You have known this brother or sister all of your life–at least you thought you did. This individual as far back as you can remember was demanding, self absorbed, highly competitive and didn’t care about how you felt. Yet, mom and/or dad thought this budding narcissist was just fine–even superior. (This post refers to male and female narcissistic siblings.)
You remember as you think back how intimidated you were by this sibling despite his birth order. In some families the oldest son is the Prince and King in waiting. In others it is the younger daughter who is so “adorable” and talented–always taking center stage and demanding constant attention (which she gets.) These siblings were budding narcissists and now are full fledged.
You have known the truth about them most of your life but were unable to put a name or description to the feelings of discomfort, emotional pain, betrayal, confusion, shame or inadequacy you experienced when compared with them. “Why can’t you be more organized and disciplined like James?” “Why are you always daydreaming and not getting to your chores or homework like your brother?” “Your beautiful sister is so outgoing and has tons of friends–Everyone likes her. Why can’t you be more sociable and friendly?” These comments from parents echo in your memory down the years. You have been compared to certain siblings all of your life.
No one accepted you for your true nature and priceless individuality, your creativity and spontaneity, your kindnesses and appreciation of beauty. These attributes were not prized in your family. No, it was the narcissistic traits that were rewarded–like all A’s in every class, becoming the top athlete in several sports, having the smoothest of social skills, etc., being an extrovert with driving confidence and total self entitlement.
Throughout your lives narcissistic siblings cause psychological pain and often financial ruptures within a family. They take sides to get What They Want!! You are not part of their goal equation. They want much more than their fair share of the family assets both while the parents are living and afterwards. There are constant power plays that are instigated by the narcissistic sibling. If the family has financial assets the narcissistic sibling places himself in a position to control them and eventually seize them. Sometimes they choose a sibling who will align with them in these power plays. They use the weaker brother or sister as an ally. Actually the narcissist is exploiting everyone, including this hand picked “ally.”
The classic situation is the narcissist’s plan to become indispensable to the parent who controls the financial assets. This sibling over time forms a special relationship of confidence with mother or father and makes sure that he will get the biggest piece of the family money and financial pie ultimately. Some of these cases go legal and become very ugly. Sometimes it becomes necessary follow the legal route with narcissistic siblings who demand everything and where there is a clear case that you are entitled to your fair share.
Family ruptures can occur as a result of the greed and venality of narcissistic siblings. This is a very painful complex situation. First, recognize who you are as an individual and know that despite everything you know the truth about your family and its narcissistic members.
Learn to value yourself and your talents and gifts and wonderful personal qualities. Take very good care of yourself and form alliances with friends that you trust and who are psychologically family to you. Protect yourself from the primitive projections of narcissistic brothers and sisters. Don’t let them control your emotions. Remember they are ejecting their unconscious feelings of self loathing on to you. This is a sign of their psychopathology not your inadequacy, deficits, etc. You may need to cut off contact with them since narcissists do not have psychological boundaries and lack empathy.
Take time each day to appreciate who you are. Spend moments quieting your body and mind through some form of meditation. This can be very short–a couple of minutes or less. Try to be consistent. Be unjudgmental as you go on this journey. I have found some very good guided meditations on You Tube. One is by the Honest Guys called Guided Meditation-Blissful Relaxation. It is 18 minutes long. Listen as long or short as you wish. The Honest Guys are British and their meditations have good production values and I find their accents to be calming and relaxing. Find what appeals to you and works for you.
Trust your intuition and the insights that come through to you during the day and the night. You will find others who share the truth with you. Sometimes we feel so alone and that no one understands us. There are a few individuals –and I think a growing group who are seeking the truth that is inside of them and from whom you will find resonance and validation.