our everyday life

How to Get Your Big Brother to Stop Bothering You & Appreciate You

by Nina Edwards

As any little sister will tell you, big brothers can be annoying at times. Maybe he’s constantly irritating you because he’s older and feels like he can do whatever he wants to you. Maybe he just likes to get a reaction out of you. Either way, the good news is that there are ways to stop him from bothering you. As unbelievable as it sounds, he may even begin to appreciate you when you make some small changes in your relationship with him.

Ignore him. When your brother is bothering you, ignoring him can be a good way of getting him to stop. For example, if you are trying to watch TV, and he keeps doing annoying things like blocking your view, don’t get upset. Don’t call him names and don’t tell your mother about his behavior. Instead, expect a bit of drama in your relationship with your brother, says Hara Marano in an article entitled, “Oh, Brother!” on PsychologyToday.com. If you continue to ignore him every time he bothers you, he will stop after a while because he's not getting a response.

Listen to him. When your brother gives you some advice, try to listen to him. Even if you don’t agree with him and plan to do something entirely different from what he’s telling you, listen to his point of view anyway. If he thinks you aren't listening listen to him, he will think you don’t appreciate his help. If he feels unappreciated, then he may not appreciate you, either. So when he tells you the best way to hang a poster up in your room, try taking his advice. The next thing you know, he may start taking your advice about some things and appreciating when you are trying to help him.

Do nice things for him occasionally. Even though it may seem that your brother spends his free time thinking up ways to torture you, he has his own problems he’s dealing with as well. If you go out of your way every once in a while to do something nice for him, he will notice and appreciate it. For example, if you notice that your mom has been constantly getting on his case about leaving his bicycle on the front lawn, help him out. The next time you see him do this, bring it into the garage yourself. He will probably return the favor by bothering you less and doing small things to help you out as well.

Treat his friends right. Instead of rolling your eyes or acting snotty when his friends come over, be nice. When you make an effort to welcome his friends and give him his space to be with them, he will appreciate the effort you're making. As a bonus, he will probably bother you a lot less when your friends come over. And take heart, over time, as you and your brother get older, he will bother you less and less, says Duane Buhrmester and Wyndol Furman in a 2008 article in "Child Development."

Tip

  • When you do something nice for him, don’t ask for him to return the favor or mention that you did this in front of your parents. Instead, mention what you did to your brother the next time you’re alone with him then go about your business.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Getty Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images