5 Signs of a Narcissistic Sibling

5 Signs of a Narcissistic Sibling


Narcissism is destructive to all relationships.

The narcissist often turns family members against each other, destroying trust.

A narcissistic sibling can poison your relationships with parents, other siblings, and family members.

Dealing with a narcissist sibling is often extremely difficult because you may feel betrayal and anger, while at the same time feeling love and sadness.

Nobody wants to be hurt or be hurt by another family member.

And yet, the narcissist sibling plots and plans to do just that- hurt and damage the family.

Coping with a narcissistic sibling may cause you to suffer a bevy of mental and emotional issues.

Feelings of betrayal, anger, bitterness, rage, a desire for justice, and being falsely accused are commonly associated with having a narcissistic sibling.

These destructive feelings can have negative effects on your psychological health.

How do you spot a narcissistic sister or brother?

Let's look at five signs of a narcissistic sibling.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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1). Plays You Against a Parent

A narcissistic sibling will often play you against a parent.

Like pieces on a chess board, the narcissist sibling will maneuver family members against each other.

Like all narcissists, a narcissist sibling is a master manipulator.

They are storytellers attempting to create a fantasy world of their own, with them at the center.

When you have a narcissistic sibling, it's easy to feel like a helpless character in their diabolical story.

The narcissist sibling thrives on playing you against a parent.

They may lie to a parent about you in hopes of making them angry at you.

In turn, they may tell you that your parent is angry for a completely different reason.

In other cases, they may act sympathetic to your problem, while stirring up family resentments behind your back.

If you have a narcissistic sibling, you will often feel like you're constantly putting out family fires.

Narcissists are often pathological liars, and as such cannot keep up with their lies.

And yet, when a narcissistic sibling lies it forces other family members to act and react to the drama.

The narcissist sibling sees family members as mere tools for sowing seeds of deception.

When a narcissistic sibling manipulates you and other family members, it makes them feel in control.

All narcissists seek to control others, to curb their own low self-esteem.

Example Sentence/Phrase Explanation
"Mom said you always cause trouble." This is a common tactic used by a narcissistic person to play siblings against each other and create conflict in the sibling relationship. It makes you question your behavior and standing with the parent.
"Dad thinks I'm the golden child." Narcissistic siblings often try to position themselves as the favorite to incite jealousy and competition. This phrase reinforces their status and can lead you to doubt your own worth.
"Why can't you be more like me? Mom and Dad are so disappointed in you." A narcissistic brother or sister may use this comparison to undermine your self-esteem and make you feel inferior, leveraging parental disappointment to manipulate you.
"You're just being overly sensitive. Dad thinks you're too emotional." Minimizing your feelings and labeling them as overreactions is a form of abusive behavior that narcissistic siblings use to invalidate you and align a parent against you.

Understanding whether you have a narcissist sister or a narcissistic brother can be challenging, but recognizing these manipulative phrases can help. If you find yourself asking "is my sister a narcissist?" or dealing with a younger sister who constantly pits you against your parents, these examples may shed light on toxic dynamics rooted in narcissistic behavior.

2). Secretly Blame You

Narcissists cannot accept blame or take responsibility for their choices, especially their mistakes.

That would mean they have to accept blame, and they cannot.

The narcissist sibling may praise you to your face but secretly criticize and blame you.

A narcissist sibling will often blame other family members, especially siblings they perceive to be more favored by parents.

If they feel like a failure or make a mistake, the narcissist sibling will blame you.

They may complain to family members about you neglecting them, or even abandoning them.

They may accuse you of betraying them in moments of need, to explain away or justify a poor choice.

The narcissist sibling will rarely criticize you to your face.

Instead, a narcissist sibling will compliment you, often for the very thing they are blaming you for.

Example Phrase Tip to Manage
"If it wasn't for you, everything would be perfect." Recognize that this is an unfair blame shift. Remind yourself of your own values and contributions, and don't internalize the guilt.
"Everyone knows you're the problem here." Maintain open communication with other family members to verify facts. Understand that a narcissistic sibling may manipulate perceptions.
"I wouldn't have to act this way if you weren't so difficult." Set clear boundaries. Let them know their behavior is their responsibility and you won't accept the blame for their actions.
"You're always making things about yourself when I'm the one who needs help." Reassert your own needs calmly and firmly. Practice self-care and ensure you are not neglecting your well-being for their demands.

Dealing with a narcissistic sister, brother, or any other sibling often involves navigating a toxic relationship filled with guilt-tripping and blame-shifting. When managing sisters' or brothers' narcissism, it's crucial to recognize these tactics and develop coping strategies. Stay true to your own values and seek support where needed.

3). Openly Blame You

It's likely a narcissist sibling may have a group of friends or peers you don't know.

Their friends, coworkers, friends of the family, etc.

The narcissist sibling will often openly blame you to others outside the family unit because you have little or no contact with them.

Narcissists are careful to cover their tracks.

They don't want their malice and deceit revealed.

It's not uncommon to meet a friend of a narcissist sibling who's heard all about you- and not in a good way.

Narcissists abuse people. Narcissistic abuse is real.

The narcissist sibling uses people you don't know as a sounding board for their blame.

And who better?

Those people don't know you, and therefore don't know any better.

4). Creates False Memories

The narcissist sibling will often fashion false or exaggerated memories of your shared childhood.

They may invent circumstances of alleged abuse and neglect.

They may exaggerate family struggles and stories of 'doing without'.

A narcissist sibling may trade on the fact that you both share memories, and try to get you to agree with their fiction.

If a narcissistic sibling can get you to commiserate with them, it bolsters their false self-image.

It's also a clever form of manipulation.

Remember, the narcissist sibling uses family relationships to destroy family relationships.

A narcissist sibling rewrites the past, in order to manipulate the present.

They may even aggrandize past accomplishments, to support their low self-esteem.

However, the narcissist sibling depends on you to agree with their fictitious memories.

They want you to agree that's the way it was.

And when you don't, the narcissist sibling may lash out against you.

5). Pretends Friendship

The narcissist sibling often pretends to be your friend.

They may even claim that you are their best friend, in order to gain trust and loyalty.

The narcissist sibling will go to great lengths to convince you they are your friend.

They may call or text often, or send you gifts.

They may show a willingness to help in times of need, or express empathy for you when others will not.

The narcissist sibling wants to be your friend, so they can better manipulate and abuse you.

Ever heard the old saying- Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

That's the mindset of the narcissist sibling.

FAQs About Narcissistic Siblings

How does a narcissistic sibling impact family relationships?

A narcissistic sibling can destroy family relationships.

Their need for narcissistic supply often leads them to create divisive family dynamics and foster sibling rivalry.

This can result in other siblings feeling neglected or abused.

How does a narcissistic sibling affect mental health?

Dealing with a narcissistic sibling can have severe effects on mental health.

The constant emotional abuse can lead to issues like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

It's important to seek support for your emotional well-being, which might include seeking therapy.

How do I deal with a narcissistic sibling?

Dealing with a narcissistic sibling can be challenging.

Setting healthy boundaries is essential to protect your self-esteem and mental health.

Don't feed into their need for attention and avoid engaging in their manipulation tactics.

It's also beneficial to seek professional help to navigate these complex family relationships.

What are some common narcissistic traits?

Common narcissistic traits include self-importance grandiosity, self-indulgences that they imagine unlimited success and a belief that they are "special" and unique.

They often require excessive admiration and have a sense of entitlement. 

These traits can be particularly damaging in sibling relationships. 

Is My Sister a Narcissist?

Behavior to Look Out For Example & Phrase
Constant Need for Attention Example - Your sister always steers conversations back to herself. Phrase: "Why does the entire family always focus on you?"
Lacks Empathy Example - She doesn’t acknowledge your feelings or milestones. Phrase: "I can't believe you're making such a big deal out of this."
Blaming External Factors Example - She never takes responsibility for her actions. Phrase: "It's not my fault; you know how impossible tasks are with everyone against me."
Manipulative Behavior Example - She frequently makes you question your own reality. Phrase: "You're crazy if you think I did that."
Abuse of Relationship Dynamics Example - She uses your relationship to manipulate you. Phrase: "As my sister, you should support me no matter what."
Lack of Boundaries Example - She disregards your attempts at setting boundaries. Phrase: "Why are you being so distant? I'm your best friend."

If one continues recognizing these behaviors in your sister's behavior, they can better understand the dynamics at play. Narcissistic people often exhibit a constant need for attention, lack empathy, and blame external factors for their bad behavior. Setting firm boundaries and staying calm can help protect your self-worth in similar situations.

Is My Brother a Narcissist?

Behavior to Look Out For Example & Phrase
Center of Attention Example - Your brother interrupts conversations to talk about himself. Phrase: "Why does everyone else get attention when I'm the one who matters?"
Emotional Abuse Example - He belittles your feelings and achievements. Phrase: "You're too sensitive. It's your fault if you get upset."
Destroying Family Relationships Example - He pits family members against each other. Phrase: "Do you know what other siblings are saying about you behind your back?"
Impossible Standards Example - He sets unattainable expectations for you. Phrase: "You'll never be good enough to achieve what I have."
Lack of Boundaries Example: He disregards your attempts to set boundaries. Phrase: "Why are you shutting me out? We're supposed to be best friends."
Blaming Others Example - He never takes responsibility for his actions. Phrase: "It's not my fault; you're the one who made this an impossible task."

Narcissistic siblings often engage in behaviors such as demanding to be the center of attention, committing emotional abuse, and attempting to destroy family relationships. Recognizing these behaviors in a narcissistic person is the first step toward protecting your emotional well-being. Remember that setting boundaries and staying calm are essential in managing the impact on your whole life and relationships with other siblings.


Dealing with a narcissistic sibling can be stressful and the source of anxiety, fear, and even depression.

The narcissist sibling preys on family members and is never satisfied.

There is a necessary connection between you and your narcissist sibling- namely, that you are siblings.

In an ideal world, nobody wants to cut off a family member completely, even a narcissist sibling.

Despite the deceit and abuse, you can still harbor feelings of love and a desire for reconciliation.

If you have experience with a narcissistic sibling, seek professional treatment.

A licensed professional counselor can advise you on how to navigate this tricky family situation.

Seek professional help, and seek the possible love and forgiveness you and your sibling both deserve. 


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July 14th, 2024

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