What Kind of Brother Are You?

by perpetualflaneur

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Two nights ago, I read What I know About Sisters Now That I’m In My 50s from the Huffington Post. It’s a witty and well-written piece about sisters and the relationship among them. The author has captured both good and bad sentiments about the relationship sisters have that I was compelled to write my version of the basic types of brothers out there. But of course, mine is premised on types of brothers one may hope to have. Or not. So, in celebration of siblinghood and our erratic love-hate relationships with them, together with this article I read, here’s one dedicated to the brothers based on my observations.

The Ultimate Big Brother

Among all the other brothers, depending on how many you have, is the ultimate Big Brother. No, not the Orwellian kind, though I have heard of brothers like that. I am specifically talking about the oldest brother who in all respects may be viewed as the role model and leader of the pack. He is the one that you read from books or hear stories about whose  overall character serves as the foundation of what a brother should be like (say Jem Finch, Scout’s Big Brother from To Kill A Mockingbird). In short, he sets the standards for you and the rest of your siblings. He does everything for you. Heck, he’ll even throw a punch and catch a bunch for you. He is the type that ensures your safety, and at the same time, he makes sure that you get your fun along the way. Think of it this way: he is the ideal big brother that everyone dreams about. He is the first and coolest kid in the pack you’ll ever know that can make you feel extra special. He makes you think you are Batman and he is Robin when in fact, it is the other way around. Yes, that’s the Ultimate Big Brother that I am talking about.

The Intellectual but Emotionally Distant Brother

Let’s start with the brother we have intellectual discussions with. This is the kind of brother who we are very comfortable with discussing even the absurd, topics ranging from politics, society, economics, and myths, down to the nitty gritty of pop culture, except for our personal or emotional lives. We have this secret code with them that whenever there is a new film out or a pressing issue in the news, we automatically communicate and share opinions and ideas. Regardless of how deep the discussion may be or aggressive it may become, there is still that sense of civility. That of course, at the end of the day, we are two intellectuals out for some meaningful conversation and being siblings is just a boon compared to our intellectual rapport. And it’s that very same reason that our connection with them ends there. When it comes to the emotional factors of this sibling relationship, everything seems to be limited to the automated “How are you?” with a response that’s either “I’m Okay” or “All is well.” With all the success attributed to our intellectual bond comes the lack of an emotional affinity, apart from the obvious that we are family after all. Anything that happens to one’s emotional life is something either heard from your mother or other siblings.

The Overly-Protective-And-Always-On-Your-Business Brother

There comes a time in our lives when we encounter people who may be just plain unbearable, and if you are really lucky, your brother may just be one of them. I am referring to the overly protective and always interrogating brother. He is the type who just can’t accept that you are already a grown-up and can generally fend things on your own. Perhaps, they are doing it out of concern, no doubt, but when it invades your space or impedes your decision-making and interrupts your overall peaceful coexistence, then maybe it’s about time to call them off and stand your ground. Yes, you got it right. He is like a resilient rock amidst the strong tides. He doesn’t bulge. With his head up high, he makes sure he sees your every move. He calculates each strategy you use. And once he sees even the smallest of errors, he steps in and stomps at your feet. He can completely crush your newfound independence and confidence if you are not careful. And if you do successfully shake him off, he recovers quickly and goes back to his old ways.

The All-Around Brother aka “Bruddy”

He may not be perfect like the Ultimate Big Brother, but he is definitely a favorable one too. He is your drinking buddy at times (or the designated driver). He can go shopping with you or just plain run errands for and with you, if he has to. He is a buddy in every meaning of the word, but he is also your brother. You have a buddy-brother dynamic, thus the term Bruddy. You have something interesting in mind? No problem! You can run your thoughts easily with him. Did life slap you hard and you want to share those frustrations? He’ll be there to listen and be a sparring partner too. And maybe sometimes, he can give you a sound advice. Your Bruddy is also not afraid of telling you how much of a fool you were, but he’ll make sure he does that with enough sensitivity and strength to get the message across.

So, now, what kind of brother are you? What kind of brother do you have? 

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