Explain my sister's behaviour | INFJ Forum

Explain my sister's behaviour


Strength through understanding
Jun 21, 2009
I have 4 sisters and my second oldest sister has always been an odd one. I am pretty sure she is an introvert. She is 24 and went to uni to study creative writing...I think. I actually don't know! That sums up our relationship up pretty well, doesn't it?

She has always had an extremely volatile relationship with my Mum. All this time and I still have no idea why. I've never asked anyone in my family why this is- I don't want to stir any uncomfortable emotions and I have drawn my own conclusions.

Anyway, through the time I've known her she has always been on and off with me. Since I can remember, from about my early teens, she will insult me to the deepest possible degree. Then she'll be really nice again and try to hug me and other stupid stuff. Her insults would come in the form of put downs. When I open my mouth to say something she'll shoot it down and tell me how sad/pretentious/idiotic my ideas are. If I'm reading a book she'll criticise it to death with one sentence. She'll be extremely patronising.

Every time she did this I would fucking hate her! It was completely unprovoked attacks! I'd shut down and not talk to her, then repeat.

The way I coped with this, is when I was about 15, I just blocked her out emotionally. If I didn't talk to or respond to her in any way, she couldn't hurt me. Simple as that. I'm still doing this now, that's just the way it is and the way it always will be probably.

I'm not bitter or angry or looking to patch it up, I'm just interested purely from a research point of view.

I'm really curious to find out what you think? Why would she do that to me? Especially considering I was only a young kid. She still tries to do it now, but I can just laugh it off because it's just insecure rants and I'm secure and confident enough in myself to look at her behaviour and shrug.
Seems she had some issues and took them out on you.
The first thing is she likely feels that people should not take personal insults in a bad way. She likely sees them as a way for people to be aware of their flaws, or the flaws of the environment. It isn't that she has bad intentions; she just has a very clear value set of what is right and wrong, and wants everyone else to see the world that way.

She also is likely very unaware of peoples emotional responses, or she simily choses to ignore them all together, deeming the useless. This will cause her to seem harsh. It could also be a protection mecanism for herself. She might always make her self appear confidant and directing in what she says, because her life might not be that way. By speaking in harsh black and white terms. It fills the void in her of having direction, when her life might be in serious dissaray.

In a nutshell, she just sees things with clear conviction.

Personally, I would talk to your family about this if it bothers you. Communication between family (and I mean clear open comunication) members is very important. I am very much like this on my mom side of the family (parents are divorced). On my dad's side though, not so much. They are all sensors, and many judgers as well. So everything is swept under the rug and not talked about. Now and then I will stir things up, simply because I am a nosy person and feel I have a right to know what is going on.
Interesting one! Well, my sister is also 24 and we now get on very well. However I can confidently say that that is because we do not see each other every day anymore. She is not an easy person to live with 24/7. That said she is far easier than she used to be and I can draw parallels to what you mention about how your sister acts towards you and to mine as well. When I was anywhere from 10-15 she was from 14-19. During that time she was a very VERY private, shut-herself-in-her-room and direct sorta person and at the time this attitude was construed by me as her simply not being a nice person especially since a lot of her anger seemed targeted at me and was very over the top. But since she has finished uni, got a job she likes that isn't remotely connected with what she studied and has her own place, she's changed, opened up into the real her and I've realised a lot of how she acted towards me in the past was a result of her social stresses, issues at school and largely not feeling she could or should share any of these with her family members. I had always been very open about my problems especially with my mum and so I never really let those emotions build up and manifest themselves in attacks on people I loved and were very close to me. So, I think from what you described of your sister's behaviour it is likely that - assuming she has no underlying phsychiatric issues - she has simply got some skeletons in her colest, things she feels she can't share but needs to.

You obviously have adopted a new attitude towards her since you've developed yourself, and one that I too would have adopted, and that is one of letting her periodic outbursts against you pass over you; as you said, shrug them off. Whilst that may be the best course of action for yourself (to avoid being hurt like you had been in the past with her) it may lead her to feel even more strongly that she has no way of expressing any issues she needs to express since she gets muted reactions. But don't take my word for that because it may acually be good if it encourages her to subconsciously adopt a new way of acting towards you since she sees ranting and raving produced mere shrugs out of you.. A tricky one! But at least I can give you my experience with my sis. I would guess she has some things she needs to get off her chest, be they untold feelings/memories or abstract neccesities such as simply needing to find a career path suited to her. Helping her with that is the hard part, approaching the topic of what's best for her without being patronising is possibly trickier still. If I was in your position I would probably stick with your new method of dealing with her outbursts against you to aviod her associating them with anything of any importance and making the most of the times she kind to you by talking with her, showing you genuinely care about her future, decisions and welfare etc and maybe the outbursts will gradually get fewer. It sounds a bit crude, but it's sort of like rewarding good behaviour and ignoring bad behaviour and thus encouraging the former!
On my dad's side though, not so much. They are all sensors, and many judgers as well. So everything is swept under the rug and not talked about.
My dad and sis are like that, mum and I are not. I agree, inter familial communication is vital but it is extemely difficult to make it a lasting norm with people are not naturally receptive to it. I think, being more apt at negotiating and diffusing situations, it would be be more effective in the long term if our sort of people adapted our solving of situations to appeal to the more narrow minded mindset of those that 'sweep stuff under the rug' and that would be more focused on discussing things that don't expose their weaknesses too much, focus on logic and are less centred on spilling out everything that's on their minds. In short, I think infjs are more flexibile in these situations and therefore it's more productive for them to bend themselves to diffuse things than to overly encourage others to conform to a more open relationship between certain family members.
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Sibling rivalry?

Hows your relationship with your mother?
It seems like she used you as her personal vomit bag as she projected all her bad side stuff onto you. In a warped way you were easing her burden but she was busting boundaries all over the place. You were right to shut her out emotionally and it's too bad because she'll miss out on some of the best parts of you.