Narcissistic Brother Intimidates His Siblings

Having a narcissistic brother in your family is exceedingly painful and frightening. There is no way of controlling him. If he is the Golden Boy,mom and/or dad view him as perfect and make no effort to create psychological boundaries that must not be crossed with his siblings. He has been chosen for a variety of reasons: he is very attractive, bright, confident, even cocky, has athletic skills and is socially adept. The parents who are often narcissistic themselves and  have found the perfect son who reflects them and enhances their external image.

He is not taught to respect his brothers and sisters, to be kind, to learn how to be empathic.  The narcissistic brother rules the household by intimidating his siblings. He strikes fear in them, goads them, laughs at them, humiliates them.  Some narcissistic brothers are monstrous. In public they can win anyone over. They know how to make people like them. It is one of their well honed skills that they use to get whatever they want.

I hear and read many life stories of children who grew up dealing with narcissistic golden boy brothers. Some kids hide and stay away from the house as much as possible. Others literally find a place in the house where they will not be discovered. These children are always frightened, wondering when this monster will appear and terrorize them. Children who grow up in these households are in a state of fight or flight much of the time. They cannot relax. They don’t feel safe or secure. In some instances the siblings create alliances to protect one another.

Some children learn to create entire worlds with their imaginations and to tune out the ugliness of their narcissistic family members. These kids learn early that they must go it alone to survive. They call upon all of their resources and strengths to get through each day. Many children leave these homes early to escape the wrath of the narcissistic brother and their enabling parents.

I have great respect for the children who must live with these loathsome siblings. They are courageous and inventive. As adults children from these highly dysfunctional families benefit from high quality psychotherapy to work through the core issues of growing up in a constant unprotected psychological war zone.

Don’t wait for your narcissistic brother to “get his” as they say. They best way is to create your own life and to be proud of yourself as an individual of integrity with many gifts.


13 thoughts on “Narcissistic Brother Intimidates His Siblings”

  1. Comment:From Beckee
    As a parent of one of these Narc Siblings, I could really use advice how to protect my other children and myself. Yes, we have counselors, even in home sessions. We call 911 when it is needed. Currently, son is in military school. Still we end up most weekends locked in my room to stay safe. We live in a prison.

  2. Comment: From Jane
    The surprising thing to me is the shock that runs through my body after reading certain sentences in these articles..”that’s what happened!”or “that’s what Mom or my sister/brother do to me”. And this is after realizing the problem, distancing myself, anxiety meds and growing to be 52 years old. Narcissism is real and it’s just amazing how a child’s mind can organize itself to survive.

  3. Amen to all you said. It all came to light when my perfect brother busted up his perfect marriage of 27 years so he could date someone 20 years younger. Not only did he destroy his own family, anyone who failed to go along with his “new life” was summarily dumped, and he took Mom with him. It is still amazing to me how I’ve had to open my eyes to the fact that my mother has always accepted my brother’s behavior while villifying mine. At one point she told me “there’s no reason for you to leave a marriage unless you catch him cheating on you.” But somehow, it was perfectly okay for my brother to cheat on his wife. Amazing.

  4. My brother got my mother to change him to be executor of her estate. She told others she realized she made a mistake but died before she could correct it.
    He is stretching out his program of hate and hurt as long as possible and taking a hefty sum as his fees as an executor. Now he says he will extend it for 4-6 years.
    All I want is for this to end but he enjoys the slow torture.
    I have removed as much contact as I can but since we are related there are other people I love who also have contact with him. Of course, many have told me they know how he is and what he is doing to me is wrong but they don’t want to bring his rage and vengeful eye on them.
    Very hard to come to terms that this is my only brother and what he is.

  5. My brother is a narcisst as well. He grew up being treated as the golden boy, as being the smartest sibling… So they would think… He is now 33 yrs old and has been living a lie. He lies about graduating from medical school & is a surgeon, but is having difficulty finding a job. That his employers are not paying him in time or there’s always some confabulated study that’s like very detailed, but makes no sense as you sit & think about it. He has been lying to get money from everyone around him & continues to do so. He even took my father’s phone which I am paying for & is using it as his own. He even went over the minutes one time where I had to switch it to unlimited. I’m thinking of cutting off the line but a part of me worried about him even though he is an narcisstic asshole… He even told me he didn’t want to speak to me because he believed that I did something selfish or hurtful to him which was unfounded and untrue. I think that by continuing to give him the phone I am enabling him to continue to be the way he is. I’m not sure what to do. He is a true narccists, he has been known to be violent, manipulative, evil… But we did have a good relationship growing up together… And I do love him but I am also aware what he is… And can be… Please someone give me advice… I even spoke to a psychologist who graduated from Harvard that told me that Narccists are difficult to treat but shit that’s my brother… Ahhh I don’t want to enable him…

  6. This was my story. Very abusive older brother….celebrated very public Golden Boy. I lived in terror from earliest memories. Mom portrayed me as a wimp for crying when he violently abused me. Or found his humiliation amusing. My counselor has called my mom a narcissist for years. In reading your blog I began to connect the dots last Sunday nite — after 25 years or therapy. Your post “Daughters of NMs – A Painful Psychological Legacy” was a mirror to my life. (Can’t find that post now.) It defined Mom’s pitting us against each other and her choice to teach me I was the loser child. So much pain, betrayal, depression and fear as the harvest of those years. But I am never going to quit working (and playing & praying) to re-claim MY LIFE.

  7. Very interesting. At 50, I’ve finally figured out over the last 7 or 8 years that my older brother is a first class narcissist, and golden child. We were cleaning out my mom’s place after she had to move to assisted living and I ran across the box where my mom put selected school work that caught her eye through the years. Nearly everything of his was an award of some sort or perfect assignments with flattering comments written by the teacher. Everything I pulled out for myself was average art assignments (like the Thanksgiving Turkey made by tracing my hand) or spelling assignments that I got most words correct. I don’t want to take his intellect away from him – he is a very smart guy (mechanical engineer and MBA.) This has become very interesting for me now that I know what I am dealing with, and what his family has to deal with on an ongoing basis. His family is pretty well wacked at this point. Extremely smart kids, but oldest is completely separate from normal development, can’t seem to finish high school, no friends, etc. Younger might have a chance if she can actually get out the door to college. Wife completely controls the kids (all the way through high school), because she can’t control anything else in her life.

    Back to the narcissist. I can finally see clearly that he controls through a variety of methods, one of the most common is the manipulation of those around him to meet his needs, particularly through abuse and manipulation of their time. Now that we are co-trustees of much of mom’s affairs, I see the scholar is incapable of making a decision, I think for fear he may be wrong, so the result is he attempts to draw things out indefinitely to get me worked up so he can use that in his game. Most of these decisions are not particularly difficult for a typical adult who has typical life experience, but to him, he can’t seem to quickly narrow the list of alternatives to a couple of likely alternatives. He will either stir the pot to keep all around him back on their heels, or stall until the situation becomes urgent, and then attempt to throw me under the bus as the cause of the escalation. One of my favorites is to wait until such a time, and then expertly present a very good solution as his own (even though it was the decision I presented months before with very little need to analyze.)

    In retrospect, much of my childhood years were spent being set up for failure by him or intentionally misdirected by him so I would fail, get in trouble, become addicted, get physically or emotionally hurt, or anything else that would make him more golden. Well it has worked at times, but for the most part I’ve survived, albeit not without some damage along the way. I also have a good job, have single fathered two wonderful kids who are pretty well adjusted (not perfect, but they also are not expected to be perfect.) It is so great to see my kids have confidence and grow into great people. I wish I could somehow help by niece and nephew to have the same ending, but there is no way I could get that close without the narcissist imbedding himself back in my life.

    Long story short, I will start to manage this very differently going forward. I don’t care to have a substantial relationship with him in the future, but for now, we are tethered to on another on the task of legal co-trustees. I’m glad my mom is geographically close and he is not, so even as we may struggle through our administrative duties, I can be there to help to get to know her better and to help her during her aging years. My parents were pretty solid so not sure where all of this disfunction came from.

    Honorably mention to my late father, who had limited education, but retired from a job where he managed a facility of 5000+ highly skilled workers, yet somehow remained always very humble and respectful of all others, and never compromised his integrity or principals to gain a thing for himself. After he retired he apologized for not being around more – this coming from a guy who go to work every day at 4:00 am (3 hours early) so he could get off on time and be around for his wife and kids. No problem dad, when you weren’t around I was sleeping.

    One other quick story. I remember one time when by brother was around a senior in high school, he came home one evening about 11:00 pm to pick something up, expecting to go back out. Dad (50, 6 foot, 180) told brother (18, 6’4″ 250) that he wasn’t going anywhere. I was in bed listening so not completely sure how it went down, but I think brother tried to push his way out the door. All I heard was large bodies hitting the floor, mom troubled, etc. I ran in about 3 seconds later and dad had the golden child rolled up in a little ball in the corner. Note to self – Don’t fuck with dad.

    Bottom line – I would not trade my life for his for a billion $, even though he spends a large amount of energy convincing me and others that he is always right in everything he does.

    Good day,

  8. Isn’t it best to dis-own them(my narcissistic mother and brother)? Isn’t is better to have no mother/brother at all than to have bad ones?

  9. recently my older brother was diagnosed with NPD, and it fits him to a T. I might add I cannot break contact with him as we are both teens. It first started when we where little kids, and he would trick me into doing his chores, playing with him, etc. It has progressively gotten worse over these past few years, with him hitting me, verbally abusing our mother, father, myself, and my younger siblings. He makes me feel less than human. The words that come out of his mouth are disgusting. I rarely leave my bedroom now because I am afraid of him, and what he is going to do to me. I hate hearing him speak to my parents, it’s almost worse than when he speaks to me. He has no respect or acceptance for anyone but himself. It’s tearing me apart inside. I know hate is a strong word, but that is how I feel about him. I just tell myself, he’ll leave one day.

  10. Hello, if it involves real estate, you can file a partition lawsuit which ultimately forces the sale of said real estate. The fact that you have other siblings on your side should make it easier to accomplish this. Do yourself a favor and consult with a real estate attorney. Your brother can charge for being the executor but there is a maximum fee of 10%, I believe, but depending on the state in which you live, it may be lower. I am not a real estate attorney but I have read extensively on the subject along with wills and trusts because I am anticipating going through something similar. Good luck to you!

    I am a scapegoat with a N-mother and N-brother.

  11. My brother ( middle child ) is the golden child even as an adult. My mom treats like he is God and his word is the Bible; everyone else is wrong compared to him. He throws temper tantrums like a two year old and takes to insulting me because I’m unemployed at this time with kids but I just laugh at him and walk away. My mom enables his bad behavior and she actually enjoys when we are at odds. My mom gets mad at my younger brother when he goes against her with me.

  12. It turns out I am the narcissistic and abusive older brother.

    I’m 33 and my beloved brother, who is 32, just confronted me and told me to get out of his life. He has every right to ask for it.

    He’s obviously gone through a lot. He shouted “why did none of you love me” while crying. He also says now “I love you so much, how will I abandon you..” I am deeply hearth broken. Nothing I say works, understandably. Each and every word that comes out of my mouth triggers something, recalling memories.

    I want to be able to communicate with him again. I don’t want to lose him.

  13. I have an adopted older brother that made my life a living hell. We still live in our childhood 2 family home. Him up and me down. He has no friends and blames me for all the wrong in his life. I am moving out in 2 months and he does NOT know of my plans. Every thing that’s wrong in his life is my fault. He is very quick to say I am his sister but there is no blood relation. He intimidates me and tries to control me in every way. Gets mad if I do not cater to him and the way he thinks it should be. If I get sick he is sicker. If i leave the house and am gone to long he texts me and sends a picture of a clock. If he hears me talking on the phone to a friend he listens to my conversation and then yells at me that I don’t talk to him and points out I rather talk to my friend. I can no longer take it. He is entitled as far as he is concerned and he is right about everything he says which could not be further from the truth. He does not go out much and he is always watching out of his porch window watching every move our neighbors make. All the neighbors keep their blinds closed to keep him from using binoculars to peep into their homes. As I said I am on my way of getting out and cutting all communication with him. I am just afraid he will try to find me to kill me when I leave. Any suggestions or advice is welcome. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.