Learning with my introvert brother

Photo by Korney Violin on Unsplash

I felt that I was never good enough to deal with introvert people. Indirectly my brother helped me change that. When saying indirectly it is most because of the various experiences I had with him though out the years.

Both of us had a tough childhood to high school which lead in different ways to perceive things. I became an extrovert with time while my brother became an introvert.

Each one have its pros and cons with the focus standing on the social matter. I will not develop into this because there are plenty of articles do an excellent work on the matter.

I did quite a few mistakes being the most important the following:

To go to university I moved away from my hometown. In there I would stay there for long periods without coming to visit my family even though it was close by. The will to be independent removed some links I had my family.

After realizing this I became more available to create family focused moments such as dinners which lead to a bigger bond on the family. Now we have a cousins dinner from time to time to talk a bit about life and have some fun together as a family.

Every time I would come home I would invite my brother to go out. I would receive more negative responses than positives ones. Affirmative answers felt great by being important towards his life.

In other hand negative ones would make me mad by not having the capacity to influence my brother to have some time with me. And in those moments it caused me to try and try again until he or I got angry at each other. Subsequent that created more frustration and discussions. That pressure was not benefitting our bond as brothers.

There was one particular event that I felt my brother was not particularly feeling comfortable. When I travelled with my brother I thought since he had studied tourism that it would be great to be him the one choosing where he would want to go within the city. It was a complete flop because he would feel overwhelmed during the whole trip.

The first time my girlfriend met him I saw a different approach using a bit of peer pressure. After inviting him to go see a football match the response was inconclusive. She told him she needed a yes or no response instead of that which lead to an affirmative response. I asked a lot of questions about how to make my brother more comfortable. Perks of having a psychologist on my side.

In other times she persuades or waits for him to initiate the conversation. The requirement is that it is needed to have some bonding of trust in order to start a conversation. Of course there were ups and down but there was clearly an improvement.

My girlfriend observed a lot and she got to the conclusion that my brother feared me sometimes because I was too much.

After seeing my girlfriend interacting with him and all of that feedback I realized that I got it all wrong. There are moments that pressure is needed in order to have stuff rolling while others required patience and trust. It all depends on the situation and the person that you are dealing with.

When I was younger I had lots of thoughts on what I liked was also what my brother liked. With that in mind most of the invitations or advices that came from me what directly related with that. Needless to say a lot of them resulted in bad experiences.

I learned that my brothers life needs to be as he wishes. He needs to experience living his journey on his own way. I need to be here to back him up when he needs. That is my job.

It is pretty common to see this pattern with parents and their children. They want them to be successful and they see them as the ones they couldn’t.

With years I learned that my brother is amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of him. All of this setbacks taught me on how I can be a better brother and more caring towards others.

A lot of improvement from me happened ever since and now is more available for me, comes over to be with my friends and even enjoys to do some chat.

Thanks for reading,

Paulo

Software Programmer, Youth Facilitator, Idea Maker

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