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How to get help for/repair relationship with abusive/possible NPD sibling?


SF Supporter
So my brother has recently shown interest in spending more time with my mum and I. I think this is with largely good intentions, and despite the way he's treated us in the past, I would really like to have some sort of a healthy relationship with him.

However, after just a couple of occasions with my mum, my brother and I together, I can see that he is very much still displaying the same patterns. He spends the whole time talking about how disgusting and vile everyone else is, and even though we tried so hard to talk and act carefully, he still got set off by some playful teasing from my mum and started being a bit scary again.

And this is on a good day. I don't want to be in a situation again where we do something he really doesn't like. I know from experience, when we all lived in the same house he got very very scary and did some things I won't write about because I don't like thinking about them.

I was preparing myself to have this sort of walking-on-eggshells relationship with him for the rest of my life, but I just read a book on abusive people and it's really given me a lot of food for thought.

Instead of my mum and I living in fear and anxiety all the time, maybe he could get some proper therapy/help and start to understand why his behaviour isn't okay. For the record, we think he's oblivious to us thinking he's abusive because no one has ever mentioned it to him before out of fear.

Anyway I wanted to ask if anyone else had any experience with what needs to be done here. How can one go about trying to make someone realise they aren't behaving in an okay way, without compromising on safety? I know my brother already has a therapist, but I highly doubt the therapist is aware of these issues.

I really want to have a good relationship with my brother, I just can't do it like this anymore. The book has made me realise I deserve peace of mind and my dignity.

(Additional info: I put possible NPD in title because we think that might be whats going on but he has not been diagnosed so its just a theory. Also father is in picture but think hes in denial about having abusive son)


Well-Known Member
Hi there-I have extensive experience with this issue (I wish I didn't) but I do. Unfortunately, hostility and abuse was a daily problem with one particular family member. They too were in therapy working on their anger issues-they too were full of judgements about everyone and everything around them. Nothing and no one was good enough for them. On good days the atmosphere at home was tense-on bad days it was violent (and terrifying). For many years I prayed for a miracle while waiting for therapy to help that person and heal our family. Eventually though I realized that I had to save myself (and my sanity) and stop involving myself with that persons life. We haven't spoken in almost two decades-That's not the way that I wanted things to be (at all). But I don't regret the very difficult decision that I made. I'm still in touch with many mutual friends-from what I've heard that family member hasn't changed one bit over the years, they're actually much more abusive now. Sometimes you have to wish someone no harm, but leave the relationship to save yourself.


Well-Known Member
Hi @one6seven , I wonder if he could be a narcissist? Do you know anything about it? If not, it could be worth looking into. If so, it sounds like he has come back for 'narcissistic supply' - he might actually need that dominance over you both so really it's pretty hopeless trying to appease him or get through to him, sadly. Narcissists fed off f good kind people - empaths - so the more you make excuses for him and hope for the best, the more he will get away with. Narcissists will not like being made fun of - playful teasing to you is a red flag to them. You father might be an enabler. Sorry, but I do think if he is a narcissist you will be walking on eggshells. They never change (and it can take years to accept that) but you can find out how to handle yourself and how to draw a line in what you can tolerate. You DO deserve peace of mind and dignity, never forget that. I don't think all therapists will be aware of the full extent of it and in any case, narcs never change even if you could get him to see one. The solution is always with you. If he is not living with you, I would say you need to see a lot less of him somehow. No one is deserving of living in fear. So I would say, IF he IS a narc, I'm sorry, you will have to accept that is who he is and for you and your mother to protect yourself. If it's something else, then maybe therapy is the answer if he is willing. Best of luck.

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