Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

how to deal with the impact of a narcissistic relative

Community Member
I have an older sibling who has always been very controlling and dominant. However, I've always managed to deal with it until several months ago. A family issue came up and his verbal attack and accusations were a total surprise. He blatantly lied and accused me of doing things that were totally unfounded. I feel this was done to try to absolve himself of responsibility for the part he played in the family crisis.
3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi Karinas,

Perhaps it is best to have some space and distance from your sibling as it might make them think twice.

However, do you have the support of other siblings and family members? If this is the case, then maybe it's important to focus on this aspect (on what you do have) rather than the negative aspects of your older sibling. As long as there is a support system around you, it will help. And time helps mend old wounds too.


Many thanks. I am proud of myself on the one hand for standing up to him and ending the relationship. However, since I've ended the relationship and have had no direct contact with him, I feel I have been going through a grieving process. It is a loss of a family member, who, at the end of the day, I thought would always be there for me in times of real need. It is thus so ironic that he is the one doing the hurting. It has had such a profound effect on my mental health as it has made me question the very idea of what a family means?

Unfortunately, no support from my other sibling. He is too afraid of standing up for what is right as he fears our older sibling will verbally attack him too. It has taken me many months to try to come to terms with the injustice of this situation. At times I feel like I am moving on but I have a long way to go. I do try to exercise, be grateful for what I have (especially if I think about the extreme suffering of people such as refugees/and people living in extreme poverty around the globe) but I am still so sad about losing my brother.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Karinas and welcome to Beyond Blue forums

It's good that you've found your way to the community of caring, supportive, friendly and non judgemental people.

I feel for you because your story sounds very similar to mine. My older brother says things to his wife and son that I cannot stand by and let go. I always say something, then he turns on me. He left home when he was 17 and returned 20 odd years later. What I've learnt is - he is not going to change.

Thankfully I don't see him often. He's always asking us to visit and to stay. They live about 5 hours drive away. I'm just about running out of excuses for not visiting.

I feel for his wife, son and daughter-in-law more than anything. And you are right about questioning what 'family means'. What I've come to is - you may be related by blood, however that doesn't mean everyone is going to end up with the same values, interests, empathy, common sense. And for me, I think that's okay. I spend a lot of time with my younger brother who is not well and I see cousins and an aunt. I kind of, just know my older brother is there but never expect anything remotely supportive from him. I maintain contact more for his wife and son than anything else. Before I phone, I just grit my teeth and prepare myself for a onesided conversation all about him. Then hopefully talk with his wife.

I'm not sure if this has helped you at all. It just shows though you are not alone in experiencing sibling difficulties. I believe there is an Australian organisation - Siblings Australia. Do a google search for it and see if there's anything there that can help.

Keep reaching out Karinas.

Kind regards