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10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

When you are the younger child in a family you have to listen not only to your parents, but to older siblings as well. A younger sister will often complain about being treated like a baby, or being bossed around by her much older sister when they were younger, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for big sis either. There are a bunch of things that your older sister never really complained about or feel the need to tell you about, knowing that you will come to understand such things when you get older.

1. She spent years as a single child and lived under stricter rules

When your parents had her they didn’t really know what they were doing and they felt incredibly protective, so your sister ended up living under very strict rules. By the time you came along, they had already learned to be a bit more lenient. Your sister essentially paved the way for you, and there were times when she wished you appreciated that fact a bit more.

2. She was put up to higher standards because she was the older one

Not only did she have to take the full brunt of your parents’ attention before you came along, but she was actually held accountable later on, because she was the older one who needs to know better. She’d take a bullet for you from time to time, and while it was frustrating it helped her become a more mature and responsible person, and having a successful older sibling can be beneficial for you as well.

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3. More often than not, she’d find herself trying to be a good role model

Since your older sister was forced to act a lot more mature than other kids her age, she’d end up thinking about her choices and actions, because she knew full well that you looked up to her. Although she might have wanted to be a bit irresponsible and have fun, at times she had to use self-control and try to set a good example.

4. She made things easier for you by giving you her hard-earned bits of wisdom

When she went through rough times, got in fights with mom and dad, had trouble in school – she had to figure it all out for herself. She had to take a few hard falls in order to get back up stronger, but she was more than happy to give you all the little tips, tricks and gems of wisdom that she learned the hard way. The advice might have seemed as nagging at times, but she just didn’t want you to go through all the troubled that she did.  

5. She knew you’d have to make some of the same mistakes, but couldn’t talk you out of it

While she did her best to give you some pointers and guidelines, some things you just have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate. There were times when she watched you make mistakes, and she knew that you wouldn’t listen, but she was still there to comfort you afterwards.

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6. She also gave your parents tips and helped them deal with you

Of course, it is inevitable to have a few stern talks with your parents and get punished, but what you didn’t appreciate when you were younger was the fact that your older sister gave parents some insight into how you felt and helped them find the best way to approach you in that situation. She took up the role of mediator when it was necessary, and even sided with you when you were clearly in the wrong.

7. It both excited and frightened her when you became old enough to start dating

When you have a much older sister you are always the baby in the family, but as you grow older there comes a point where you can speak to each other as friends as well. It’s usually about the time you start dating. She gives you tips on how to deal with the confusing mess that is the teenage girl’s psyche, and you can also learn some useful tips on makeup and what to expect from boys.

Talking with your parents about sex is a weird experience, but your older sister can provide some much-needed guidance without you feel too uncomfortable. On one hand your sister was glad that she will be able to share such things with you, but on the other hand she was worried that you might get your heart broken.

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8. When she critiqued you or teased you, it was so that you would become a better person

Sometimes your older sister would seem mean, like she didn’t care about your problems or like she just wanted to tease you for the fun of it. However, a lot of the time it was used as a means of motivating you to do better or to toughen up – wanting to prove someone wrong or “show them” is the best source of motivation. If things go a little too far, it’s easy to make a sincere apology and make up, so this tough love tends to become a common strategy.

9. She had to act as teacher, caretaker and bodyguard, and she didn’t always know what she was doing

An older sister will stand up for you, help you out with bullies, feed you, help you out with homework and teach you valuable skills. The thing is, she didn’t receive any formal training and she didn’t really know what she was doing a lot of the time. However, that didn’t stop her from trying her best to keep you safe and help you out with anything you needed. An older sister’s boyfriend is also a great influence and can have “the talk” with your new boyfriend.

10. She knew that she’d be the first one you call in an emergency and was ready for anything

An older sister has to be ready for literally anything. Driving you home wasted from a party, helping you sober up and cleaning up the mess so the parents don’t find out? Check. Taking you shopping? Check. Borrowing you cash so you can go to a concert you’ve been waiting for? Check. Your sister used to get into all kinds of trouble herself and understand that she has to be ready to help you out with similar problems, and perhaps even some unique ones that she never came across. It’s not a big surprise to her when you come to her in a panic, but she will make sure that you know how big of a favor she is doing for you.

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These are just some of the things that a much older sister went through, but never really wanted to mention. At the end of the day, she loves you like no one else in the whole world, and while she did help make you into the person you are today, she is aware that you, in turn, had a big positive effect on her life as well.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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