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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One is 23 and makes $120 K, the other is 25 and unemployed, living with their parents. They used to be very close and the younger one was socially awkward and quite dependent on his older brother, who happily let him tag along with his friends because he had none of his own. This went on for years.

As the younger got closer to graduation and the older flunked out, the younger started to pull away and began to openly disrespect the older. It's almost like he can hardly stand to be around him, now...and sees him as a total loser.
The older was never a good student and so when he does have a job, it's usually minimum wage. However, he is a very nice person and he is intelligent, but disorganized, and I'm sure, depressed. He has a messy bedroom (which his brother also makes comments about). Always little jabs. How's the job search going? Nice room. Etc. And the older takes it, as if it's deserved.


The younger is so smug. Why would someone do this to a person who was always there for them?
 

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Impeach the gangster
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The smug attitude may be acquired from, and reinforced by business associates. Making money often requires a disrespect of others, the dog-eat-dog syndrome. Underlying this, the younger bro probably remembers his sibling's knidness, which keeps him from severing the relationship altogether.
 

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It sounds like the younger brother is disappointed because he feels like the older brother could do better for himself but the younger brother should realise it is not his place to do a running commentary on his brothers life. Everyone lives differently and grows at a different rate. Younger brother sounds like he may be bitter and have acquired a "my ---- don't stink" attitude since he has had to work harder in life and older brother hasn't done as much to this point yet has a cozy living situation worked out currently. Younger may even be jealous because he feels like the parents help older brother out more than they would he. Younger brother sounds like an immature jerk. Maybe he will outgrow it, maybe not. Maybe he is just one of those people that feels he needs to kick people while they are down in order to make himself feel better.
 

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Impeach the gangster
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Without more background info, it's hard to know.

A theory: little bro, when he was young, had no respect for others, which accounts for his inability to make friends of his own. Now that he's grown and has joined the professional world, he's found others, who like himself, feel they were alienated while growing up. He's found a niche, something he didn't have before. But he's found something else too: a way to compete with big bro. When they were young, big bro was the authority figure, by virtue of his age, possibly his size and his association and friendships with others. Now that little bro has found- or thinks he's found- something similar, he feels it's time to assert himself as the new authority. He may even be trying to do his older brother a favor, saying to him, in essence, "Why don't you tag along after me for a while. You can be a snotty, disrespectful jerk, just like me. If you do, you can make money too!" It's sibling rivalry and sibling love at the same time.

These two need to work together.
 

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Social awkwardness and low self esteem often go hand in hand and it could be that even though the former socially awkward younger brother has what appears to be the better life, he may still feel badly about himself. The quickest and most satisfying route to a self esteem boost is to pick on someone who is on lower social rung than you, and who you are confident isn't going to retaliate much: older bro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all of the insight. I actually found it very helpful! I read it all to older bro, too, who said about cleaning his room, "I probably should" haha.
He also said that he feels sorry for his little bro because apparently he lacks empathy.

Hopefully little bro will stop being such a jerk one day, soon. Oh, and little bro doesn't live at home, he just has a lot of time off to go along with his very high salary. News flash: life is not fair.

Thank you all!
 
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