My Brother Wants to Move in With Me

Last Updated on June 13th, 2023

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Family is something many of us treasure as we look to foster our blood relations with brothers and sisters, but sometimes there are things that you just can’t agree on.

When a family member like a brother wants to move in with you, there are many things you need to consider before giving a proper answer to their request.

First, unless you have a history of getting along fabulously, there is a risk that your relationship can become strained, which nobody wants.

Keep reading to get some advice on difficult family situations and how best to proceed in your time of uncertainty.

Two men playing games and one of them holding a controller - My Brother Wants to Move in With Me

Does it Make You Selfish if You Don’t Want it?

You might not want your brother or any other sibling to move in with you, and that doesn’t instantly make you a selfish person for denying their request. Some reasons you might not want to let your brother move in may include:


  • You have a significant other and/or children that you also live with
  • You know that your lifestyles at home are incompatible
  • Your brother has a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Your brother has a history of taking advantage of family members’ generosity


This is not an exhaustive list; you might have more personalized reasons why you don’t want your brother to move in with you.

It doesn’t make you a selfish person if you don’t feel comfortable with the situation. There are other ways to support a sibling down on their luck without letting them move in.


How Should You Deal with it?

Of course, when you love your brother and the rest of your family, you don’t want to burn bridges by saying rude or hateful things while turning down your brother.

You will probably agonize over the best way to phrase your refusal, but simplicity and honesty are best in instances like these. One short and sweet example might be “I love you, but no.”

This gets the message across clearly, and you have no obligation to your brother to explain your decision. You can add that you are willing to support them in other ways but be sure to set boundaries and stick to them. Otherwise, your brother could end up walking all over you.

If your brother becomes upset and unreasonable, you may need to take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your property. For example, installing home security cameras and changing locks for which your brother might have a key is a good idea.


How to Talk About it with Your Brother?

The best way to discuss a difficult topic like this is to meet in a neutral, public place like a coffee shop. This way, your brother isn’t already in your space, making it difficult to refuse his request, and there can be multiple witnesses if things turn sour.

Try sitting next to your brother instead of across a table. Behavioral psychology suggests that doing this reduces the probability of your brother taking the issue personally and becoming aggravated.

Stay calm and politely refuse your brother. Although you don’t owe him an explanation, you can say things that place “blame” on yourself in the hopes that your brother will understand your situation and not think that you are refusing him for who he is.


Is it a Good Idea to Let Your Brother Live with You?

If you are a similar age to your brother, you probably lived with your brother for at least part of your life as a child. You might think that this means you can easily get along as older and, theoretically, more mature individuals.

Unfortunately, this line of thinking is deeply flawed, and people can change quite drastically as they experience puberty and the hardships of adulthood.

It’s also possible that your brother only acted amiably towards you before because you both lived under your parents’ roof and rules. Without your parents acting as figures of authority and providing structure, your brother’s behavior can be quite different.

This means that, in general, it isn’t a good idea to let your brother live with you. However, your unique situation might allow you and your brother to live in harmony despite the odds.


Are you Responsible for Adult Siblings?

As children, you may have been told that older siblings have to watch out for younger ones. You may have even been old enough to babysit your younger brothers and sisters while your parents were away.

However, as adults, you are not responsible for your siblings. It is inevitable that you and your brother have encountered difficult times and will continue to do so.

It would be irresponsible to shelter your brother every time the slightest hiccup in his journey comes his way.

Even if you do feel responsible for your adult siblings, there are other ways to support them without housing them under your roof. Just be sure that they do not take advantage of your help if you choose to do so.


Final Thoughts on Your Brother Wanting to Move in with You

Unless they are especially toxic, most people want to cherish their family and support them in times of need but having a brother move into your home is a huge undertaking and one that has plenty of highly probable downsides.

You should not feel responsible for your brother nor feel selfish for not wanting him to move in with you but try to let him down gently when refusing his request.

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