Skip to Content

My Sister Doesn’t Respect Boundaries – 8 Ways to Establish Them

No matter how much we love someone, some boundaries must exist because otherwise, that relationship becomes toxic and harmful to us.

But it is difficult to set boundaries with close people, especially with your sister. The situation is even more complicated then.

Why does your sister not respect boundaries? Because she’s a narcissist, she doesn’t care about your feelings and hasn’t been taught boundaries.

The good news is that it is possible to establish boundaries with the right attitude towards her and thus prevent her from disrupting your life.

Two girls having hard talk, polemic and argue between friends, sisters or roommate concept

Relationships where boundaries are not respected, are toxic relationships.

They are not called that for no reason because they can really hurt you.

One research found that being in a toxic relationship with a partner, sibling, or friend puts people at a higher risk of developing heart problems(such as a fatal heart attack) than in close relationships that are not negative.

What exactly are those boundaries that everyone is talking about?

Think of them as an imaginary line that stands between your feelings and needs and the other people around you.

In essence, boundaries represent how people can and cannot treat you.

You love your sister, but it’s time to finally establish boundaries with her. This article will help you with that.

My Sister Doesn’t Respect Boundaries – 6 Potential Reasons

It doesn’t matter if your sister is older than you and has always been your hero or is younger and looked up to you growing up; the fact is that her behavior is bothering you now.

These are the potential reasons for her toxic behavior:

1. The Parent’s Influence

Her behavior may be a consequence of her parent’s attitude toward her.

Let’s say she was spoiled too much. Maybe your parents did not prepare her for life, which is not the case with you.

She may be suffering from golden child symptoms.

That’s why she expects too much from people, including you. She always wants someone else to solve her problems for her.

The opposite case is if she was neglected by your parents, that’s why she now developed complexes that she takes out on you.

It’s even worse if you had more parental attention than her. She is jealous because of this and blames you for her failures.

2. She is a Narcissist

bored girl

Is your sister overly self-obsessed and narcissistic?

She probably doesn’t respect boundaries if she has a huge ego.

Narcissists want everything to revolve around them and be the constant center of attention.

What is happening in your life is irrelevant to them. Even when they ask you something about yourself, it is just so they can say what they have to say.

One thing that doesn’t work in your narcissistic sister’s favor is that the people who talk the most about themselves tend to be the most insecure.

3. She is Too Competitive

Sibling rivalry is a common occurrence. Sometimes that rivalry can go too far, to the point that it becomes unhealthy.

Was it like that when you were kids too?

It’s even worse if your parents instilled this need for competition between you.

Maybe it started in school with competition who has the better grades. 

Now it’s transferred to who has the better job and more prosperous life when you and your sister are adults.

Has it ever happened that she praised herself for her accomplishments at a family holiday dinner when the whole family was together? You felt bad because you weren’t as incredibly successful as she was.

A sister who always wants to be better than you will not respect boundaries.

4. She is Going Through a Difficult Period

depressed friend who needs help

This is a very uncomfortable and painful situation.

Let’s say your sister is going through a rough period or even hates herself. What to do, then?

It’s hard to see the sister we love sad, that she doesn’t care about anything, hates her life, and so on.

Of course, you’ll want to help her. 

That’s the first reaction, but what if she refuses help and does the complete opposite?

You still shouldn’t give up on her, but you can’t let her drag you down too.

Miserable people try to make others miserable, and they don’t realize it.

5. She is Manipulative

Manipulators are artists at twisting your words to get what they want.

That’s how your sister twists your words and makes you feel bad even though you’re right.

Also, manipulators usually do not respect your beliefs and try to impose theirs on you.

Fake apologies are also part of the arsenal used by manipulators.

She will apologize but continue to do the same thing.

6. She Doesn’t Care About You at All

Don’t just jump to conclusions like this without solid grounds for it.

You can conclude that all of the above is noticeable in her behavior.

She may have even told you that she hates you, and her actions show it.

If she doesn’t care about you, she will undoubtedly not care enough to respect boundaries.

Why is it so Hard to Set Boundaries With Your Sister?

Setting boundaries with the people we love and closest to us is challenging.

The reasons for this can be:

  • you are afraid that you will hurt your sister and destroy the relationship between you;
  • the rest of the family may consider your behavior towards your sister rude;
  • your sister has serious problems, and you are sad to set boundaries because of it.

8 Ways to Effectively Establish Boundaries With Your Sister

Establish Boundaries With Your Sister

Today is the day when you will finally do something for your physical and mental health.

You love your sister, but boundaries must be established because her behavior threatens your health.

For establishing healthy boundaries, try these tips:

1. Spend Less Time With Your Sister

This is self-explanatory.

If her behavior bothers you, try to spend less time with her.

If you don’t live together, it’s not that hard to achieve.

But if you live together, simply tell her not to enter your room without knocking or permission.

2. Be Direct and Clear

You have to say what bothers you precisely without excuses.

If your sister is one of those people who don’t have much consideration for others, she probably doesn’t even realize that she’s hurting you.

Everything must be clearly explained to such persons so that it might reach them.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say NO

It’s probably hard for you to say no to your sister loud and clear, and that’s why you often do things you don’t want to.

You will have to start saying that magic short and clear word more often.

No is a short word, but it is a complete sentence too.

And remember that you don’t need to make excuses for saying no.

4. Stands Firmly Behind Your Beliefs

Don’t let your sister manipulate you like she usually does.

Recognize her ways of manipulation and skillfully avoid them.

You absolutely do not have to change your views because of her.

5. Make it Clear That You Don’t Want to Talk About Something

It’s incredibly irritating when your sister wants to talk non-stop about topics that bother you.

Ok, you can’t always talk about only what you want, but if you make it clear that you don’t want to talk about something that bothers you, your sister should respect it.

Let’s assume that your sister constantly needs to talk about politics, and you are extremely tired of that topic, tell her that you don’t want to talk about it.

6. Include Other Family Members

It is essential to include other family members so that your sister understands that her behavior bothers you.

Don’t worry about what your family is thinking about that. You are establishing boundaries for yourself.

Don’t include them if they don’t show enough interest in you. 

7. Don’t Let Your Sister Take Advantage of You

This is perhaps the most difficult.

Let’s say your sister has some problems; you should be there for her.

But you can’t be the savior of her every crisis, especially if she doesn’t want to change anything in her behavior.

You have your own life and problems, and you can’t always put everything aside and solve her problems, which she always gets herself into.

8. Take a Break From Communicating With Your Sister

If things are so serious that none of the above can help, it may be time to take a break from your relationship with your sister.

Taking a break can help you clear your mind and think about how to save your relationship.

All Things Considered,

“When someone is overstepping your boundaries, they’re letting you know that what you want doesn’t matter.”

— Phill Good

Even though your sister, whom you love, is in question, healthy boundaries must exist for your relationship to be healthy.

And don’t worry about offending her if you set boundaries.

“You set boundaries not to offend your sister but to respect yourself.”