Guy Disgusted By Brother’s Behavior At His Kid’s Birthday Party Finally Calls Him Out, Asks If It Was Too Much
Whether we like it or not, siblings are for life. They are usually our first best friends and partners in crime where “please don’t tell mom” is only the beginning of our adventures together. But while being tight and having each other’s back is a huge blessing, a good sibling relationship isn’t always a given.
Redditor NieceFirstBdayAITA knows this from personal experience. Recently, this man submitted a story to the AITA subreddit, asking its members to share their perspectives after he called his brother out in front of their whole family. “My brother, ‘Paul,’ and I are not close at all. We have very different worldviews and have incompatible personalities,” the user explained.
When he and his girlfriend, Amy, were invited to a get-together to celebrate his niece’s first birthday, the couple was hit with an avalanche of complaints Paul had about his wife and baby as soon as they stepped through the door. While the man tried to freeze out his brother’s misogynistic comments, the situation got so uncomfortable that he just had to react. Read on to find out how this sibling drama unfolded and be sure to share your insights with us in the comments.
After his brother made everyone feel “extremely uncomfortable” at his daughter’s first birthday party, this man called him out in front of the whole family
Unsure of whether he went too far, he asked the internet to evaluate the situation
According to Dr. Jesse Matthews, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Chester Springs, PA, uncomfortable situations where family members lack respect for others are often difficult to navigate. See, everything depends on the circumstances, who is involved, and the relationships they have between them. “I know most of us would like to believe that we would say something in the situation here, calling this guy out and putting him in his place, but the truth is — many people are conflict avoidant,” he told Bored Panda.
Dr. Matthews explained these situations usually get tense and awkward, and we might remain silent because we simply don’t know what to say. “We may also hope that someone else steps up and says something, so we don’t have to or at least don’t have to be first. It’s hard to be the only one to speak out, so this becomes more likely as well if you know other people are bothered by the behavior and would probably support you in saying something or in the event of a conflict.”
However, in most cases, being assertive and pointing out negative behaviors to a family member is the right thing to do. Although Dr. Matthews suggested considering the words the person is saying, who are they saying it to, and is this just a one-time thing or a repeated harmful pattern.
“When it comes to family, chances are whatever is happening is not the first time and Old Uncle Steve, Aunt Nancy, or Grandpa most likely already has a reputation for this kind of thing. You may have a good sense already of the dynamic and what everyone else thinks,” the psychologist added. “We all know that people like this are unlikely to change and we may feel like it’s a waste of time or an unnecessary risk to call them out, even though this is probably the right thing to do.”
Moreover, Dr. Matthews asked you to consider the location. If the person embarrasses or disrespects others in public, “it would be important to try to support the offended individual(s) and let them know we don’t approve of our family member’s behavior, while also letting the family member know that.” And there’s always the option to set healthy boundaries. For example, some people limit their interactions with relatives “because of their behavior and the fact that they often don’t change or show much respect for how others feel about it.”
After reading the story, here’s what Redditors had to say about the sibling drama
When it comes to this particular situation in question, Paul’s complaints and misogynistic comments not only ruined his daughter’s birthday but also took a toll on his wife, Lisa. “This is probably not the first time Paul has acted like this, as he appears way too comfortable pushing the work onto his wife and making such offensive and hurtful comments. This is abuse, and sadly too many partners fall victim to it and continue to allow it by not saying anything about it,” psychologist Dr. Matthews explained.
If a person is acting in a mean and misogynistic fashion, there may be some underlying issues that cause their behavior. “Paul may feel neglected or lonely since his wife had a child, and so he’s lashing out at Lisa through his behavior and comments, unable to verbalize his feelings and thoughts in a more productive or loving way.”
“He also seems to be immature, making all of this about him, rather than being part of a team with Lisa or accepting that life has changed. And alcohol seems to be bringing out more hate and anger in him. His reaction to his brother’s words also display his self-centeredness, as he’s feeling like the victim and not seeing or acknowledging his part in the matter,” he noted.
While Redditors immediately deemed the hero of this story had every right to call out and shame his unsupportive brother, finding ourselves in similar situations may leave us unsure of what to do. Thankfully, Dr. Matthews was ready to lend a helping hand and explained how to better handle these conflicts.
He advised you to ask yourself these questions: “Do you say anything, and if so, what? And going forward, do you need to set a boundary with the person and let them know that you won’t accept or tolerate this kind of behavior? Also, do you need to reconsider spending time with this person or attending these kinds of gatherings?”
Start a conversation with other relatives as well, the psychologist added, particularly if you think you might be on the same page. “The bottom line is that we don’t have to tolerate behavior that is embarrassing, shameful, or abusive, even from our closest family. We all have rights and the power to speak up and let that person know how they’re affecting us. Doing that isn’t easy, but it’s often the right thing to do,” Dr. Matthews concluded.