Adult siblings don’t always outgrow their birth order of younger years. The middle child may grow up to continue their role as the peace–keeper or feel as if they need to be reckless to get noticed.
The birth order between an older and younger sibling can prove to be a continuing struggle for the younger sibling, in adulthood, when being treated by the older sibling as if they never grew up. Whether the older sibling still feels cast in the role of protector or boss as a big sister or brother isn’t going to make the younger sibling very accepting of being ordered around and talked down to with an I’m In Charge attitude from the older adult sibling.
An older sibling may say things, for instance, “Come on, Let’s go, You’re doing what I say, Open-Close the door, Hold this and Where are you going?” The older sibling speaks commands and demands on the younger sibling to do what they’re told. There is no asking, equality or acknowledgement that the younger sibling is an adult in this case and commanding that the adult child will do what they’re told can start arguments and fights.
Another example is when the older sibling makes the younger sibling out to be unknowledgeable and dumb by saying things such as, ” You don’t know what you’re talking about, Sure you know how to do it and I can do it better than you.” All of these comments from an older sibling can start an argument.
When a younger adult sibling is being talked to in the same manner, as a child, by an older adult sibling they should remind that sibling that they have grown up. When the older adult sibling makes a command or talks down to the younger adult sibling all the youngest may have to do is speak up to make the oldest aware of what they are doing.
The youngest may express themselves with the following.
” I am not a child, Please do not speak to me that way. I do not speak to you that way.
I do not want you to come around if you cannot talk to me without talking down to me as if I was still a child.
You do not have my respect if you cannot be respectful of me.”
Sometimes an older sibling has to be told by the younger sibling that they are not going to be talked to in that manner. Sometimes it takes more than being told such as ignoring commands and demands and walking away. If the older sibling follows, the younger sibling may have to get in their vehicle and drive away or call a friend to come and pick them up.
To get their point across the younger sibling can stop taking an older sibling’s phone calls and not let them come over or come inside their home for a visit until the older sibling can speak to them in an acceptable manner.