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Family member causing social issues

  • 24-05-2020 2:51am
    Registered Users Posts: 2

    Hi everyone,

    Last year, my (30s) brother (40s) moved to a city I've lived in for around a decade. This went well at first as he is a very outgoing guy, but it hasn't really gone how I had planned at all.

    In the time I've been here, I've grown older and really only focus on a couple of close friends I've known for a very long time, and some larger groups of people I'd meet occasionally for drinks. Now it's been a year and his only friends are my close friends, and he kind of knows one of the larger groups.

    I don't think he understands the dynamics of close friendships as I've never heard him talk about close friends in his past. He doesn't understand that my most meaningful relationships with people here are mostly based on one-on-one interaction, and he just automatically assumes he's invited. Then he just talks about work and football and the meaningful stuff my close friendship is built on is gone.

    He also rubs people the wrong way and is insulting without realising it. My social life is slowly slipping away because people just assume he's a +1 and they can't be bothered with it.

    I'm also quite an introvert and tire easily and need days off. He doesn't understand that despite me saying it, and he will just arrive where I live and suddenly I have to be social when I'd rather just be by myself.

    I'm not sure how to approach this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,275 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    ElememoPea wrote: »
    I'm not sure how to approach this.

    Stop telling him your plans.

    It really is as simple as that. If he doesn't know you're going out, he can't invite himself along.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,189 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Agree with pp in relation to making your own plans and keep them to yourself.

    In relation to feeling you have to be sociable when he calls, when restrictions ease and we can have visitors to our homes, if you are tired, say so. He probably doesn't realise that you are unhappy with the present situation, so you will need to be straightforward about it. I'm not suggesting it has to be a row or a big deal, just 'Tom, I'm wrecked, I'm actually going to have an early night' and do just that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    If it’s a small gathering of close friends - the kind you prefer - don’t tell him. Don’t put it on social media either.

    If it’s a larger group gathering - which doesn’t seem to be your preference - then let him go along, if you want to. That shouldn’t impact your close friends, I hope.

    I cannot abide people calling unannounced. I used feel that I ‘had to’ entertain them, but now I just don’t answer the door - I vary between ‘Oh sorry, I was out / shopping / going for a walk / in the bath’. They do pick up on it eventually. As in I have a life, and tell me if you’re calling over. But I could be doing a hair / face mask / in my PJs - whatever. Me time, which does not involve entertaining. I do know some people think that is rude. I don’t. I think it’s incredibly rude of someone to assume that they can just ‘drop into’ my day. I don’t answer phone calls all the time either.

    If you’re caught re him calling in unannounced - you’re on you’re way get to an appointment (hairdressers / waxing / beauticians - anything that he cant come along to. Do not say that you’re on your way out to meet x friend for coffee!).

    I’m a bit of an introvert too, so I totally get how you’d find him intrusive and tiring.

  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Curious1002

    People overuse the word "friends" way too much. We may have many acquaintances, colleagues, people we know and like but friends are for life and those who would never ever break your trust under any circumstances. Are you sure you have those? Do you think they would hang around you if you lost your job, got seriously ill, had a bad day one day and course at them or tell them that they married an idiot? You will see very quickly who is your real friend then.

    Also, I would do a lot to have my brother back in my life with his annoying habits that were making me mad at the time. But he is gone forever and i have been missing him every single day wishing I never argued with him over small unimportant things.

    I dont know your story, or rather we dont know the full story here but maybe your brother is actually lonely. It's amazing that a brother wants to spend his time with his sibling as it doesnt happen too often so maybe appreciate what you have while you still can. I would be super proud if my brother wanted to hang out with me and my "friends".
    Also hard to believe that your brother offends your "friends". Nobody does that purposely unless they want to part ways. Reading your post it doesnt look like your brother wants to destroy relationships but in fact wants to belong to the group. Maybe he tries too hard to impress them sensing that he is unwelcome, which comes across a bit weird and desperate? Have you thought about that? Most likely your "friends" dont get his jokes and take offense at everything he says and now even if he says "hi" they think he is weird.
    No harm to set some rules too. The fact that your bro is so different to you simply shows that you two have different personalities so rather than making a fuss about it and complain that he joins YOUR "friends" or shows up uninvited why dont you have a heart to heart chat with him. Problems always start due to lack or misleading communication.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 ElememoPea

    You're right. You don't know the story.

    He's been visiting this city for years and lived for free with my ex and I. He would insult her clothes. He would talk about his dates and about how much he loved smart women and heavily imply my ex wasn't smart. He's said this since we broke up. My gf hated having him around inviting himself along to everything we do.
    He lived in that apartment for around six months in total and insulted it. I lent him my old vehicle, which he still uses for free, and he mocked it and complained about having to do a routine service on it when it wasn't his. I take the depreciation hit of his miles and he complains about $50 services.
    When my best friend got him a job that was way above what he could have gotten normally, he started calling other people's work environments, mine included, "shltty". Saying "Ah I'm so glad I don't work in one of those shltty schools where _____." to people who work in schools just like that. It's absolutely incredible.
    He joined our poker nights twice and then they abruptly ended because he would laugh and mock at people so much for making mistakes. I assume they still play but myself and him haven't been invited.

    I have done everything to help this guy, as have my friends, and we have been routinely insulted. He mocks my clothes and older appearance. He knows what he is and he can't stop. I understand that he's just got some weird social issue and can let it go but my friends have no reason to.

    Yesterday evening (Sat), he called up again when I had to interest in hanging out. I let him in and didn't even pause my TV show. He sat and had a joint on my balcony for twenty minutes by himself and then came in trying to get me to out for dinner and drinks with him. I said I'd rather shoot myself in the face than go out and be social. He kept pushing it suggesting a restaurant close by and just continue the Last Dance afterwards, and I told him again that I'd rather shoot myself in the face than be social.
    I finally asked him how he could not notice I need some time off and he said that I meet people after work a lot so why not the same at the weekend. I said I'm an introvert and he said I wasn't. I said I was and I need time off after being sociable and just went back to my TV and then he finally left.

    So he lives downstairs in the same building and he works with my best friend. If my vehicle isn't there after work, he'll message asking what I'm doing. If I'm doing something with that friend, he will now find out from him instead and show up. My friend is now in an awkward position where he'd have to lie to a colleague to hang out with me alone, so now we don't see each other as much.

    I'm going to move apartment soon to remove that part of everything. I want to start dating again soon and don't want to live in the same building getting random knocks on the door.

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  • Administrators Posts: 13,423 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    You need to seriously put some boundaries in place. I don't blame all your friends for dropping you. You seem to have accepted this behaviour from him. They haven't. Is he the reason your ex is now your ex? Why do you think he should be allowed to continue insulting you? If this was one of your friends you'd have dropped him long ago (just as all your friends have).

    He might be your brother, but that doesn't mean you're responsible for him. If he wasn't your brother would you be so tolerant of him? You are losing friends because of him. Move out. Don't tell him where you are moving too. Don't answer all his calls. You can have a very "arms length" relationship with him. He might resist the change at first but you need to stand firm. For as long as he is around, you will have no friends, or no relationships.

  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Curious1002

    There is no one good thing you wrote about your brother. Not even one. In that case let him know how you feel, how your "friends" and ex gf felt about him and let him leave your life for good.
    It's clear that your relationship with your bro is very poisoned by negativity and only a proper years-long break can fix that. You both may then appreciate one another. He is a grown up guy and will be ok. Hope you too.

    Just remember that replacing your brother with "friends" is not gonna make your life better, quieter, problem free. But you defo need a long break from each other so get one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin

    How is he getting access to your home that he can just let himself in?

    Why are you accepting this behaviour and allowing this person access to your life? Is it because he's a sibling? Would you be as accommodating if one of your friends behaved this way?

    I don't believe that blood is thicker than water, people don't get a pass just because they are family. This guy is walking all over you and you are letting him. It's time to assert yourself, tell him his behaviour is not ok and limit contact. Stop replying to his texts!! Let him stand on his own two feet for once.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    How did he react when you said you'd rather shoot yourself in the face? Did he laugh it off?

    He sounds really insecure. What were things like before he moved to where you are? Was he always like this? And what made him join you?

    I just wonder whether something happened and he's taking it out on everyone? Or he could be jealous of the other relationships you've developed and is trying to hammer a wedge between you and your friends so that he remains your focus?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,275 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    You're obviously not in Ireland, OP. May I ask if there are social or cultural mores at play where you are that are stopping you just telling your brother to back the hell off?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭MarriedButBi

    I have a brother a bit like this. He was diagnosed with a personality disorder. Drugs were also an issue.

    I agree with previous posts. You need to set boundaries. Just don't answer the door. When he asks the next time, just tell him you weren't feeling sociable.

    Hard on you that you have to move to put space between you, but probably best in the long run

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭MarriedButBi

    How did he react when you said you'd rather shoot yourself in the face? Did he laugh it off?

    He sounds really insecure. What were things like before he moved to where you are? Was he always like this? And what made him join you?

    I just wonder whether something happened and he's taking it out on everyone? Or he could be jealous of the other relationships you've developed and is trying to hammer a wedge between you and your friends so that he remains your focus?

    If he's anything like my brother he's a narcissist that knows everything about everything. Unbelievably irritating to be around. And would make an introvert out of you, because you just feel like shrinking into yourself the more he gets excited or into something. It's horrendous.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,483 ✭✭✭mr_fegelien

    I'm surprised no one has brought it up but instead of a personality disorder, he could be on the autistic spectrum.