-Mar-14 16:07:23

smile and wave... preferrably from a distance.

In my case 300 miles. i feel i can cope with him much better if i dont engage in his stupid actions

Mollydoggerson Wed 26-Mar-14 16:04:30

You can't change him, only your reaction to him.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 26-Mar-14 16:04:13

Wow! ! He has a DP with an attitude like that? ?? shock
How does his DP cope with him?

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 16:02:29

Nope, he doesn't live alone, he lives with his DP!!!

littlemisssarcastic Wed 26-Mar-14 15:40:14

Who do these kinds of people love with? How do they cope?
I can only imagine he lives alone.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 15:36:33

I suggest you stop holding your tongue. If he's unpleasant, snobbish, arrogant, selfish or whatever and it's affecting you, then say so rather than feeling you have to keep quiet. If he cuts you out of his life, that would be his decision and his responsibility to explain to your parents.

Always be assertive. It's an easier position to defend and easier to live with than being passive and ending up angry.

Eatriskier Wed 26-Mar-14 15:22:52

My sister is like this. I am NC with her. It is hard for my parents but the way I see it and I've explained that whilst she is their kid and they can put up with whatever they want, I have my own DC and I don't want them exposed to it. My poor parents don't have less drama from sister, but at least its not directed at me and they don't have to deal with the fall out from my side any more.

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 15:08:21

DB can also be nasty. He has a tendency to look down on other people who either don't have as much as he does or whom he perceives to be less intelligent than he is, which always makes me laugh as he has barely a handful of GCSE's to his name if that but he doesn't let that get in the way of his need to be superior.

Nomama Wed 26-Mar-14 14:15:42

The only advice I have is to do what makes your life happier.

BIL was the same, but also had a nasty streak. DH is much happier now he almost entirely NC. I am utterly delighted as DH is far less tense or upset over BILs attitude. He no longer takes responsibility for it - something his mum had fostered I think "Ah, look after your little brother, give him whatever he wants"

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