People Are Calling Out "Normal" Sibling Things That Are Actually Toxic, And I'm Gonna Need You To Take Notes On This One
"My brothers always made jokes about my weight, and it caused major mental damage."
Note: This post contains mentions of eating disorders.
1. "Making fun of each other. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it can be really funny, but it all depends on the time and place."
2. "Competing for your parent's approval and always trying to 'one-up' each other and be better."
3. "Overprotecting one sibling 'because they're the baby in the family' and being rude to the other siblings."
4. "Constantly commenting on weight and making fat jokes."
"As someone who always struggled with body dysmorphia and comparison to my very skinny sister, my brothers making jokes about my weight has always triggered me, and it caused major mental damage."
5. "Forcing one sibling (especially common with daughters) to be the responsible/clean one and letting the other(s) get away with never doing chores or helping around the house."
6. "Chasing your siblings around with knives. Tons of people I know, myself included, had a sibling knife-wielding experience."
"They can laugh it off, but I was genuinely traumatized. Don't chase your siblings around with knives."
7. "Older siblings blaming the younger sibling for stealing all the attention. It’s rough and unfair."
"My aunt is still angry that my mom was born and 'stole all the attention' — 52 years ago. So many oldest children hold this huge grudge against the younger siblings just for being born. They had no choice!"
8. "Teasing your sibling even when you tell them to stop. They know what you're scared of and will use it against you."
"For example, my older brothers know I am so scared of bugs. So, they asked me outside to play, tied me to a tree, and left me out there for a while. Brothers...am I right?"
9. "Perpetuating the idea that 'family always comes first' among siblings. It can cause a lot of pain, especially when it's used in families with narcissistic family members."
10. "Tattling. My sister and I would constantly try to get each other in trouble because my mom would reward us for turning each other in. I don’t think we'll ever have a normal relationship because of this."
"I understand that tattling is OK if someone is being harmful to themselves or others, but it was always over 'small things.' For example, I once had my electronic after bedtime, and my sister spied through the crack in my bathroom door, and she tattled to my mom. My mom’s response was to take away the electronic, my Christmas gift, and give it to my sister. I never used it again. Things like this have led to us not trusting each other at all, even as near adults."
11. "Relying on an older sibling to protect you, like the big brother trope. My older sister sucks; I never once counted on her for any kind of 'protection' from other bullying kids."
"Overprotective older siblings — especially when it comes to older brothers and younger sisters (it can be any dynamic, but that seems to be the most popular/common). Like overprotective parents, you’re just messing with your sibling’s mental health and causing resentment, or setting them up for being unprepared when you’re not around."
12. "Saying, 'I’m supposed to be the (insert whatever here) sibling' — whether that’s smartest, best looking, or whatever."
"Years ago, when my eating disorder was discovered, my sister said to my face, 'But I’m supposed to be the skinny one!'"
13. "Judging yourself against your sibling's success, or thinking you're in some kind of competition with them."
14. "Using put-downs and insults as jokes. My sister never compliments anything I do — just makes jokes at my expense. My brother has always said he was the good-looking one, my sister the smart one, and I had the scraps."
"Needless to say, this in childhood and adulthood has now had an impact. I didn’t even realize this was a reason why I’m so negative on myself until someone pointed it out to me."
15. "Saying, 'That’s just how siblings are,' when one sibling is constantly physically attacking the other."
16. "Choosing to not respect boundaries — and more so, parents not encouraging siblings to respect each other's boundaries. It's one thing to cross a boundary on accident, but it's another to do it on purpose and with the intent of truly upsetting someone you care about."
"And I don't mean, like, minor annoyances or anything. I mean full-on damaging each other's things on purpose and emotionally pushing one another for the thrill and superiority of it."
17. "Making it the oldest sibling's job to maintain the sibling relationship."
18. "Making most things fall on the oldest siblings in general, especially as adults."
"I (23) brought my little brother (19) to NYC on a day trip. You would've thought our parents were trusting me with their toddler. They'd say things like, 'Don't let him wander off,' 'Keep an eye on him so he doesn't get lost,' etc."
19. "When you tell your sibling something in confidence, and they tell the rest of the family, or their friends."
20. "Instigating fights right before your parents walk in, so you get in trouble for getting them back."
21. And finally: "Parents writing off siblings' bullying and terrorization as just 'bickering.'"
What do you think? What are some other "normal" sibling things that are actually toxic? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.