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20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand

20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand

Becoming an older sibling to a baby sister is one of the most exciting, terrifying, and overall incredible moments in a person’s life. Throughout your relationship, you’ll want to teach her about the world, but shield her from a lot of it. You’ll love her at times, and you’ll hate her at times, but you’ll eventually realize she is the most important person in your life. You’ll also realize that, through it all, she may have taught you more about life than you could have ever hoped to teach her.

1. You don’t want the change

You’ve gotten used to being an only child, and frankly, you’re quite scared of what gaining a younger sister means. Will your parents stop loving you? Will you not be as special to them as you once were? Will she get all the attention now that she’s the cute little baby of the family? Every older sibling goes through this anxiety, but it quickly fades when you realize that your family is not just gaining a younger child—it’s also gaining an older one.

2. You instantly grow up

You want to do everything you can to help your little sister, from holding her and feeding her, to pacifying her when she cries. Your parental instincts kicked in the moment you meet your baby sister. Throughout your life, you’ll always feel a need to protect her.

3. You understand your parents a bit more

Instantly growing up means you see the parent/child relationship from the other side, if only in snippets at a time. You couldn’t finish your homework because you needed to go with your parents to the doctor. You couldn’t sleep at night because your baby sister was crying for God knows what reason. You also understand that all of this is worth having another member of the family.

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4. You see yourself in her

You realize that you were the reason your parents couldn’t sleep at night, or that they had to decline a party invitation because they couldn’t find a sitter (or didn’t want to). You realize you’re not the center of the universe. You realize that you were once an infant, and you see what you’ve grown into. And you realize your baby sister will soon do the same.

5. You have someone to talk to

Even as children, your little sister is always there to talk to. When you’re bored, she’s there to joke around with. When you’re sad, she’s there for you to unload your emotions on. When you’re ecstatic, she’s there to share your excitement with. Your sister becomes your outlet for all of your emotions, a living, breathing journal for you to tell your story to.

6. You gain a pal

You realize your sister isn’t just your family; she can be a part of your inner circle. It doesn’t matter if she’s one year, five years, or ten years younger than you. Your friends will accept that the two of you are a package deal. They might get annoyed with her, and you, but in the long run they understand how important she is to you, and true friends will become big brothers and sisters to her as well.

7. You gain a nemesis

Having a younger sibling is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll argue with each other. You’ll fight—a LOT. You’ll wish you were an only child so much that you can’t believe how unfair your life is. But having a family member to experience these emotions with makes you realize something important about family: they don’t go away, whether you want them to or not.

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8. You gain a scapegoat

You broke a glass playing basketball in the kitchen? Blame your sister. Spilled juice all over the brand new sofa? Blame your sister. Having a younger sister means you can shirk responsibility for just about anything. Not only that, but since she’s younger, your parents will usually go easier on her.

9. You become a scapegoat

That is, until she figures out how to turn the tables on you. Once she realizes that she, too, can blame you for things she’s done, don’t expect her to let up. She might even start trashing the house on purpose with the sole intention of getting you in trouble. And when the time comes, be sure to look behind your scolding mom’s back to see your little sister sticking her tongue out at you. With little sisters, payback’s a snitch.

10. You learn to hate responsibility

Mom has to work late? You need to feed your sister before you feed yourself. Dad has to run to grandpa’s house? You need to come inside and watch Nick Jr for a few hours. When you were looking forward to a baby sister, you never asked for all of this. But here you are, stuck playing tea party while all of your friends are playing manhunt down at the park.

11. You learn to love responsibility

Being responsible for another human being is incredibly empowering. Not in a bullying sense of the word, but in the sense that if you can watch out for another person, you can surely survive the world on your own. While you’re preparing food for your baby sister, you realize you can actually make your own meals whenever you want. When stuck inside with her, you realize you can make the best of a bad situation and end up having silly fun. You realize you don’t always need to be with your chosen friends to be having the time of your life.

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12. You learn to appreciate more

You realize the little things are what make your sacrifices worth it. You didn’t have fun playing dress up, especially when your sister took that incriminating photo of you in a tiara. Years later, you’ll see that picture and instantly feel like a kid again. You might get a serious case of FOMO when your friends tell you all about last Friday’s party, but you would have missed the first moment you hung out with your sister all weekend and saw her as a person rather than a younger sibling. You realize you wouldn’t trade her for anything else in the world.

13. You become a role model

Sure, you “instantly grew up” when you met your little sister, but did you consciously change your behavior? Not until you’re older, and your sister actually looks up to you, do you truly want to be someone worth looking up to. She sees you as a leader, and even if you never felt like one before, you hold yourself to a higher standard because of your little sister.

14. You have more in common than you think

You might be polar opposites on the surface, but your sister shares the worldviews and values your parents have instilled in both of you. If you ever feel alone in life, you can bet your sister will understand exactly where you’re coming from. You might not like the same music, or enjoy the same hobbies, but you’ve experienced the same vacations, family dinners, and other life moments that are much more important than Top 40 radio or the New York Yankees.

15. You need your space

Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. You were an only child for a long time, and you’ve almost forgotten what it was like to experience peace and quiet. There’s nothing wrong with this. But you also must come to the realization that you are not an island, you are not alone, and you will always have a responsibility to your younger sister. Being alone to recharge is one thing, but don’t ever isolate yourself from your closest family member.

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16. You’ll need her to fill that space

When you’re away from your sister, you might not realize it, but you miss her. The peace and quiet can be nice, but after a certain period of time it becomes deafening. You’ll realize that you might not always have her around to create the ambience you’ve gotten used to (and tired of), and you realize how much you’d miss it if it were gone for good. Missing your sister leads to appreciating the times you have with her.

17. You gain someone to trust

You can never trust anyone as much as you can trust your sister. She might have pulled one over on you in your younger days, but you can always count on her to keep secrets, listen to you, and love you for who you are. You both understand the special bond you share, and know how important it is to never break it.

18. You will become friends

You might have just tolerated your younger sister throughout your childhood, but that will change once you become adults. You will actually look forward to spending time together. You’ll actually make plans with each other. Your friends will want to hang out with her, and you’ll want to hang out with her friends. You’ll most likely end up going on more adventures with your sister than you ever did with any of your chosen friends.

19. You will stay friends

Not only will you become friends, but you’ll stay friends with your sister for longer than with anyone else who has come and gone in your life. High school friends almost always go their separate ways. College friends will move away, start their own families, and eventually the magic of your friendships will dissipate. Your sister will grow with you. Through every part of your life, your sister will be with you. And for every part of her life, you’ll be there watching over her proudly.

20. You learn the true value of family

Throughout your life, your sister will teach you the ultimate value of having a family. She’ll become an aunt to your children. She’ll welcome your spouse into your family. You’ll both help your parents as they grow older. You’ll always share the memories of childhood and the dreams of your lives with your younger sister. The best part of having a younger sister is the magic of your relationship will never fade.

Featured photo credit: Baby girl laughing to her brother via shutterstock.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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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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