The Narcissist at Work

The Sibling Narcissist

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Many of us marry into relationships with narcissists, and others simply work with, become friends with, or date them. Those relationships are hard enough to leave. But what do you do when the narcissist in your life is a sibling?

Not only are you bound by family matters (parents, other siblings, life history), you’re bound by guilt and a sense of obligation-after all, blood is thicker than water, right? Sometimes. But the fact is, no matter what the blood ties, or the relationship (marriage, coworker, friend, acquaintance, business contact etc) you don’t owe the narcissist loyalty, let alone the frayed nerves, anger, tension and feelings you get when being around them.

The same rules for siblings, or sons, or daughters or parents who are narcissists, hold true as for non-related narcissists. YOU are more important than their need for narcissistic supply. Your boundaries are just as important and your need to protect yourself from their asinine antics are probably even more critical since you’re almost forced by some situations to have contact with them.

Yes, it’s okay to write them out of your life and ignore them for years, or even decades, if you can do that. Most of us can’t. We’re called on to interact at least at things like family funerals, parents needing to go into nursing homes, financial or legal matters or any variety of situations where you have to engage. If you’re unfortunate enough to be young enough to be living at home with a narcissist sibling, there’s no better time than the present to start learning how to deal with them. It will not only give you the discipline, insight and ability to deal with narcissists “at large”, but it will help you strengthen your boundary setting skills while you’re still young and strong!

The really hard part of having a narcissist sibling is that they know your buttons and can push them better than anyone else. They have an inside track on how you tick. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to shut-up around them and to not share things with them that will only become trigger fodder down the road.

What You Can Expect From A Narcissist Sibling (Or are already experiencing)

  • Betrayal
  • Bullying
  • Scapegoating
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Pathological lying
  • Gaslighting
  • Judgment
  • Criticism
  • Sadism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Coldness
  • Aloofness
  • Sexual abuse

Yes, we ALL want, wish and long for close family ties, family love and support, but we’re not going to get it from a narcissist sibling or relative. They won’t change so you have to in order to survive them. The rules are the same:

  • Set boundaries and communicate them clearly, in writing, in an email if you can.
  • Don’t take the bait. When they punch your buttons and flip your triggers, bite your tongue and leave.
  • Learn to just say “No,” and walk away.
  • Don’t argue or discuss controversial things with them. Remember, they like to win at all costs.
  • Keep your life as personal as possible. Lock up journals and diaries and password protect your computers.
  • Do not introduce your friends to them. They’re likely to charm them away and make you the bad guy. You’ll not only lose your friends, they’ll likely be convinced by your narcissist sibling that you’re the crazy one.

The Golden Rule of Relationships is: “You can only change yourself.”  That means don’t even think about trying to change your sibiling. They of course will try to change you. They’ll violate your boundaries, anger you, betray you and drive you insane IF YOU LET THEM. So don’t. Sound impossible? Yeah, we know. It feels that way too.  However, there things you can do to make it easier, in addition to the tips listed above:

Learn to emotionally detach from your sibling. This may require a psychologist or counselor’s help, but it will be worth the heartache it will save you down the road. Learn to separate out the narcissist’s projections from yourself. Any failings or dark feelings they harbor in their own hearts will be projected onto you. By making you the problem instead of themselves, they can feel better about their dysfunction, if only for a short while. Don’t let that happen.

If emotional distancing doesn’t work for you, then you may have to entirely sever the relationship with the narcissistic brother and/or sister.  This is harder when you’re living with them, but not impossible. Once you’re out of the house, consider severing the tie entirely. Seriously considering ending what was never a true relationship is not betrayal, it’s survival. Narcissists are incapable of caring about anyone but themselves. They are cruel, cunning, ruthless, harsh, and you will never find them to be kind or understanding no matter how much they profess to be.

If forced into a legal situation, such as having to sell your parent’s home, or deciding where to put mom or dad (hospital or nursing home), or encountering issues with a will or other situation, hire an attorney who has experience with narcissists (be careful, many attorneys are narcissists themselves and will side with your sibling!) and let them handle the situation while you make decisions from the privacy and safety of your own bubble. Forward all emails to your attorney and don’t respond to the sibling except through your attorney. Trust me, the financial pain of this arrangement will be far less painful than the psychological pain of dealing with the narcissist directly.

Have no emotional expectations or keep them very low. Narcissists can be charming, smart and talented, but they’re very emotionally limited. If you understand that you can interact with them without being disappointed. Narcissists only respond to you if they believe it’s in their best interest, not yours.

Never make your self-worth dependent on them. The trap that all victims fall into with narcissists, whether related or not, is to try to please them in hopes of getting them to change, or to see your side. It won’t work and they’ll only consider you a greater source of supply and make life more miserable.

Never share any deep feelings, goals, dreams or vulnerabilities with them. They won’t cherish them and will only use them against you.

If you must interact with them or ask them for something, show them how giving it to you will benefit them in some way. Reframe things so they become the center of attention and your needs disappear. Rather than saying, “I’d like to go to the movies,”  say, “You’re such an excellent judge of movies. I’d love to hear your insights and take on this new movie.”   Ego stroking the narcissist is tedious and demeaning at best, but it’s often worth doing to avoid a narcissistic rage, or in order to get what you want and can’t get from them any other way. Stating your needs, getting angry and threats don’t work. Stroking their ego will.

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47 Comments to "The Sibling Narcissist"

  1. […] Got a narcissist for a sibling? Then you’re well-acquainted with the toxic effect they have over family relationships. A great post over at The Narcissist at Work has a wealth of advice: The Sibling Narcissist. […]

  2. susan says:

    Thank you for writing this article as I’ve spent my whole life being scapegoated , criticized and judged. I felt crazy, insane, emotionally abused and feeling I would never be seen as valuable, worthy or respectable. Now I have the power to say it’s them. No matter how much I want that relationship I won’t get it from my sibling. This article describes everything I experience and feel exactly!!! Setting boundaries is what I have to learn and believing I”m not crazy. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Thank you for reading it and responding! I’m so sorry you were so abused. You did NOT deserve it. I am glad you’ve learned boundaries and are healing! Keep it up!

  3. Penny says:

    Interesting read on narcissism. The following article on narcissistic relationships was also very insightful.

    http://www.psychalive.org/2013/04/Narcissistic-Relationships/

  4. HereAndThere says:

    I’ve finally distanced myself from my narcissist sister. I put up with a lot of shit and would have continued because that was normal life for me. I just think that after a certain age, the physical abuse should stop. We’re in our thirties and it was only getting worse. I had to give up a lot when I left and started from scratch but freedom is worth it.
    keep up the good work. even though it’s been 2 years of no contact for me, I read sites like yours from time to time to remind myself of why I took this decision and why I must stick to it.

  5. Karina says:

    Thanks for the article!
    I am currently living with a narcissistic brother and he just loves to make me angry. I am suffering a lot living with so much rage in my heart- I try to detach myself emotionally from him but it is hard as he can be great sometimes and then turn extremely argumentative and aggressive without warning. He always turns things around and makes it seem as though I was the one provoking the conflict! I try to just tell him that I don´t want to argue and walk away, but he just follows me and enters my room; he has to have the last word. If I had a lock on my door he would break it down! Sorry for the rant but my brother is slowly poisoning my soul! What can I do?

  6. Shelley says:

    With the exception of sexual abuse, you just described my younger brother completely. He and my mother exhibit overt full spectrum narcissism. Highly toxic, which is why I have no contact with any siblings or the toxic blood family and haven’t for several years. Narcissim runs in families. It is quite common to marry one, having been raised by them. I’ve been their scapegoat most of my life. Their cruelties and abuses are many. Not anymore! I took my life back, put everything into obtaining a much needed divorce & then washed my hands of the lot of them! Emotionally and mentally sound people do not keep company with the disordered. That would be suicide of the soul.

  7. Shay says:

    Thank you so much for this. My sister has abandoned my father and me, and left on his birthday. She has always used subtle mind games and even accused me of being stoned when I cried when discussing my ex-boyfriends death. They know no bounds, and sadly, my mother feels trapped. She is only speaking to my mother since she can’t maintain relationships. Everyone has put it on my back to even the playing field with her and make amends, but she has deleted me off facebook, saw nothing wrong with what she has done and even works as a social worker helping people with Borderline Personality and stating she doesn’t care about them, she wants the money. I still feel guilty, but she plays everything so well and I always look crazy and she says that I am (oddly I have BPD…), but I don’t know if I should just move on and start a healthy life with a man that loves me and take care of my also narcissistic father who is heartbroken. His whole family has left me and I am the only one that still talks to him etc. I feel trapped, and I don’t know if you have any advice. Sorry for the rant…Thank you SO MUCH again for the article. I feel much less guilty <3

  8. Lisa says:

    Wow.

    My younger brother and I are at the beginning what will undoubtedly be a long journey into no-contact with our Narcissistic Mum, Dad AND brother…..I feel like you must have had hidden cameras/microphones in our homes!
    Thank you so much for reaffirming the decision we’ve made :)

  9. Susan Wilson says:

    I found this to be extremely useful, but would also recommend Melanie Tonia Evans website.

    • admin says:

      Susan, Melanie Tonia Evans website is VERY good! Thank you for recommending it! We need ALL the help and advice we can find!

  10. Jenniferlis says:

    This was very helpful! My situation is a little bit different. The problem for me is that my sister began as my best friend and took me into her family as I was an abused child from my biological family. This only fuels her narcissistic abuse towards me with labeling me as a “damaged teenager that I brought into my wonderful and perfect family”. My situation makes it nearly impossible to cut all ties. At a crossroads.

    • admin says:

      Situations are rarely, if ever “impossible.” They may be hard, difficult and painful, but you can DECIDE to change things and cut ties. It will mean admitting you know there is no chance for the life you hoped for with this person, and some pain. When the pain of what you are experiencing is greater than the pain of leaving, and only then….will you be able to leave. It’s okay to leave. It means not having the family you hoped for, but it means accepting that nothing you do is ever going to bring that about so moving on.

  11. M says:

    What a fantastic article. I’ve just realised that both my mother and older sister are narcissists. I’m 52 and have lived all my life thinking I was never good enough. It’s amazing how the narcissist can turn people against you. My mother who is 82 has done that to me with the rest of my family. What I also find interesting is that my sister is that way with me, but would never be like that with her own daughter. Thanks very much for the insights.

  12. MC says:

    Thank You for the information. It helps me to some extent. I have three extremely narcissistic sisters, one of which is a twin. The three manipulate and instigate trouble to the point that I am always on the outs. The twin is (was) physically abusive. The second sibling is explosive and the third is all about “me”. The constant criticism and ridicule that I receive from them is beyond abusive. For the last 20 or so years I have tried to sever ties. All three at some time or another have “pretended” to change to get what they want from me. When they use me monetarily, they discard me until they need me again. Eight years ago, I made a conscious decision to no longer tolerate the mistreatment. I have been very happily married for 20 years and seem to have two separate lives. The happy me with my husband and child and the unhappy me with my sisters. In the last eight years the three of them have “befriended” friends and family turning everyone against me. One has went so far as joining a church that I belonged to even though she lived in another town. Another sis befriended co-workers to instigate trouble at work. They have created social website accounts pretending to be me. They have vandalized my home (broken home and car windows, dead bleeding rat on door, spray painted fence with threats of murder, let air out of my tires). They are no happy that I want to sever ties. Most assaults happen on an anniversary or birthday. The police can’t help unless someone is hurt or I have a witness. My siblings tell everyone that I lie and make it up. They have even suggested that I am the one doing these things. I AM NOT! I have moved several times and tried to hide my location but they eventually find me. I just want to live my life and they can live theirs. I do not understand why they won’t le t me go. The last I heard from one (my twin) sent me an email where she changed a letter in her last name so it wasn’t that same name but close enough for me to know it was her. In the email she threatened me and said she wanted me off the face of the earth. Still the police could not help. At this point in time I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the constant abuse. In one of my twins black out rages she literally ripped a wall to get into my locked bedroom. Later I said that it was like Jack Nickolas in the movie “the Shining” saying “here’s Johnny”. I have nightmares about this all the time. This incident happened in 1992. The point of my story is it’s not that easy to just walk away. In my case ALL THREE of my sisters need to control me. With me walking away it only angers them more. Because we are sisters and not married spouses the police DO NOTHING and act like we all need to grow up. NO ONE EVER BELIEVES ME!!!!! (Except my husband and a few friends who have not met my sisters but have witnessed the vandalism)~PastaLinguica

  13. Alyssa says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I’ve known for several years that my father has NPD, and finally learned how to set boundaries with him in order to keep him in my life. I have finally accepted I will never have the father/daughter relationship I have sought after my whole life, and have lowered my expectations so that him disappointing me no longer leaves me feeling rejected and unloved. I now only invite him to various events if I can tell myself that I’m 100% ok if he is to not show up, then if he does, I’m pleasantly surprised. So, after I was able to get my relationship with my dad into a safe and manageable place, I began to notice the similarities in my relationship with my older sister. I sometimes feel that once you remove the rose colored glasses to more clearly view something, slowly, all other areas begin to crispen as well. I felt that same aha moment following an argument with my sister in which I was addressing the consistent theme where I’m constantly running to her aid to help her whenever she needs me, yet the moment I need anything from her, she refuses to even discuss or offer reasoning, her answer is always No! After this latest argument, I began looking at our relationship. I read through our threads of text messaging and noticed only one common theme, they were all about her. Her problems, her kids, her job, etc. The moment I brought up anything about myself, I’d get a one word response like, “nice”, or “good”. Then this article, simply stated each and every issue I’ve had growing up with my sister who was “the star”, “never did anything wrong”, was made out to be a total saint, even to the point of manipulating my parents into scolding me for things she had done. Looking back, I can’t believe I never noticed this behavior to be narcissistic, but once I acknowledged and accepted my relationship with my dad, things have slowly become more clear, as if I’m now ready to face them, and your article helped me see I’m not crazy, and that continuously doubting the possibility of having a narcissistic sister will only prevent me from moving forward with my life and I can no longer fall victim to the negativity of that relationship, which has made me feel as if I’ve been branded a failure for life, no matter what success I’ve accomplished. I firmly believe that those types of “brandings”, like failure, are strong and intense enough to almost make you repeatedly live out those beliefs. I’m hoping by following the advice in your article about setting boundaries, etc, that I will be able to come to a safe and healthy place with my big sister like I have with my father. Thank you SO much!

  14. Em says:

    Thanks especially for pointing out that they’ll befriend your friends and turn all of them against you, then look at you and say “well, why aren’t you and so-and-so speaking any more?” This has happened to me over the past 20+ years with my younger narcissistic sister and I’ve always thought “Oh- that has to be a coincidence/my imagination-” but it’s an (unfortunately) repeating pattern. Lesson (painfully) learned.

  15. lilie says:

    it was very good to read this article, Susan you are right you are not crazy. I have experience abuse of an older sister from a child through adulthood. a family gathering is coming up…… yea! since the last visit, relationships have been ruined. when you see it happen to another member it’s hard to help them come to terms. of course there are the siblings that support the behavior just because its easier than dealing with it.

  16. melanie says:

    I have only just realised now (at the age of 39) that my brother is a narcissist, and that there is nothing wrong with me after all. The problem I have is that I believe that he is deliberately trying to cut me out of his life and the lives of my parents. And it is working! My parents are slowing turning against me whilst seeing hin in an increasingly ‘golden’ light. After trying in vain my whole life to build a relationship with my brother, I know accept that I need to cut all ties with him. However, I do not wish to cut ties with my parents! But because of the damage my brother is doing, I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a relationship with them too. What should i do?

  17. dg says:

    Isn’t narcissism a bit greyer than that? I’m sure I’m narcissistic but I’m also sure I don’t have a narcissistic personality disorder. I was shocked by the number of traits my twin brother exhibits that fits your list. I must admit, my longing for some kind of empathy and understanding leaves me in a state of pretty deep pain. Twins! Have you read Dante’s Inferno? Read the last and deepest ring of Hell: twins caught in ice forever gnawing at one anothers’ necks.

  18. dg says:

    PS: I am seeing a psychiatrist about this btw.

  19. Nia says:

    I went no contact with my mother (my father died the year before) and have tried to explain why to my sisters. My oldest sister has Asperger’s Syndrome, so a lot of her behaviour is actually copied from my mother since she is the oldest sibling. It is even more crazy making because you have a double whammy. I know since my son is also AS. Trying to get them to change their opinions on a subject is almost impossible because of the way their brains are wired.

    My other sister I fear was a golden child. For years I looked up to her and ignored the insults, accusations, and betrayals. I realised some years ago that her actions were narcissistic. Now she has daughters of her own who are acting very much like she did at their age. My whole family are infected.

    I have tried to explain to my kids what narcissism is, but I think you have to experience it for yourself, and they were still young when we cut off contact from my family.

    I was appalled that neither of my sisters cared that much and wrote very dismissive emails when I tried to explain our actions ironically signed “I love you”. Half of the problem with being the invisible child in a dysfunctional family is that nobody listens to you anyway.

    Before I went no contact or learned about Narcissism I tried an experiment. I didn’t contact my sisters or brother and waited to see how long it would take for one of them to try and contact me. It took 2 years. I realised at that point that something was wrong, because they were all contacting each other and doing things together, flying across the country to be together.

    I reasoned, how was it possible for a whole family to agree that one member of it is not worth the effort when that one member has done nothing to incur this rejection other than exist? It surely has to be the cruelest and most unconscionable act yet from what I have read, so many people have had this happen to them.

    Thanks for this blog and the articles you write. They are easy to read and informative.

  20. Barb says:

    I am in my mid 50’s, and just found out that all the abuse that I’ve experienced since I was born, is because my only sibling is a narcissist. The ONLY people that don’t look down on me and TRULY know what kind of person I really am, are the ones that doesn’t know my sister. She has managed to take away family & family friends. I’ve been doubting myself, and your article has helped. I kept thinking that I’M not the one that needs therapy, but I’ve come to realize I DO need therapy as the VICTIM. Two years ago, I cut her out of my life. I do not speak to her in any manner. Only once have I seen her (I kept my distance and totally ignored her presence) at my cousins funeral. Needless to say, she didn’t stay for the service. My ignoring her must have really gotten to her. But I’ve HAD to cut her out of my life. She stole my inheritance from my parents (I got NOTHING, she got EVERYTHING), she’s lied about me all my life to family & family friends (that’s why everyone that knows her, looks down on me). Only, I am still getting repercussions from her lies throughout the years. Most of my blood family thinks I’M the crazy one, as you said above. I need to go for therapy so I can be free of her narcissistic bond. Staying completely away from her has not diminished the doubt and confusion. So….you’ve made me understand that I need help to deal with everything I’ve been through. Thank you. I know I’m not crazy now.

    • admin says:

      No, you’re NOT crazy. Thank goodness you see that, and that you see you need therapy as the victim. Therapy is the best gift we can give ourselves and I am so glad to see you realize that AND cut your sibling out of your life. Keep pursuing therapy. It helps. It takes time, but you’re definitely on the right track!

  21. RB says:

    Thank you for your insight into this kind of relationship. Your words ring true in my ears.

    I had great difficulty protecting my mother financially for the last five years. My sister had “borrowed” money since she move out 30 years ago. But the last straw was when my sister took out a visa in my mother’s name and ran it up to the limit within 4 months prior to my mother’s death. I found the statement the day we were making arrangements. My sister never admitted to taking the money. And yes, I did have an attorney – great advise.

    I have also been in therapy and it does help. I have set boundaries for me AND my family. I have not cut ties, yet. But that is something I am considering.

    You article is encouraging for us who are going through these real life struggles. Thank you.

  22. FireAndIce says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve just found your blog after searching for Narcissistic sister. This post has clarified so much for me.

    I am suffering from PTSD due to abuse from my mother and my sister (and possibly my brother-in-law – still trying to work out whether I was totally manipulated by him too). All my life my sister has been the precious one and I’ve been relegated to the back seat. I was “outsourced” to live with relatives during the weekdays for most of my preschool years and saw my parents from Friday night to Sunday night. On hindsight, I think that I’m a better person for it because I learnt values that were important. And I now have several maternal figures. I do not include my mother in that because she has basically been a non-mother. However, having learnt the important values made me a fantastic source of supply for the Narcissists in my life.

    In 2010, I finally severed contact with my sister. It helps that she’s in New Zealand and I’m in Australia. She tried making contact via Facebook by saying that she missed having me for a sister and a friend and wished that we could have a better relationship. I immediately processed that she found another use for me. And this was before discovering that she fit the profile of a Narcissist in addition to having Borderline Personality Disorder. My husband was of the same opinion. She wanted to come over to Australia saying that her kids wanted to visit my kids (she almost ALWAYS uses her kids as weapons or pawn). There was no way that I was going to let her attack me on my own turf, especially when I’m still trying to pick up the pieces of myself which she thoroughly crushed. I ignored her and as my husband and I discovered this morning, she has deactivated her Facebook account. That was her means of getting in contact with me, but since I didn’t take the bait, it served her no longer.

    Once again, thank you for your article. Look forward to many more! :)

  23. Gunnar Olson says:

    My dad has always been a narcissistic asshole. For years I never really understood that he was a narcissist. My mother passed away about 2 1/2 years ago (my dad dumped her for his a “newer model”…his secretary. Thank GOD she didn’t have to suffer his abuse for the last 30+ years of her life. Sad, though, that it took her a LONG time to come to terms with it). My sister was power of attorney and then executor, and I REALLY discovered what a narcissist is. I always knew she was kind of a bitch, but I seriously think she’s psychotic now! It’s so over-the-top bizarre…she’s constantly miserable and trying to pin it on everyone else. She’s a MEAN, NASTY, UGLY BITCH. Self-righteously indignant that her integrity has been “questioned” (even though she cheated on her husband for 5 years). She basically punishes and abuses everyone in her life, and then has temper tantrums because everyone has “hurt” her. Get’s mad that you hurt her foot with your face…after she’s kicked you in the face!!! She’s lately tried to play the “scolding” “guilt” trip on me. I just don’t respond, and at this point have decided to completely cut her out of my life. Same thing with my dad. He’s a major DICK. I feel sad for them, but you reap what sow.

  24. TL says:

    Thank you for this..I’ve been the black sheep of the family to a narcissistic sibling for my lifetime…our mother makes excuses, scapegoats me and shoves the blame for the abuse my sister does onto me, and to justify my sister’s issues our mother in response reminds me how horrible and worthless I am as a person

    • admin says:

      Many of us have felt like the black sheep! You are NOT alone. You are not horrible or worthless either. Don’t believe that! You deserve better. Find a good therapist or counselor and work on discovering the wonderful YOU that they can’t see. DO NOT let anyone dictate who you are, or arent’. You are precious in God’s eyes and He made you exactly the way He wanted you. Celebrate who you are. They are wrong, and mentally unstable….ignore them. Find people who appreciate YOU.

  25. DD says:

    I too have recently “seen the light”, regarding my younger sister. So many things make sense. Especially past events and on chatting to mum, I’ve realised that I was taken in my my sister, as I believed her lies about my mum. My sister cut my mum from her life years ago. Many of my mum’s family have already fallen out with her, as they are strong minded and could see what she was up too.

    A friend recently asked me to Google narcissist and that’s when it dawned on me.

    Now I’m reliving past events and making sense of them. Like being made to feel guilty when I hadn’t done anything wrong, but began to believe I had. So many light bulb moments.

    I’m now in a predicament that my sister has decided to have my father move in with her. Obviously she needed an extension, which he is selling his house for. He has completely changed and is in awe of her and how wonderful she is. He and I always felt better because we could share our concerns about my sister and her husband, and how we always kept going back to make her happy because she’s family, blood is thicker than water?? We didn’t want to feel that we had failed as sister/father when do many family cut themselves off from her.

    I have told then both I have no interest in the financial side as I’m sure they would be fair to me. I’ve always said as long as my dad is happy, that’s all that matters and I hope he has no inheritance money left, as I want him to have a good life. Now I’m concerned this was too naive of me? My brother in law wanted me to sign an agreement to say that if dad died before the build I would not contest the will, before their building costs were deducted. Legally this was going to cost almost £1,000 for a price of paper, and I felt hurt they didn’t believe and trust me. So I refused, but did sign a piece of paper drawn up my sister to the same effect.

    On numerous occasions, whilst the building work is still going on, my sister has stated that his “annexe” is to be completely separate and even the garden will be split so “if she comes home from work she won’t have dad spoiling her peace” her words.

    I’m so worried about my dad, he’s totally brainwashed. The rest of the family agree, so I’ve decided to take a step back. I will reply and be polite to any communications, but not instigate any. My sister very rarely contacts me first. I always been the one chasing her, now I know why!

    My dad has sold his car, he’s now totally controlled by her and until the build is finished (he’s moved in before as he’s depressed). My sister has got him at a very vulnerable state and taking advantage. I’m assuming controlling is a major factor of narcissm? Her children are still at home and tied to her apron strings, she still classes her 17 year old as a child and treats her like one. My niece goes along with it as she thinks it’s normal family behaviour, which breaks my heart – I can’t and won’t say anything to either of them.

    Any suggestions, should I, like the rest of the family do, and stay out of it and wait until he sees the light – I’m assuming when she has another “project” to occupy her and dad is even more vulnerable than he is now. Or do I ask him to Google narcissist, and hope he doesn’t mention it too my sister?

    I feel as he has been suicidal in the past, if realisation comes, he will feel silly and do something silly.

    When he moved in with her he left friends and his widow’s home, saying he won’t ever get in touch with them again as it’s the complete end of a chapter. I also feel this was influenced by my sister.

    Any comments welcome, it’s all very raw at the moment and I’m feeling very emotional.

  26. Erin says:

    This is the first thing I’ve read in my 22 years that has described exactly how I have felt. I have searched and searched the internet, typing into Google many times asking the questions, “Why does my older brother hate me,” “Why has my older brother always hated me,” etc. I think this has finally given me a solid answer. He’s a narcissist. I remember being around 6, staring into the mirror, and hating my reflection. I think part of this is due to the bullying and teasing I received at the hands of my brother. The bad thing is, I have a younger brother and we share the same mother and father and we used to have a really good friendship, but now our older brother has manipulated him and turned him against our mom and I. It wasn’t long ago though that this older brother was constantly throwing insults at both I and our younger brother – once I was repeatedly slapped in the back of the head and called a “dyke” over-and-over. After he saw I was unaffected by his behavior in this instance, he moved onto our younger brother and called him a “f*ggot,” “p*ssy,” “loser,” “gay,” etc. Keep in mind, when this particular incident happened, our older brother was 26, I was 16, and our younger brother was only 12. Now our narcissist brother has gotten our other brother into believing that he’s the only one that cares about him and he’s the only one “looking out for him.” I am incredibly hurt that my baby brother has turned against my mom and I. My older brother has never actually really known either our younger brother or I, and if he did know what we were really like, he’d only make fun of us and he wouldn’t “accept” us. My younger brother needs to know that he’s actively being used as a pawn and as a way for our hateful brother to take out his manipulation tactics. I had a wake-up call when I was about 15. Our older brother was never going to accept me. I just hope my younger brother figures it out soon and that all our older brother is doing is ruining and damaging his relationships with people that actually do care about him.

  27. esta says:

    I have narc brother and sneaky sister in law, as result of narc mother, belittling, undermining me to my nieces so they say nasty things to me, comments snide remarks, can be anything from my make up to the shoes I wear, ungrateful for anything I bought them, iv had to endure narc rage from mother and brother, v abusive, and have decided to cut them out of my life, after almost 50 years. good luck people walk away sooner than me.

  28. Elle says:

    I am the youngest of 3 siblings and have had a stormy relationship with the middle sibling. We had a dance for over 40 years where she would blow up and say scathing words, I’d retreat into my corner, sometimes as long as a year or two. She would come to me with a serious problem, and we’d resume our relationship. Until the next time when she would go crazy on me and we’d repeat that pattern.

    The last straw happened shortly after my 60th birthday. We had an exchange, she sent me a very toxic email and it was an epiphany-I know I am not as she described me–a horrible, selfish, thoughtless person.

    I’ve been no contact since then. There are some family gatherings coming up this year where we’ll be in the same setting, but I plan on taking the high road, not engage inappropriately and keep my boundaries in tact.

  29. Marilyn says:

    Thank you to all posters for the insight on NPD siblings. I come from a very large Catholic family and am the “invisible child”, though I’m now in my mid-50s. Most of my siblings are older than me. Both my parents are now deceased, and upon reflection, the scapegoating and abuse from some of my siblings, which I now see was always in the backdrop, really exploded onto the scene after our 2nd parent (Mom) died. It is only this past year or so that I started reading about Narcissistic personalities, and it helps to understand but the hurt seems to not really ever go away.

    Specifically, I believe I have 2 Nsisters (Narcissistic sisters), and I am finding it difficult to go NC (no contact) with 1 of them with whom I was inseparable growing up. The change in her was like night and day – I remember the exact day many years ago when she changed behaviors and started gaslighting me. I have had a lot of difficulty understanding how someone could change seemingly overnight like she did, unless, of course, she was NPD all along and was just very good at hiding it from me, or, I was just too naïve to know better. The other Nsister never hid it from me, and we have never been close, so I do not have difficulty going NC with her. What really bothers me is the number of Flying Monkey siblings I have who are only too willing to do the Nsisters’ bidding and/or gaslight me of their own free will. They must know how mean they are being to me. One of my brothers is an active member of his Christian church, is even a lay minister, and yet he participates in shaming, scapegoating, gaslighting, and being mean to me too. There is a very blurry line between NPD and Flying Monkey, not sure who is what of my siblings. It’s like dealing with a ring of bullies who take turns trashing me, lying about and to me, blaming me, and purposely making me feel terrible. They stopped inviting me to family gatherings a few years ago, but honestly, if I was invited to a family gathering now, I do not know if I want to be in their presence, nor do I want my children exposed to them, because I know that they would take every opportunity to continue their bad behaviors. We have to travel a great distance to attend family gatherings, and we went to them all for many years. I was given the silent treatment at a minimum of 2 family gatherings, though I didn’t realize it until it happened the 2nd time, then I felt so completely blindsided by their bad behavior. It was one of my 1st realizations of their dysfunctional group behavior.

    The last family gathering I attended was our Mom’s funeral which was last decade, and they made a group decision to ignore me and my family by leaving the funeral home for the dinner break and not inviting us to join them. Even my children who were young then knew what had just happened!

    I used to have a family email account but I closed it when they started openly smearing me via email. One of my siblings cracked my email password and deleted all their nasty emails they sent me this past couple of decades, but what they don’t realize is that I saved all those emails in MSWord. One night I took a walk down memory road and re-read all the emails from the 1 Nsister, and I was shocked all over again at how nasty and mean she has been to me over the years. If I had it to do all over again, I wish I would have been more assertive with her but not sure it would have made any difference. She is the Nsister I don’t have much to do with. Instead of email, I started using postal mail to communicate with family, and I have written congenial letters to some of my siblings, but they ignore me. I have finally come to a place of peace about this, and I realize that I cannot force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do, and it is their own choice to distance themselves from me. A few years ago, I decided that if they aren’t going to respond, I’m not going to beg. What I have noticed is that they want updates on my children, and some of them have tried to skirt around me to get to my children by asking me to have my children email them or phone them. Realizing what kind of people they are, even my children do not want contact with them.

    The relationships I terribly miss are those of my 2 sisters-in-law, whom I believe have fallen silent out of fear. They have had little to no contact with me because I am sure they have experienced the wrath of my brothers’ NPD or Flying Monkey stance, and they are working at keeping their marriages intact and/or they are being kept under a controlling thumb. I know there are other siblings in the family who are also silent out of fear of reprisal, as they see what has happened to me, and they do not want to become a scapegoat like me. The little contact I have had with some of my siblings this past few years has afforded me tiny gems of knowledge and understanding about which I am grateful, though I am sure they didn’t realize at the time what they were admitting to, but 1 of my sisters told me there is a culture of fear in the family and named 2 specific siblings she is afraid of. Another of my family members admitted that I am commonly gossiped and lied about amongst family members and that I am outcast, and openly persecuted and character-assassinated me to everyone in the family. Various family members have made such outlandish accusations at me that it made me realize (over a lengthy period of retrospection) that these accusations are projections upon me that actually apply to the NPD and Flying Monkey members of the family, not to me. Bottom line is, they are scapegoating and gaslighting me, and once I realized this I suddenly did not feel quite as worthless as what they are trying to make me feel.

    What I have come to realize is that no matter how politely I speak to them – and I make it a point to always be polite and never give them any ammunition to throw back at me – they find a way to twist facts, tell me I am the hateful one, and hate-bomb me and accuse me all over again. They accuse me of giving them the silent treatment, but in fact, they are the initiators of the silent treatment; my 1 Nsister admitted to it the last time she talked to me. The silence gap is about 6 months to a year, then 1 of them will contact me and start the cycle all over again, offer ridiculous excuses for the behavior of other siblings, and make it sound like it’s all my fault.

    Once I realized that it is okay to go ‘no contact’ (NC), I did so. I realize their hate-bombing, gaslighting, and accusations are their modus operandi and this is who they are – dysfunctional, nasty, mean, short-sighted NPD people, who do not belong in my life, even though they are my siblings.

    I wonder how people become nasty like this, and how can they live with themselves? I have no answers, except to say that 50% of my siblings are addicts, so perhaps this lends itself to NPD or maybe it’s v.v., I don’t know. What I am grateful for is the wealth of information now available through websites like this that educate and inform those of us who so badly need it. Thank you for reading this and for allowing me to tell (part of) my story.

  30. john says:

    My older sister is the narcissist sibling. She has habitually attacked all five of us siblings, as well as dad.

    When I say attacked, I mean: betrayal, bullying, emotional abuse, gaslighting, judgment, criticism, coldness, meddling, and even emasculation (of my dad).

    I have been putting up with her antics for years, because I was taught to love family for who they are. But the damage this is doing to me–and what I see it is doing to the rest of my family (including my spouse)–has become unbearable.

    I am ready to do whatever it takes to never see her again. That might even mean not going to family reunions or family funerals (except I would love to go to hers). The problem is, does that make me the bad guy?

    • You’re not the bad guy unless you start responding with violence or illegal retaliation. You know your situation best. If there are five of you and your dad, the most powerful thing you all can do is ignore her entirely. Don’t give her the attention she so desperately craves. Don’t open her emails, block her on your phones, don’t have anything to do with her period. NOTHING. Don’t respond, answer, explain, debate, talk or have any connection at all. Tell her ONCE that if she shows up at any of your houses, that you’ll call the police. Then get a restraining order and enforce it. This means all of you have to be strong. The person who gives in will become the person she either attacks, or sucks in with sweetness and charm until she gets what she wants. The ONLY way to deal with a narcissist is to ignore them…and it often takes YEARS to see and feel the relief. You can’t change her. You just CAN NOT. All you can do is set and enforce boundaries. I hope you find the strength to ignore her. She will increase her efforts to get to each of you in search of the weak link, but if you all support each other and don’t have any contact, she will eventually find other victims and leave you all alone. Good luck. It’s a hard choice and a harder path to stick to!

  31. john says:

    P.S. to my previous post, her pattern includes sending I love you cards in between smack-downs…

    • admin says:

      The I Love You cards are meant to keep you hoping things will change. She needs YOU more than you need her. In the future DO NOT OPEN the cards. Mark them “Return to Sender” and send them back.

      • john says:

        System is now in place. Calls blocked, e-mails straight to oblivion, spouse intercepting the regular mail.

        Now I have to work on my thoughts…she is currently traveling in Europe and I find myself rooting for ISIS…

        Thanks Becky and admin. Can’t believe it took me decades to figure this out.

        • admin says:

          Wooooohoo!! Good for you! Don’t worry about the time lost. Think of the years you’ve finally gained for your future!

  32. Elaine says:

    Thank you for this article. I’ve known for quite some time that my sibling was a narcissist but somewhere down deep, since it’s my only sibling, I’ve always held hope for a normal relationship. I learned the hard way two days ago to give up that hope and so I’ve been researching the subject and found this website. My challenge probably isn’t unique but it isn’t as easy as just severing ties with my sibling. My parents are easily swayed by guilt (since she tells them she is this way because of the way she was raised) and they believe that. They also worry since she’s an alcoholic. My struggle is that they do not honor my decision to cut ties to the best of my realistic abilities. I am the bad guy because I don’t invite my narcissistic sibling to family events. If she isn’t invited, my parents won’t come. This is having such a ripple effect and they see me as the cold one. They ignored the emotional and physical abuse she inflicted when we were children and have kept looking the other way. I’m beginning to think my only options are physically relocating myself elsewhere now that my own kids are young adults or simply accepting that I will never have my parents as my emotional advocates. Thanks again for the site. I’m learning so much about this sad sad topic.

    • admin says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Sibling narcissists are really hard to deal with because they are family, and in spite of the extreme abuse we want, or think we need to keep in touch. You don’t. It’s very hard to chose the right path because it feels wrong. Go slow. You may not be able to severe ties.It’s all about choices. You aren’t the bad guy. Your parents are in denial. Remember, you can ONLY change yourself, not others. It’s not easy to walk away while watching people embrace their poor choices, but it’s the healthiest thing to do for YOU. It’s okay to save yourself. It is sad, and painful, and so very very difficult, but the alternative – a life with a narcissist – is so much worse.

  33. CaliGurl4Life says:

    I have finally pinpointed “what” exactly my EX sister and mother both are. Malignant Narcissists. NO SURPRISE HERE.

    My alchoholic/druggie sister is different in that she has actually made attempts to kill my other sister (the COOL BAD ASS ONE)…my Mom would insinuate and say Things about my dying Dad like, “I can’t wait for it to be over”… Referring to him as an “it” that’s just in the way, and man can they both cry for themselves but not others. Crocodile tears at best… But the youngest and last to be born wants so very many others dead… More than I am aware of I’m sure of that.

    I’m the oldest of three girls. The second one leads a crazy lifestyle but would never hurt or plan to hurt family. The youngest (ironically) the one with 2 kids is a proven crazed boozed-up, drug addicted, sociopathic, madwoman, a TRUE Malignant Narcissist.

    She’s the MN still egging my house (enlisting others to do the dirty) on Easter and leaving foul and crude “gifts” on my Mother stoop with GFY written on it the same day 2 years ago.

    Stalking me last year (3 times in 3 weeks) at my new job. ((She must really miss my guidance and advice))… She was Just to try to elicit a response in the hopes I would be fired (none of which worked, making her MAD MAD MAD LOL), meet my coworkers to spread lies and make TRY to make me look bad (her very favorite) and mostly cause disrupt in my life and get inside my head. (STILL DIDNT WORK) I quit soon after for other reasons but she likely thinks ((because she’s the Queen of Ugly Bully World which includes old people, kids and animals)) it’s due to her nasty toxic and ugly presence.

    Her email even reads how she wants to be viewed… FEAR-SHERRY. No one is afraid of her… She simply makes people nauseous just hearing her voice how she deserves EVERYTHING FOR NOTHING. HOW SHE WANTS HER SISTER DEAD…WAH WAH WAH… It’s similar to hearing a big 46 years old baby cry with a full belly and a tit in their mouth. Truly pathetic.. And she’s past due to grow the hell up.

    She lets others pay her way because she’s not smart enough to look after her own kids and get a “real career” … She’s mad about THAT TOO. I nicknamed her the Killer Cashier… Very fitting.

    I found that email name disturbing a hilariously pathetic vie for attention in the worst way… But she truly despises herself.

    Jealous, envious and pissed off that she’s not attractive and intelligent like my other sister. Jealous that I’ve dated and still know celebrity folk… Absoluytely furious I would NOT bring her into that world but included my real sister… The only one I call family.

    Most of all she wants me, my sister and my mother dead. Not gonna happen… She may have to get more people to try once again. Psycho!!

    After my Dad died she said, “all we need is 3 signatures and we can get Mom locked up, then we can get the money.” I told her she was crazy.

    I’m only touching on a few things here due to the fact the story is so long (3 decades plus) of whining, plotting, planning to attempt to destroy others. She really needs to find a hobby.

    I’m trying to understand who I am, why I am who and what I am and that’s a good person who likes themselves.
    this “IT” of A Human is not worthy of me or my time and presence.

    I now simply refer to me and my sisters as The GOOD, The BAD and The UGLY ( UGLY INSIDE AND OUT) I can stillfind some humor in all the drama and toxic purging of the past 3 decades of my life.

    My Dad did get the final word and typed a 5 page letter ripping into her and telling her he was ashamed that he produced such a vile and disgusting human. That she was a bad mother is every way possible way, drugs, leaving her kids with anyone so she could party, and sleeping with any guy that might have money or drugs. Basically telling her she’s a loser that he should have disowned her if it weren’t for her kids.

    She has no clue how close she came in 2000 to losing them in court. We all banned together and started a plan and he decided he was just too sick to follow through… For her it would have meant losing her most valuable ammunition… Because that’s ALL she “had”… And no longer does. To her her kids are just THINGS to toy with… She regretted having them so that does sum it up nicely.

  34. Maddie says:

    I’m currently 14, turning 15 in July. My parents got divorced a few years ago and although my younger brother has always been a manipulative, rude and demeaning person, he reached a new peak after this. I looked up how to tell if your in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, and he met all the requirements… Which scares me. He can be physically abusive at times, never that bad, only leaving bruises at his worst, but, he really just abuses me and my mom verbally. He calls me every name in the book, whore, bitch, slut, ugly, fat, worthless, and a variety of other “creative” insults. I’ve learned not to take anything he says to heart, and not to let him hear any of my hopes or dreams… Which, is difficult for me since he’s my only sibling, and we used to be so close. As he grew up, he just became this monster of a person I can’t recognize, and I can’t escape it. The main problem is that he never lets me win anything, or get anything that he doesn’t see as “fair”. He’s entitled, and acts as though everyone owes him something and that he’s better than everyone else… He manipulates my mother, and berates her until she gives in. How can I help my situation? How can I help my mom?

    • admin says:

      The best thing you can do is talk to your mom. Tell her how you feel, and what you’re thinking. See if she can afford to go to therapy with you. If your school has a counselor, talk to them and let them know what is going on. They may be able to help. Read all you can about boundaries. Read Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, “Boundaries, When to Say Yes, How to Say No.” ANY of his books on boundaries are excellent and you can find them in most public libraries. You can’t change or control your brother. You can only change yourself. Learn to set and ENFORCE boundaries. Learn to ignore him. Go to your room and lock the door if you have to, but distance yourself. Do NOT share anything important with him. This means don’t introduce him to your friends, don’t talk about your dreams, or anything that is important to you. He can’t be trusted with it. He will use the information to hurt and attack you. Don’t get in any arguments with him. You can’t beat a narcissist in an argument. What they hate more than anything is not being able to get a rise out of you. If you want to really get to him say, “Sending positive thoughts your way.” It will help you think positive. You’ll be 18 in four years and can leave if you want then. “Only bruises” is not okay. Tell your counselor at school. He will eventually escalate his violence and can hurt you or your mom seriously. Talk to ANOTHER ADULT, preferably at school. Find a neighbor you can trust and run to even in the middle of the night if things get bad. DO NOT TELL HIM about this neighbor. He may be being sexually abused by someone. That’s how a lot of narcissists become who they are. You might even ask him next time he’s on a rant. Just say, “Is someone hurting you, sexually abusing you?” There’s no telling what he will say or do, but if he is being abused he will be shaken to his core…..Anyway, Good for you for researching this! Hang in there and find some people outside your family to talk to….

  35. Debbie says:

    I am the younger only sibling of an N-sister and mother. Like everyone else here I thought of myself as invisible and the black sheep of the family my entire life. I only made this revelation at the age of 53 and have been to therapy which helped a great deal. I have lost the few cousins I have to her because they think she is the sweetest, kindest, blah blah blah, so how could she possibly be the devil incarnate. It is 7 years later and I still experience PTSD (inconsolable crying) at times. I had limited contact with her but after her last email inviting me to her house, I made the decision to block her. I know that if I answer her email or not, I lose.
    Our parents have been gone for a long time and I would be happy to never see her again if not for my only nephew (her son) and my 2 adult children that love their only aunt. She is very charismatic and “everyone” loves her. I have explained to my children what has happened and I don’t feel they truly understand or else think I am the “crazy” one. Thank God for an extremely supportive spouse who has seen what she has done to me. I need advice on what to do about my children. I am torn- do I allow them to love my enemy and in doing so tear out my heart again and again? Or do I continue to educate them about who she really is? My biggest fears are that since I have cut off her “supply” (me) that she will try to make them the substitute. I told my husband that if I die before my sister, I won’t even be cold before she swoops in to take my children under her wing. I want to protect them from the terror she causes everywhere she goes but can I do this without alienating them?
    I am so very tired of having to defend myself against an enemy that hides so well.

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