Sibling rivalry is a thing. It not only effects the relationship with them, but negatively effects the entire family unit. It is one thing to be naturally competitive, but it is a whole other ballgame when your siblings treat you like a doormat and the parental units ignore it.

Many families inherently have toxic traits. Some have alcoholism that runs in the family, some deal with other diseases and diagnoses like bipolar disorder and autism. These factors can cause an unhealthy family dynamic that carries out through adulthood, and never improves. The fact is that your siblings are your first roommates when you are growing up. The reality is as we age we don’t have to endure abusive relationships or any relationships for that matter that do not yield mutual benefit. Being compassionate and distancing yourself with love is key.

There seems to be a common thread of competitiveness in sibling rivalry as children. Two reasons come to mind; one, for the fact that we are trying to get our parents attention, and two, for the fact that we are trying to discover who we are. When a child feels like their emotional and physical needs aren’t met from their parents as a child, they normally look for that in other relationships as they grow older and tend to blame their siblings for the neglect. This puts extra pressure on the children, which can lead to toxic sibling rivalry.

Here are 5 signs you may be in the thick threads of a toxic sibling rivalry.

1. They actively undermine your relationships.

Anyone you meet, anyone you are friends with, or anyone you have a common bond with is ill. No one you relate with is good enough or acceptable. This is mainly because anyone that supports your growth is deemed bad.

2. They ostracize you.

Triangulation is a form of negative gossip where instead of being direct with you on issues, they pull in other siblings or family members and talk negatively about you. They blame you for their issues and do not take responsibility for themselves. This comes out of a deep sense of not knowing themselves or being insecure.

3. You are always exhausted around them.

Each time you meet with them, it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting mainly because you feel you have to constantly be on defense mode when they push their insecurities on you. They mentally drain you, and you feel depleted after every meet up.

4. They are overly critical and manipulative with control issues.

They ask for favors and don’t return them. The relationship is not reciprocated but they feel like they can ask you anything and you’d need to do what they say. Either way they continue to negatively gossip as a power play to deflect from looking inside themselves and doing the hard work of self discovery and self acceptance. They don’t apologize for bad behavior, and they are never wrong.

5. They talk badly behind your back and you hear about it from others, therefore there is no mutual trust or respect.

Unfortunately not all sibling relationships are perfect, but if you are feeling more disrespected than honored, it is time to distance yourself. Being a doormat and taking bullshit from people just because they are family is not a requirement. You have the ability to set boundaries and you have choices on how you manage your time.

6. They actively try to hurt your feelings as often as they can, and go through anyone else to hurt you.

A bully is a bully. There is bith ik ng you can do about their negative gossiping patterns, but you can distance yourself from the drama and live a peaceful life.

If you have a strained relationship with a sibling, try to talk to them directly about your feelings. Come to a common ground. Know that you cannot change the persons behaviors, and the only thing you can control is you.

How have you dealt with toxic sibling rivalry in the past and what have you done to save yourself?

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