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My brother and I have always clashed. We're polar opposites. I can't understand the way he thinks and vice versa. In the past, I was able to ignore his irritating behaviors and attitude. However, over the past couple of moths, he has become kind of a paranoid fanatic. He's like a missionary for these new weird things that have become his religion. It's like we have different religions and he is a very passionate fundamentalist and I'm an atheist, or at least, an agnostic. He talks about nothing else. I really cannot tolerate it. If I don't agree with him it's because I'm not enlightened and I'm brainwashed. If I don't want to adopt his ways of thinking and behaving or if I argue or debate him, he becomes enraged. It's like he's been brainwashed by a cult, via the internet. There may be a shred of truth to some of the things he says, but I don't wan to be lectured and browbeaten every time I see or speak to him. I'm not actually talking about religion here but the point is, my life doesn't revolve around these things and neither should his. My mother annoys me because she enables him. He has such a deranged way of looking at things now that his point of view is based on his fixation. I'm constantly being verbally attacked and when it's not face to face, it's through text messages.
I don't have an issue with people who are very religious but this is the best analogy that I can give. On some college campuses, there are guys, who drive RVs and stand outside all day with a bullhorn, proclaiming everybody to be sinners. I feel like my brother is one of those men and I have no choice but to let him into my house, which I would not do, if it were truly my house and I didn't share it with my parents. It's actually a little bit frightening because to me, it's almost pathological, in that it seems to have come on so strongly, so quickly. He came with me to a doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't get him to shut up in there. I didn't wan the people in the waiting room to think he was some raving lunatic . From the time he wakes up in the morning, he's obsessed. My parents won't do anything about it. I don't have the power to do anything and of course, my brother would claim that if we did something it was because we were part of the "indoctrinated," and we didn't know any better than what we've been fed over the years. It's like I'm living in the movie "Conspiracy Theory." Granted, in the movie, those theories turned out to be true but how often does life turn out like a movie?
In any case, I guess my only choice is to hide upstairs, whenever he comes to the house and avoid any kind of interaction. It's sad to think that I have no other relatives besides my parents.
Yep, you answered your own question. He starts on this crap, you leave the room, or the house, even. You just don't listen. Arguing, debating... it'll do absolutely no good. The only thing you can do is hope that he realizes he only gets to speak with you if he can talk about something else for a while.
While not to this extent, my parents have some pretty out-there beliefs. I used to argue with them, but all that did was make everyone upset. Now I just leave. They know not to bring up these subjects around me.
Crystal the Papillon and Casper the Alaskan Klee Kai
I agree with Crantastic. Avoidance is the best option here. I'm a student living at home and my views on pretty much everything are the opposite of those of both my parents and my sister. My sister seems to have no views of her own and will just go along with whoever she happens to be talking to, which is tolerable to me, but my parents know of my contrasting views and will purposely bring up something they know I feel strongly about, and then talk crap about it and anyone who thinks the way I do. It's passive aggressive and basically bait for me to get into a debate about it, which I never take. I remove myself.
Some people enjoy conflict and arguments and develop these radical viewpoints so they can constantly be enthralled in those types of conversations/situations. I think many of these people don't even realize that they are doing what they are doing for that reason. Not saying that's your brother's case, but something to think about.
Keep your head down, remove yourself as much as possible. Tell yourself daily the same things you would tell someone if they explained this situation to you. Self talk can be really powerful. If you don't already have a plan that eventually gets you out of there and on your own (assuming that's what you ultimately want, who knows) then try to get one in the works. It will help to have that to work towards and hold onto.
Family conflicts are tough. Wishing you the best.
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx
Be silent. It is sort of funny.. but if you have a wall and you bounce a ball off of it, it encourages you to throw the ball again. If you remove the wall.. well then the ball goes off bouncing into wherever and you have to go get it. MUCH less fun.
So, don't be a wall. No response will give him a LOT less steam.
When you are forced to talk to him, change the subject. Focus single mindedly (almost like you are stupid) on something else. It can even be complimentary to him.
"<Espouses obsession.. blahblahblah>"
your response, "I really like the way your shoes match what you wore today. And your hair looks GREAT."
continues to "<Espouse obsession.. blahblahblah>"
your response, "Where did you get your hair cut this time? Are those shoes new?"
EVENTUALLY this game will get old to him. He will either answer your questions and be responsive or realize you are not taking his bait and he will walk away.
Do not be argumentative (he won't change his thinking) and do not try to explain why you disagree. Nope. Just take on a completely different topic and stick to it as if you are as crazy as he is.