How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Tips for Navigating Family Drama

If you have a narcissistic sibling, you know that family get-togethers can be a total nightmare. Dealing with their inflated sense of self-importance and constant need for attention can be incredibly draining. Not to mention, they always seem to find a way to make everything about them.

If you’re struggling to deal with your narcissistic sibling, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this blog post I will discuss some tips for navigating family drama and dealing with your narcissistic sibling.

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Set boundaries

A boundary is essentially a limit that you set for yourself. It’s a way to protect yourself from someone or something that is causing you harm.

You can set boundaries with your narcissistic sibling by communicating what you will and will not tolerate. For example, you might tell them that you won’t tolerate them talking down to you, or that you will leave the room if they start yelling.

It’s important to remember that boundaries are not about controlling or changing the other person, they’re about taking care of yourself. In order to make sure that your boundaries are respected, you need to be firm and consistent and follow through if your sibling breaks the boundary. If you said that you would leave, then do so.

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Try to communicate, but don’t force it

Narcissists are notoriously difficult to communicate with. They often refuse to see things from anyone else’s perspective, and they can be very resistant to change.

That being said, it’s still important to try to communicate with your narcissistic sibling. You might not be able to change their behaviour, but it’s important to express your needs and feelings. If you’re feeling hurt or frustrated, tell them so.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to force communication. If they’re unwilling to listen or if the conversation is going nowhere, you can walk away.

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Understand that they cannot or will not change

Narcissists are notoriously resistant to change. Even if they want to change, they often don’t know how. This means that it’s highly unlikely that your narcissistic sibling will ever change.

It’s important to accept this fact and to understand that you cannot change them. This can be a difficult pill to swallow, but it’s an important part of dealing with a narcissistic sibling.

There is no point in banging your head against a brick wall, trying time and time again to change someone who is simply incapable of becoming a better person. The only person you can change is yourself and how you react to their narcissistic behaviour, so focus on that instead.

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Come up with strategies to navigate family get-togethers

One of the most difficult things about having a narcissistic sibling is dealing with them at family gatherings. Their need for attention and their sense of entitlement can ruin even the happiest of occasions.

One way to deal with this is to come up with a plan before the event. This might involve sitting down with your other siblings and agreeing on a strategy. For example, you might agree to take turns talking to your narcissistic sibling so that everyone gets a break from their constant need for attention.

Another thing you can do is try to avoid getting drawn into their drama. If they start stirring up trouble, walk away. It’s not worth ruining your own mood just because they’re having a bad day.

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling – Consider going low contact or even no contact

In some cases, the best way to deal with a narcissistic sibling is to go low contact or even no contact. This means limiting your communication with them or cutting them out of your life entirely.

Tactics to consider when going low contact or no contact include:

  • Blocking their number on your phone or on WhatsApp
  • Unfollowing them on social media
  • Ignoring their emails or text messages
  • Making it clear that you don’t want to hear from them

This is often a difficult decision to make, but it’s important to remember that you have a right to protect yourself from someone who is toxic and harmful. If going low contact or no contact is what you need to do to take care of yourself, then that’s what you should do.

If you do choose to go low contact or no contact with your narcissistic sibling, make sure you have the support of your other family members. It’s also important to be prepared for the possibility that they will try to reach out to you, either directly or indirectly.

There is no shame in making this decision and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It’s simply a way of taking care of yourself and protecting your own mental and emotional wellbeing.

If all else fails – get professional help

If you find that you are not managing to make any inroads in your relationship with your sibling, or that other family members are blocking your attempts to set up healthy boundaries or reduce contact, then you might need to get professional help.

A therapist can help you to reframe the situation and to come up with different strategies for dealing with your narcissistic sibling. In some cases, family therapy might be recommended.

Family counselling can be a great way to work through the issues you’re having with your narcissistic sibling. It can also help other family members to understand what you’re going through and why you’ve made the decisions you have.

Final thoughts

We all long to have strong and healthy relationships with our family members, particularly with our parents and siblings. However, sometimes this is simply not possible. If you have a narcissistic sibling, it’s important to remember that you did not cause their narcissism and that you cannot change them.

Focus on building relationships with those family members who are supportive and positive. And if you need to, take some time for yourself and go low contact or no contact with your narcissistic sibling. Taking care of yourself should always be your number one priority.

For Further Reading

You might also want to check out the following posts about narcissistic families and the impact of childhood trauma:

And finally, this is my story. I was the scapegoat daughter of a narcissistic father.

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