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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?

BornFreeButinChains Wed 26-Mar-14 13:19:46

I cant advise we had this issues too brother was a bit spoilt toddler....

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 13:26:02

Is it usually mollycoddled mummies boys who behave like this I wonder? Although not spoiled as such, my mum was very overly protective and slightly indulgent of my brother. He never had to do as much as I did growing up, like helping with chores and things.

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"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 23:02:04

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

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 23:55:56

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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!

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