If you have a narcissistic sibling, you know that dealing with them can be a challenge. They can be delightfully charming when it suits them, only to then turn around and make your life a living hell.
If you have a narcissist in your life, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself. In this blog post, I will discuss tips for dealing with your narcissistic sibling, as well as ways to boost your self-esteem and protect yourself from their toxic behaviour.
Is your sibling a narcissist?
It is easy to realise that something is not quite right about a person, but much harder to pinpoint what that is. When it comes to narcissism, there are certain behaviours and traits that you can look out for.
Some common narcissistic behaviours include:
- Charm: A narcissist will be very charming, especially when they want something from you. This charm can be used to manipulate those around them.
- Control: Narcissists need to feel in control at all times. They may try to control every aspect of your life, from what you wear to who you spend time with.
- Defiance: A narcissist will often deliberately defy those in positions of authority, such as teachers or bosses. This is because they need to feel like they are in charge.
- Grandiosity: Narcissists have a inflated sense of self-importance. They will often brag about their achievements or talk about themselves in an excessively positive light.
- Lack of empathy: A narcissist will have difficulty understanding and empathising with the feelings of others. This can make them appear insensitive and uncaring.
If you recognise any of these behaviours in your sibling, they may be a narcissist.
However, it is important to remember that only a qualified professional can diagnose someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That said, you should still be aware of the signs and take steps to protect yourself from their toxic behaviour.
What can you do to protect yourself from your narcissistic sibling?
If you have a narcissistic sibling, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself from the drama and manipulation. Some tips for dealing with a narcissist include:
Set boundaries: It is important to set boundaries with a narcissist. You should make it clear what you will and will not tolerate from them. This will help to protect you from their manipulative behaviour. If they get aggressive or try to intimidate you, tell them that if they do not stop shouting you will leave the room. The important thing is that you then follow through with your threat if they do not stop.
Confidentiality: It is also important to have boundaries when it comes to sharing information with them. You should only share as much information as you feel comfortable with and no more. Remember, they will use anything you tell them against you.
Ignore them: Another way to deal with a narcissist is to simply ignore them. This can be difficult, but it is often the best way to diffuse their anger. If you engage with them, they will only get more worked up and try harder to control you. By ignoring them, you take away their power and make it clear that you are not going to put up with their behaviour.
Walk away: If the situation gets too heated, don’t be afraid to walk away. This will show them that you are not going to tolerate their behaviour and that you are in control.
Keep your distance: It is often best to keep your distance from a narcissist. This can be difficult if they are family, but it may be necessary in order to protect yourself. If you cannot go full No Contact, you can opt for a Low Contact strategy instead. This means having limited contact with them and only communicating when absolutely necessary.
Stand up for yourself: It is important to stand up for yourself when dealing with a narcissist. They will try to control you and put you down, but you need to remember that you are worth more than that. When they start criticising you or making demands, assertively tell them that you are not going to tolerate that behaviour.
Get support: Dealing with a narcissist can be difficult and stressful. It is important to get support from someone who understands what you are going through. There are many online forums and support groups available, which can be a great resource. You can also talk to a therapist about how you are feeling.
By following these tips, you can protect yourself from a narcissist’s toxic behaviour. Remember, you are not alone and there is support available if you need it.
Boosting your self-esteem
If you have a narcissist in your life, it is important to work on boosting your self-esteem. This can be difficult, so here are some tips and ideas on how you can set about it:
Find things that make you feel good about yourself: It is important to find things that make you feel good about yourself. This can be anything from your hobbies and interests to your accomplishments. When you focus on the things that make you feel good, it will help to offset the negative impact of the narcissist in your life.
Challenge their criticisms: One way to boost your self-esteem is to challenge the narcissist’s criticisms. When they put you down, remind yourself of all the good things about you. This will help to nullify their effect and make you feel better about yourself.
Talk to someone: Talking to someone who understands what you are going through can be very helpful. They can offer support and understanding, which can be vital when dealing with a narcissist.
Focus on your positive qualities: It is important to focus on your positive qualities. This can help you to feel good about yourself and offset the negative impact of the narcissist.
Take care of yourself: Taking care of yourself is crucial when dealing with a narcissist. Make sure that you are getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. This will help you to feel better physically and mentally, which can be very helpful when dealing with a narcissist.
As your self-esteem grows and your confidence increases, it will become more and more difficult for your narcissistic sibling to upset you and control you.
By taking care of yourself and focusing on your positive qualities, you can protect yourself from their toxic behaviour and start to live your life in a more positive way.
The Bottom Line About Dealing with a Narcissistic Sibling
It is normal to want to have a close and loving relationship with your brothers and sisters, but sometimes this is not possible. If you have a narcissistic sibling, it is important to take steps to protect yourself from their toxic behaviour. By boosting your self-esteem, keeping your distance, and standing up for yourself, you can start to take control of the situation and live a more positive life.
For Further Reading
You might also want to check out the following posts about narcissistic families and the impact of childhood trauma:
The Narcissistic Family Golden Child
The Narcissistic Family Scapegoat
Narcissistic Family Roles: The Complicated Dynamics of Narcissistic Families
The Narcissistic Parent and the Enabler
Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Family Abuse
Emotional Abuse as a Child Linked to Adult Chronic Pain
Going through the stages of grief for my lost childhood
CAPDR – Child affected by parental relationship distress
Adverse Childhood Experiences and PTSD: What’s the Connection?
The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Puberty
Learning how to Trust and Love after Adverse Childhood Experiences
Parentification: The Role of the Parentified Child in Narcissistic Families
What is Codependency and how to overcome it
Resilience – the ability to bounce back after adversity
Is the Golden Child destined to become a Narcissist?
Secrets and Shame: The Corrosive Impact of Family Secrets
How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling: Tips for Navigating Family Drama
How to Recognize and Respond to Emotional Abuse from Parents
The 6 Survival Strategies used by Narcissistic Family Scapegoats
Parental Alienation: The Destructive Impact on Parents and Children
What kind of upbringing creates a narcissist?
And finally, this is my story. I was the scapegoat daughter of a narcissistic father.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me. At no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for all my readers.