My Brother Always Puts Me Down
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Having siblings isn’t always the rosy, wonderful life that some people imagine, especially if they grew up as single children. Conflicts can often continue or escalate well into adulthood, sometimes without ever reaching a conclusion.
Your brother, or another sibling, might always be putting you down due to several things, including petty jealousy, incompatible personalities, mental illness, and financial inheritance.
Continue reading to learn more about why your brother might be putting you down all the time and what it might mean for your relationship dynamic.
Is He a Toxic Sibling?
While you can be a bad person without being a toxic person and vice versa, your brother is more likely than not acting as a toxic sibling and causing you grief as a result. Thankfully, there are several signs to help identify when you’re interacting with a toxic sibling:
- You may feel like he should apologize for his actions, but he never does
- You may feel the need to defend yourself, even during meaningless verbal arguments
- You may feel bad about yourself when he is around even though you haven’t done anything wrong
These are just a few ways your brother’s actions might affect you and your relationship with him. If he acts in the same manner towards everyone, he is not only toxic but also a bad person.
What is Sibling Alienation?
Sibling alienation is typically between two adult siblings. It is the act of trying to push one sibling to the wayside for some kind of gain, whether it be financial or intangible (like attention from parents), and is similar to domestic abuse cases.
Sibling alienation tends to start as verbal abuse, such as putting you down or showing you in a bad light around your parents or other family members. Alienators will also try to garner favor from third parties by making false claims about you.
If the alienator believes they are being successful, they may spread negative rumors outside of your family to friends or colleagues to further alienate you from the support you may have had.
How Can You Stop it?
Oftentimes, the only way to stop sibling alienation is through communication. This typically involves confronting your toxic brother and calling out his inappropriate behaviors toward you.
It may be worth trying to do this in a neutral one-on-one conversation before creating dramatic scenes in front of the rest of the family.
If your brother is apologetic and open to restoring your relationship, the next step would be to set strict boundaries that you both adhere to. These boundaries can be anything you think of but usually revolve around “if you do this action, I won’t spend time with you.”
The point is to get them to actively think about and change his behavior. Make sure to use a punishment that would be effective with your brother.
What if Talking About it Does Not Help?
Unfortunately, if talking doesn’t help and you haven’t been able to set boundaries (or your brother has consistently ignored the defined boundaries), your options are severely limited.
If you still want to live in relative harmony with your brother but can’t get through to him, try to communicate and get others on your side.
This may be difficult considering how your brother is likely behaving as he tries to alienate you, but if you acquire some allies, they may be able to alter his behavior in your stead.
If your brother is doing more than always putting you down, you may have to take drastic actions like taking him to court for things like defamation. This can be incredibly stressful and costly, though, so you should avoid this if possible.
Should You Cut Off Ties in Some Cases?
If communications have broken down and there is no other recourse available to you, simply cutting off your brother is one of the healthiest things you can do but should be reserved as a last resort.
Cutting ties with your brother can mean:
- Not seeing him whenever possible
- Blocking him on social media and messaging services
- Condemning his actions
Some might claim that you have given up on your brother but don’t let them fool or guilt you into suffering under a toxic person’s actions. Instead, remind yourself that you have determined that your relationship with your brother is problematic and unresolvable.
If you are considering cutting ties with your brother, you will also need to consider whether or not it is a temporary solution for your mental well-being or if it is a permanent decision for the future.
Whatever you choose, don’t retaliate or seek revenge on your brother after cutting ties because this can strain your remaining relationships with relatives.
Final Thoughts on Your Brother Putting You Down
It is incredibly difficult to identify a toxic relationship sometimes, especially if it happens to be a relative like your brother. It can be even harder to find the courage and determination to make a stand against someone like that.
However, if your brother is constantly putting you down in private or in public, you need to do something to protect your mental health. Cutting ties with a sibling is one solution, but you should try to communicate your feelings and issues first.