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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first told my parents I was going to stop eating meat about 3 months ago, they freaked out. They didn't understand and got frusterated with my eating habbits. They've actually gotten a lot better now, and when I told them a week ago I was going to try to be be vegan, they didn't say a whole lot. But my older brother is being absolutely horrible about it. We've never gotten along well, and we aren't close at all, so it seems like every time we're around each other, he starts trying to make me defend my choices and beliefs (this isn't just limited to veg*nism, we fight about political and religious stuff too). We don't live together any more, because our parents split up last summer and I moved out with my dad while he stayed with our mom, but I still go over there every couple weeks or so.<br><br><br><br>
I don't really know what to do about it. He's careful not to pick fights around my parents, so if I ask them to say something to them, he tells them I'm just being oversensitive or something, and he's one of those people that argues by interrupting constantly and trying to make you feel stupid. I've tried telling him I don't want to talk about it, and that I don't care what he thinks, but he keeps insulting my life. I actually got up and left a restaurant during dinner tonight because he started up when I asked the waitress about what type of broth was in a soup.<br><br><br><br>
Is there anything I can do other than stop spending time around him and my mother?
 

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What a jerk! Maybe he is somewhat curious though and won't ask questions in a way that reflects this desire to learn rather than being insulting. Perhaps next time you are over, give him a book on vegetarians and suggest that if he is interested, he could read more about it.
 

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Wow--that's a tough one. You said that you and he argue about other stuff, too. Are you absolutely positive you are being as respectful to him as you would like him to be to you? I know it's hard to do sometimes, but just try to be very respectful of him and ask him to please extend the same courtesy to you. If that doesn't work (and it probably won't right away), I'd just ignore his comments. It's very hard to ignore someone who is insulting your way of life, but I think it's best to take the high road in this situation. Eventually, he'll either come to accept your veg*nism or learn that it's no fun arguing by himself.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck and try to remember that due to the divorce, he's probably going through some difficult times himself that he doesn't really know how to deal with and lashing out at others is probably a defense mechanism.
 

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Do you have to go over to see your mother? How old are you? How old is your brother?<br><br><br><br>
You may want to pick a time when food and anger, etc are far away and have a talk with your mom and or brother that the comments are hurtful, and out of respect for you, please stop. By leaving the restaurant, you did the right thing. You sent a strong message. If you are old enought that you can choose your comings and goings, after the "talk" you need to leave when that sh&& starts up. Through your actions you teach people how you are willing to let them treat you.<br><br><br><br>
If you are young and can't get away, I would try not to retalitate, withdraw from the conversation when it is negative, and avoid this or leave these situations the best you are able. But first, you must calmly tell everyone that you find this behavior disrespectful.<br><br><br><br>
But if you are being negative right back, expect more from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. A lot of that was ranting last night, it just got to be too much.<br><br><br><br>
I know I'm not always respectful of him, and sometimes I let him provoke me into getting angry and arguing with him. I try hard not to let him get to me, but it's not really in my nature to let him sit there and make fun of me for something I believe in.<br><br><br><br>
My brother's 17 and I'm 14, so while I have some choice as to when I'm over there, my dad would never let me just stop seeing either my mom or my brother. We do fight about other things, but there's very little arguing over small things like younger siblings. Unfortunatly, there are huge differences in our beliefs and lifestyles which provides excellent fuel for normal sibling problems. I guess I'll either have to get over it and avoid him or find a better way to make him respect my choices and feelings.
 

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I think if you want him to stop provoking you, you have to stop being provoked...Ghandi said, "Be the change you see in the world." I take this into situations in my own life. If something for instance, isn't working with my daughter, I think about what I can do differently in every situation with her that will change the outcome. About a week ago, I forced myself to stop getting upset about something that was going on for her at school. To let her deal with the consequences of her actions without my imputing the guilt trips and lectures on the ride home. It has totally changed how our evening goes.<br><br><br><br>
He can only argue with you if you are arguing. So stop arguing. At first his reaction will be to fight harder, but if you simply do not respond to his baiting (which is exactly what it is) he will get bored and go away.<br><br><br><br>
Btw, I used to totally hate my sister....now I wouldn't be without her. Sooo....give it about fifteen years. Things will certainly look a lot different.
 

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Good advice, Bethanie. My brother is 4 years younger and we love to do stuff together, talk, visit, email...<br><br><br><br>
BloodyS- Is your brother going to college after HS? Try to stay focused on that!
 

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I feel for you. My dad used to bug me alot about it when I first told him, and he'd try to start arguments. Now anytime he says something about it I just say, "I am not going to have this conversation." and he shuts right up. It didn't hurt that my mom told him to quit bugging me too.
 

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My sister was (and even is, but since she moved out she has the decency of not trying to be my second mother anymore) a really dominant person. She constantly commented on everything she thought that I did wrong (and I mean everything). The first time I yelled at her, which was when she started a 'fight' about something so silly that it isn't worth mentioning, was a great experience. The next couple of times I stood up for myself were great too.<br><br><br><br>
But the yelling would never solve anything.<br><br><br><br>
The 'strategy' that I felt most comfortable with was the following: allow her to pick her fights, allow her to get angry but then stay utterly calm and rational myself.
 

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Everyone has given you good advice. But you need to remember, he's a 17 year pain in the a*se brother. Trust me I got one of them, cept he's younger than me and we don't live together, so he looks up to me. Although we disagree on many issues. He's a big-time homophobic and very anit-middle east, but we don't avoid the topic. But if it does come up, I question his beliefs and their motives. Then I'm satisfied with the fact that he really is ignorant and that I know more.<br><br><br><br>
Basically if he continues to be insulting, simply look him straight in the eye and in a calm way excuse yourself from the room by saying, "I don't like talking to ignorant or narrow-minded people, so please don't speak to me unless you have something nice to say." And leave the room.
 
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