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Is this bullying?

  • 21-07-2020 6:54am
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    To set the scene - myself and my brother are two men in our late 20s/early 30s. We have a relationship where things can be generally fine for a little while but where there are frequent disagreements. Due to personalities involved, any perceived transgressions can lead to longstanding bouts of passive-aggression which is horrible. We live together in the family home until I save up for a place of my own.

    Long story short, I came back from abroad where I was living for 5 years and didn't come back to many friends here in Ireland. My brother added me to his football group of friends on whatsapp. While they are more-so his friends as they would socialise more, we all mutually know each other and broadly get along. Everything is fine and we have all been getting along well.

    Recently, my brother has gotten into another cycle of passive-aggression due to him saying that I have not been doing any work on the house. He got extremely personal and started insulting me about having a lack of pals and drinking buddies.

    After that he demanded that I leave that group on Whatsapp as they were 'my friends, not yours' and stated that I was added into the group as 'a favour' to him and nobody wanted me there anyway.

    My take on it is that he is acting extremely childish, but I would be lying if I didn't say that it has hurt me.

    If I to be an amateur psychologist, I think that I was getting on well with the (mutual!) friends and he felt a bit threatened as he wouldn't have a big interest in football and goes in and out of that group regularly.

    It is extremely childish, immature and needless but it is distressing me. Is this bullying? What would you do, in my situation?



  • Administrators Posts: 13,029 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    I don't know if it's bullying, but it's definitely a sibling rivalry that has lasted into adulthood. You are 2 adults who don't get along living in close quarters. It's going to lead to tensions and resentments. When you say you are saving for a place of your own what do you mean? Are you saving enough for a rental deposit? Or are you saving for a deposit to buy somewhere?

    The obvious solution is to move out, sooner rather than later. Maybe find a house share somewhere. Living at home is fine for as long as it suits you and is working out. This is no longer working out so something's got to change. He's unlikely to suddenly get a personality transplant and realise he's being a dick. So all you can do it change your own circumstances.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,063 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    I wouldn't say it's bullying, more him being territorial about his friends and possibly the house/your parents if he was used to "having them to himself" for the past 5 years.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like this is about the living situation rather than the friends thing and he's just using that to lash out. He may resent you coming back to live at home and changing the dynamic and this is his reaction.

    Not a whole lot you can do about it other than choosing not to engage, tbh. And if he had a point about you not doing enough around the house, maybe remedy that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,179 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx

    Did your brother have intentions of inheriting the house when the parents go? Is it valuable, attached to land ?. I wouldn't call it bullying but rather a territorial reaction protecting what he might see as his. The friends are just the only part he sees as ' his ' atm