How to live with a snappy relative

amber95 asks: Hi Shirelle. I’m having family troubles at the moment with divorced parents, but my older brother of 19 is very moody and is always snappy with me. At the moment we are living separately but he will soon be moving in with me. What should I do about his behavior? Any advice?

Hi amber95 –

There is nothing more Boorrrrrrrrrrrring than living with someone snappy!  It just wears the other person down.  I know what it’s like when Handsome goes through rough times, and that gets me down.  But sometimes he’s had me have a “play date” with a dog who hates playing, and that just bites!  (And sometimes, so does the dog!)

So I’m with you.  Something needs to be done.  Now one thing I’m not sure of – will you two be living with one of your parents, or will it just be the two of you?  Either way, your job is to create some Power in the relationship, before he moves in.

If you’ll be living in a parent’s home, you should have a good talk with that parent, and explain that you love your brother (even if that’s perhaps stretching the truth a bit right now!), but that you’re concerned about his snappiness, and you want to make sure you have a happy comfortable home for everyone.  This should get that parent onto your side, in case of future conflicts.

And if it’s just the two of you, then the fact that you’re living in the place now and he’s moving in – that gives you great power to say to him “I’m happy to have you move in, and we’re going to have such a great time!  And of course, isn’t it cool that if things don’t go well, it’ll be so easy for us to work that out, you’ll just be able to move out and we’ll stay best friends!”

But there’s one other thing that sticks out to me here.  I’m gonna guess that at least part of his snappiness is because of all the conflict you two have witnessed in your parents over the last few years.  And while the snappiness gets directed at you today, you two living together might have the fantastic effect of giving you two a new bond, where you can both unite in reaction to your parents’ divorce, and the effect it’s had on you.  So this could be one of the best things that’s ever happened to you.

If you maintain enough power to keep from getting overwhelmed by him.  So make sure you do.  And then things can be great!




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