Being siblings doesn't necessarily mean getting along. Sadly, sometimes siblings just share a bloodline and their relationship is not built on mutual love, respect and support. If that's your case, you should check out our tips on how to deal with toxic siblings.
Many families have toxic members who create conflict during family gatherings, use others for their own needs and don't care about other people's opinions and feelings. Dealing with toxic distant relatives is relatively easy because you don't have to see them often. But what if your sibling is a toxic person? Cutting ties with your immediate family can be hard, so you may want to find another solution. Here are some tips for handling toxic siblings.
Don't pretend that their behavior is okay. Bullying, manipulation, passive aggression, abuse of any kind, disrespect, blaming, ostracizing, etc. are never okay. Don't try to justify your toxic siblings' hurtful words and/or actions. Toxic behavior is not okay even if the person means well, so don't be afraid to speak up if something your sibling has said or done has hurt you or another family member.
Don't hate them. They may not be an inherently bad person. Sometimes our relatives have good intentions, but are toxic because their way of existing in the world clashes with ours. So try not to hate them, hate is a very strong emotion that will poison your life. You don't have to love your siblings unconditionally, but you shouldn't hate them either. Hate will only bring more toxicity to your life.
Keep your distance. The less you interact with your toxic siblings, the better. If talking to them makes you unhappy, don't talk to them unless it's absolutely necessary. It is very hard to distance yourself from your family, but if you want to live a happy and healthy life, you need to avoid painful situations. Sometimes loving your family members from a distance is a necessity.
Learn to cooperate. Even if you manage to keep communication with your toxic siblings to a minimum, there will be situations when you will have to work together as a team (for example, when your parents need your help). In such situations, it is very important to cooperate even if you can't stand each other. Please note that cooperating doesn't mean agreeing to everything they say. You're entitled to your own opinions, so don't let your toxic siblings bully you into submission.
Just live your life. English poet and orator George Herbert once said that living well is the best revenge. You need to end an unhealthy relationship with your toxic sibling and move on with your life. You are not able to control your toxic siblings, but you can decide to not let their words and actions hurt you.
- How to Get Over Adult Sibling Rivalry, 10 Signs That You Have a Toxic Friend, How to Get Along With Your Step Siblings, How to Deal With Toxic Parents: 5 Steps