Help with IXTJ brother | INFJ Forum

Help with IXTJ brother

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by jimtaylor, Aug 28, 2010.

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  1. jimtaylor

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    Ok, first of this really has nothing to do with MBTI but if it helps; my brother is an IXTJ but when he takes the test he types INTJ, at times I question this though.

    Really this is more a venting post, yet advice would be very much appreciated. Ok so my younger brother by 4 years has driven me pretty much crazy for most of our lives. I don't live at home anymore in part because I can't stand to be around him or my father. I love them and they are great people, we just have our differences. Now my problem with my brother does and doesn't stem from these differences. He is borderline aspergers and when he was younger, my mother tells me he did test positive for it. He was also born with eidectic memory. Despite all these he can be an emotional guy but really only when it comes to death. He is very traumatized by it, so it doesn't help that it has been rather common in our family in the last 5-6 years. This all in someway makes him very self centered, arrogant, opinionated, thinks he is always right, stubborn as mule, has no care for other peoples emotions(yet pretends that he does), does nothing unless it benefits him, etc... yet I can live with all these things. I have learned to accept these things when it comes to him and realized there is no point in trying to change him or even try to talk to him about being more compassionate because in the end it is like talking to a brick wall. No, what drives me mad and has forced me in part to move(I also just wanted to live on my own as I am getting older); is his complete lack of self-esteem and his at times huge motivation and drive and at other times complete lack of it.

    The truth is my brother is brilliant, far more than I could ever hope to be. I mean what 16 year old do you know that has written 2 1/2 books at 100,000 words + and yet still has some sort of social life? They are not published yet but with work on his writing skills, they very well could be in a few years. He is brilliant and from a young age has been able to grasp concepts, idea's and other complex notions without having much experience in them. It makes me very proud to say these things because I do not compliment lightly yet I know that he thinks in a way that I could never even hope to understand. I am only able to out excel him because of my effort, my desire to always give everything I have yet still the only thing I naturally understand more than him is people. This is what drives me mad, is the fact that he doesn't try.

    From a young age I have watched out for him, protected him, defended him, fought for him, tried to build a legacy for him to follow and shine, yet he takes advantage of very little of what I built for him. I mean I can't recall how many times I got into fights trying to protect him because he has no filter between his brain and his mouth, and sometimes those fights where with my own friends. At the high school he is going to know, he was accepted into countless accelerated programs off my name alone when there where countless other students who wanted to get into the programs. They all had to write letters and ask to get in and many didn't, he simply had to walk up and say his last name and he was in, yet two weeks in he dropped out of most of those programs. I wouldn't be angry at this if he had actually tried. The reason he dropped is because he didn't want to have to work harder and give up some of his free time, that he spends playing world of warcraft and other games. I don't care when he tries and fails, it's when he doesn't even try because it means he has to do a little more work. If it had been too hard for him, than I would have understood but that wasn't the case.

    His excuse most of the time when I ask him why he quits so easy is; "You live hard, you die hard." In his mind that means, that the harder you try, the bigger disappointment you will have in the end. He is so scared of failing that he will never give more than half effort to anything, because if he can't exceed doing it half effort than that means he can't do it full effort. This is where I have lost my patience with him. I cannot find it in my heart to just give up on him and let him just fail out of school and yet part of me feels like that is just what I should do. I know it is not my right to dictate how is his life should go but I just hate to see another person in my family become a complete fuck up. My two older siblings have done nothing with their lives, my other older brother had a bright future until he passed away, then there is me, then my younger brother who I have the greatest hope for and also the least amount of hope for and then my two youngest sisters who are far off from having to make life choices. It's just disappointing to say the least to see him with such low self-esteem and it's not just in school. It's in everything. When we go play basketball, if I don't let him win; he storms off the court and walks home. The same goes for video games, board games, reading, writing. He gave up on his first book because he sent it to a family friend to read and the friend gave him some constructive criticism that he didn't like.

    I don't want to give up on him because he is my brother and I want to see him succeed in ways that I couldn't even imagine, and I want to help him achieve his dreams but it's like at times he just wants those to be handed to him without working hard. He talks about how he want's to do big things, things like becoming a writer, a computer programmer, following in my footsteps by joining Sigma Chi, and many others, yet he doesn't work for them when I give him the opportunity to do so. At times I feel responsible for this because I feel like I set him up to be this way by helping him too much. I have already begun to build a legacy at the University level to make the transition into college much easier for him, than has been for me, yet I don't know if I should follow through with it this time. I really don't know if I should put my name on the line for him again. I want to believe that this one time he will take it and find the motivation to push himself and not need someone there and that somehow that passion he has times when writing or playing games or building Lego's will spread to other areas. Anyways, I am done ranting. Venting and getting my thoughts written down has already helped me a ton but if anybody has adivce on how I should deal with this situation please share. I have exhausted my own thoughts and have used almost all the resources I have to no avail.
     
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  2. sighsalot

    sighsalot Newbie

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    I think he wants to make it on his own terms. You said he was arrogant and lacks self esteem and that he doesn't even try to make it after all you've done for him. That's probably because it hurts his pride.

    We are all control freaks in a way and sometimes, when someone tries to get us to do something in a certain way we get defensive - we isolate ourselves, complain to ourselves, tell ourselves how much we've done, how much we're taken for granted, etc. sometimes we feel like we give, give give and give and then we have nothing to get back, and that's when our pure selfishness shows. We hit rock bottom and then want something back for ourselves, we want to temporarily punish whoever has done us wrong.

    This ruins both our relationships and our character in the end.

    You love your brother and i'm sure he loves you very much. But perhaps he wants you, himself (most importantly), and maybe other family/friends to be proud of him because he did it on his own. Deep down it probably wounds his pride (which he has every right to have, just like anyone else) to do well/go to a school where the only reason he's in is because you got him there. This could make his self esteem worse.

    His arrogance is the result of him overcompensating for the lack of pride he feels inside because you've done everything for him so a lot of the credit for what he accomplishes would, in the end, go to you. Was it wrong of him not to communicate this to you? Yes, he should have. But he probably didn't know how to or even wanted to. He might not even know he's just trying to protect his pride. Playing WOW is just a fun, addictive way to forget about the stress he feels trying to think about it and now it's become a habbit and over a time, may become a huge part of who he is.

    And if you truly love your brother, you will empathize with that feeling. But there's no reason to talk about it. You trying to teach him a lesson won't work.. The world teaches us lessons. Don't be mean, don't be distant, let him know that you love him (not necessarily through words) and if he comes to you, give him what is reasonable. Focus on keeping yourself sane so when something does happen that needs your attention, you're strong enough to handle it.

    Don't feel solely responsible for his bad behavior (or his good behavior). A lot of times, there is no one to blame. It's just that we sometimes fool ourselves and miscommunicate.

    I'm sorry if this was a very cool-headed assessment of everything but it sounds like you wanted it. I'm sure all of his has probably crossed your mind already, but it sometimes helps to hear it from someone else. I hope I helped. If not, that's okay too, feel free to let me know, or not.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    What a perceptive post by sighsalot. I agree with her. I understand it's hard to just sit back and watch. And I wonder if your brother likewise resents your attempts as an attempt to change him rather than accept him; and perhaps his failures are a passive-aggressive method meant to assert control over his destiny (which I think that a great deal of people need to have). In my opinion, the best way to make someone do something is to let them want it for themselves.

    I went through a similar phase a long time ago -- where I didnt do much because it felt like people were trying to force me to pursue a path. I finally snapped out of it when a friend suggested the idea to me and we had a brainstorming session about it. I figured that while my friend wanted to help me with my business he still wanted to be a part of it and that gave me some Fe motivation, the ideas also gave me a roadmap to success and it was good to know that my friend was behind me and would help if I needed it. It can be hard to carry through with things without friends who can support you by listening non-judgementally even in the toughest of times.
     
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  4. Razare

    Razare Community Member

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    Giving something all your effort can be difficult. Personally, I can't do it because of how I matured during my teen years. My behavior sounds somewhat similar to your brothers, except he sounds more intelligent.

    When you're gifted, you may very well never learn how to do something to your full potential because you grow up succeeding without much effort.

    When things get difficult for me, I usually crack and fail. Yet, I'm capable of doing a lot because I am intelligent and capable. Even my half-assed effort does get me somewhere eventually.

    Don't be worried too much if your brother fails out of High School. Sometimes a failure like that can change a person into something better than they were, such as learning to value family more.
     
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  5. sighsalot

    sighsalot Newbie

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    I agree.. It's always good to have someone bouyant to lift you up (to Zero Angel)
     
    #5 sighsalot, Aug 30, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  6. OP
    jimtaylor

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    That is in a way what I think but I do have a hard time watching anyone fail. It is not in me just to stand by and watch people just give up. I do know that if he failed he would get back up on his feet but why does he have to get to that point to see the logic? I guess that's just how my mindset gets; why wait for it get to the worst point before considering the worst and working towards resolving it. Always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

    Sadly now he has given up on writing books because as he said he doesn't feel like he can compete with me since my writings are gaining more attention and having more success. I offered some suggestions on why it's worth trying again in the future because when I started, I sucked and I explained to him it can't happen overnight but I left it at that. It's his choice if its what he wants or not. It was difficult to leave it at that because he is a good writer but that is his choice but I do hope he starts writing in the future again.
     
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    #6 jimtaylor, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  7. OP
    jimtaylor

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    Outside perspective is always appreciated and I really do appreciate you taking the time to post this. I understand very much what you are saying and it makes a lot of sense. I never really thought of it that way because my mindset is different. Anytime someone has helped me in the same way, I always try to use that help as a way to jumpstart myself and exceed expectations. Pride never really comes into play for me so I never did think of it that way.

    I can understand completely how me helping could actually be making him feel like he is not enough and that I want him to be something that maybe he doesn't want to be. It is just difficult for me to stand by and watch, but in this case I have to swallow my own pride and just be there to help him if he asks for it. It's difficult but I really think it will be best for both of us in the long term.
     
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  8. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    First of all, I hope all the best for your brother -- and you too. :)

    I think he is a great man, and definitely a wonderful brother by the way you described him. However, simply put; this is a matter of age. While someone's too young, and having a) lots of expectations, b) someone upping the ante, and c) others pointing out the easy way out; it's really easy for a young person to misplaced his future. Or to decide not to look after it.

    My advice would be to let him pick his own road. I'm sure you mean good, but this might be the case of him hating being pampered -- yet wanting to impress you and your family.

    Here's my understanding of this problem; point b) is you and your late elder brother. You have been a successful man, able to at least live well. You have protected him, practically give lots of precious things for him. And your late brother seems to be a best brother one could have. I really understand that all of these are done in best intentions possible. However, to him this meant two things; a) he is unworthy to stand alone, to build his own path, and b) you saw him as so.

    and this goes to point c); you mentioned your elder siiblings are...complete fuckups. Well.... It's easier to follow easy things. And this is related to point a); with both burdens of 'reach my older brothers' expectations', and avoiding the risk of 'following my older siblings' mess'...... all of this can result to a sort of inactivity. Which was what he did. And what he believed.

    I think you did the right thing. At least until he got something he believed more, something worth breaking the risk; and who knows, maybe he already built his preparations silently.
     
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  9. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    Ah yea, my take is that the kid is only 16 and you are only 20. Give it a couple more years before you decide he has thrown his life away. Besides, you can't live his life for him nor determine what is best for him. I haven't met any 16 year olds who weren't arrogant know it alls either, myself included. It comes with the territory.
     
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  10. OP
    jimtaylor

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    First I wanted to thank all of you for the thoughtfull posts. I have always found I get a lot better advice on here than I get from people I am close to in real life which is really a gift. I believe everyone of you touched on a point I did not see or understand and it has opened my eyes.

    I have stopped all my plans for building some kind of legacy for him to a degree. It will always be there if he wants it but only if he desires it. I will always be here to provide him help when he needs but I am stepping back and giving him a chance to do his own thing. Now when I do things with him and talk to him about school and such, I just let him know how proud I am of what he has accomplished. It was/is difficult for me to do but I think you are right. Being his silent support will be better for us both in the long run. He will eventually find his own happiness and his own definition of success and me mine. Our relationship will be better because of it and now I am thinking of some ways I might be able to strengthen our relationship as brothers so maybe one day I could explain to him why I have done all I have and maybe gain his trust so that he will share with me what he desires without the fear of being judged.

    I even posted on his facebook wall how proud I am of him and how well he is doing in a few of his classes and just thanked him for always being a good brother. It might sound like an insignifigant thing to most but for me it was really quite difficult. I think it's a good step in the right direction though and might never be the person who notices every little thing he does but at least now I will learn to recongize when he does try hard.
     
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  11. Phoenix Down

    Phoenix Down Permanent Fixture

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    16 is about the age when intelligent teens get introspective, existential, and somewhat depressive. Been there, done that. Lets face it, part of the drawback of being a pensive individual is that you think too much. This isn't the time to be critical, but it also isn't the time to just let him be.

    Let him know he is responsible not only for his own happiness but also for the happiness of those who love and wish him well. Basically, his well being is your buisness, whether or not he wishes it or not. Like you said, you can't just give up on him because you love him and want what is best for him.

    That isn't to say, you know what's best for him. Just whatever what is best for him might be, you want him to have it. That needs to be made very clear.

    As for your less than successful sibblings. Your brother needs to know that isn't an option. You are not just going to let him throw his blessings away: because that would be an insult to anyone who has invested anything into him. That includes you, your parents, his friends, teachers, doctors, councelors, that really nice crossing guard, and if you want to bring it up, your late brother and ultimately God.


    Yes, you will always unconditionally love your brother, but if he willingly chose to not put his talents to good use, it would be like telling all these people "you invested in my company and trusted me, now I'm going to make off like Arthur Andersen, lol bye"

    With great power comes great responsibility, even if you don't ask for it.


    Again this isn't saying he needs to put 100% into everything he does ( that would be insane), but he does need to put effort into things. Needs to man up and take some responsibility for himself and others. You gotta do the right thing, and when things go wrong, you gotta try to set things right even when it wasn't your fault.


    I guess what I'm saying is you should encourage your brother to "man up."

    A man
     
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