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19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

When I was five years old, my brother held up an ordinary desk stapler and told me it was what the doctors used to close my chest during my heart surgery, that’s why I had the little half-inch scars under the “big” scar. He said they ran out of stitches so they grabbed the next best thing — a stapler. That damn stapler haunted me for what seemed like an eternity.

A few years later, he thought it would be funny to throw me off the top of the slide into the pool. Into the deep end, thankfully.

He put a snake in my Easter basket (I swear it’s true. It was the one year when snakes were more abundant than Easter eggs).

He once made me get out of the car and walk home… for five miles (he got in trouble for that one — big time).

He blamed me for things I didn’t do. Quite a bit.

The list is endless. But that was his job as my big brother. It’s what he was supposed to do when we were growing up. All that jazz helped create the bond we share today.

With all the silly typical sibling stuff behind us, I’d like to take a moment to remember all the amazing things my big brother did and still does do for me. He’s the best — and I really mean that — big brother ever. There’s no way to list everything, but I’ll put a few actions into words and, hopefully, he’ll take time from his day to read this and understand how much he means to me.

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So, this is for all you big brothers out there. Here are a few of the things your little sisters want to say to you.

1. Thank you for being my first “dude” friend.

You taught me how to be friends with dudes. Whether it helped me understand things like sports or cars or a host of other talents, you gave me a good foundation to interact with the opposite sex. This came in handy later in life.

“Because I have a brother, I’ll always have a friend.”

2. Thank you for teaching me things I couldn’t learn from Mom or Sis.

Things like how to play Atari games, or how to ride the Big Wheel off the roof into the pool, or how to have a party without mom and dad knowing. Or, when I was a freshman and you were a senior and you showed me around campus, helped me figure out my schedule, and introduced me to my teachers.

3. Thank you for driving me to and from school your whole senior year when I was a lowly freshman.

Especially when you were totally cool and lovin’ high school and I was … alternative… and hating high school. Yeah. That must have sucked, but you did it anyways and you were never embarrassed to cruise into the lot in your cool Volkswagon Scirocco with me in tow. Man, I loved that car. How come I got stuck with the station wagon?

4. Thank you for giving me confidence and courage I didn’t know I had.

Remember when I asked that senior to Sadie Hawkins (when I was still a freshman)? Okay, so we both knew he’d say no, but the point is you totally encouraged me to go for it. Not in a bad way either. You weren’t standing in the shadows, waiting to laugh at me. You were cheering me on. You were proud of my courage. He turned me down (politely) and, thanks to you, I totally survived the rejection. The end result is that Mr. Senior-Who-Said-No and I talked and laughed and joked the rest of the year in art class so, all in all, it was an awesome move on my part.

5. Thank you for covering for me.

So, I wasn’t an angel. You covered for me a few times. There are two times we still laugh at: the time I drove up the neighbor’s driveway and when I came home after hanging out with the college boys in Berkeley. You laughed your ass off, but you made sure I didn’t get caught. I’m glad I was able to return the favor… over and over again.

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6. Thank you for having cute friends.

No brainer. Older brother = older cute friends. Damn, they were fun to look at, hang out with and, er, kiss. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

7. Thank you for always being my spare date on New Year’s.

It was always a blast to spend New Year’s with you. You’re an awesome date and there was never that pressure at midnight to kiss (ew). And if either one of us got hammered, it was cool. It didn’t matter if we ended up spending the night at each other’s places. No one had to do the walk of shame in the morning.

8. Thank you for being the strongest one at Dad’s funeral.

You hugged me and consoled me. You told us funny stories. With effortless beauty and grace, you recited O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman, which moved people to tears. You let my husband hug me first, but you hugged me second when Dad was being buried. To this day, twenty years later, you still call me on the anniversary of Dad’s death to make sure I’m okay. Because I’m your baby sister.

9. Thank you for being my first superhero.

You always had a baseball bat or golf club by your bed, ready to kick some ass to protect me. Of course, having your black belt helped. And I was always impressed when you went all Bruce Lee on us with your nunchucks.

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero!” ― Marc Brown

10. Thank you for really caring, even though you sometimes acted like you didn’t.

I know… having a little sister was sometimes a pain in the ass. You acted like you didn’t care, but deep down I always knew you did care about me. You worried about me and you made sure I was safe and happy. You never wanted me to be hurt or sad.

“As we grew up, my brothers acted like they didn’t care, but I always knew they looked out for me and were there!” — Catherine Pulsifer

11. Thank you for all the talks.

You know the ones. When you talked about girls and came to me for advice or when I asked you about boys. You were there to pick up the pieces when some douchebag broke my heart. You never once rolled your eyes or complained. And you definitely supported me when I found “the one.” Even when it meant telling Dad I wasn’t going to that college he wanted me to go to.

“Here’s to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes.” — E.M. Tippetts

12. Thank you for all the Saturday mornings together.

You and spent a ton of Saturday mornings in pajamas on the family room floor watching Saturday morning cartoons. Hey, that time wasn’t wasted. That was serious bonding time. Those Saturdays helped develop our friendship. Scooby Doo and French toast — nothing better.

13. Thank you for being the consistent guy in my life.

Before getting married, of course, you were the main guy in my life. You didn’t care how weird I acted or dressed. You didn’t care if I was blond one day or purple-haired the next. You thought my punk scene was intriguing, even though it was polar opposite to your popular world. You never failed me. I love you for that.

Even now, you’re second only to my husband. There’s no other guy I’d rather hang out with. You still “get” me.

14. Thank you for making awkward situations easier.

Anytime life gets awkward, whether it be with ex’s or people I’m not particularly fond of, you make it easy. You make the ex’s feel lame (in a nice way), you make me look good, and you make light of the situation. Whatever you do, I always come out looking fairly cool.

15. Thank you for being my family sounding board.

Oh my lord, thank God we come from the same family because no one understands the issues like you do. I’m perfect, of course. You recognize this, which is why I love you.

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16. Thank you for dropping everything to be by my side.

In person or in spirit. Because we’re blessed to live close, for the most part, you’re able to be with me in person. You’ve been there for my wedding, when I needed your help during all my crises, and for the births of both my children. You’ve been there for both my children’s major heart surgeries (ALL of them) and for most of my surgeries. You’re the most supportive brother I know.

17. Thank you for being an amazing uncle.

Not only am I lucky to have you for a brother, but I’m even luckier to have you as my children’s uncle. You’re adored and loved beyond belief by my children. Not a day goes by that they don’t mention your name. Thank you for being a prominent figure in their lives. I couldn’t be happier to share you with them or to share them with you.

18. Thank you for being a great guy.

For real. You make being a guy look so easy. There are a lot of jerks out there. Thankfully, there is you. You cook, you clean, and you hold the door open for people in general. You also fix things, can live with or without sports, and look pretty darn cute in a tux. Most of all, you care about people. You care about the environment. You care about… kittens (OK, I added that one in because you do like itty bitty kitties and I think it’s freaking adorable). All of these things aside, it’s refreshing to know there are great guys out there and you are one of them.

19. Thank you for making me a sister.

I love being your sister. Enough said.

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” — Clara Ortega

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Missy Mitchell

Author, Artist, Advocate

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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