Older Sibling Syndrome

I love Eli Manning.

Does he deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

Fuck no.

But he’s the greatest in one specific area: he was clutch.

And that’s the great thing about being the younger sibling. We may not be the most talented, hardest working, or even the better-looking (that’s definitely not true in my case), but that doesn’t matter. We show up BIG TIME when it matters.

When you’re the youngest in your family, all the family’s frustrations flow down to you. You’re the low man on the totem pole. Not much is expected of you, but the problem is: not much is expected of you. You’re invisible, and therefore the perfect blank canvas for everyone to project their insecurities onto whenever they need a warm body to yell at. And you’re not supposed to yell back because, again, you’re the shitheal of the family.

It sucks growing up, but it pays off dividends when you get older. Especially if you hurdle everyone’s low expectations of you. It gives you insight into the odd psychology of everyone, because you had handle your family’s insanity just to survive.

Younger siblings are survivors.

That means we recognize an older sibling when we see one. How can we tell? Well allow me to show you with some indicators:

1. You’re a choke artist: Face it, when the lights are on, you will always come up short. ALWAYS. Why is that? It probably has to do with the high expectations placed on you growing up. Relax. Getting your ass kicked isn’t that bad. Of course, you wouldn’t know because you always did the ass kicking. But life is about learning how to handle LOSING. Winning is just the cherry on top.

2. Can’t handle pressure: this kinda goes with being a “choke artist”. So you always buckle under pressure. The bad thing is, whenever the going gets tough, you just pick up the ball and leave, denying you were ever playing the game to begin with. Which leads me to…

3. Inability to handle criticism: there’s two reasons for this. The first one could be due to PTSD from being criticized so much growing up (because of high expectations). OR, you didn’t receive enough criticism growing up (because of high expectations), so you either act hostile to it, or ignore it completely when you really should be listening to it. Grow a thicker pair of skin bro.

4. Arrogance: you ruled the roost and just assume that you will continue to do so until the day you die. Smh. Therapy works wonders my friend.

5. Just otherwise sucking as a human being: maybe you should get to work fixing that. Just sayin’.

So if you’re an older sibling, I feel sorry for you. It must be difficult having to deal with all that childhood trauma.

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