When you’re talking to your brother, it can sometimes feel as though you’re speaking to a brick wall. No matter how many times you tell him something, even if you end up yelling and screaming, he ignores you. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve communication with him so that he will listen to you better.
Understanding His Attitude
Simple as it seems, brothers often don’t listen because they don’t have to. It’s hard being a kid, no matter if you are a boy or a girl. By not listening, your brother may be taking control of one of the few small things in his power to control. Although you may feel frustrated by this behavior, Dr. Phil McGraw suggests in the article “Getting Over Sibling Rivalry” on his website that you can still improve your relationship with your brother. Understanding his perspective may help build a bond that will, in turn, encourage him to listen better.
Be a Good Listener
One of the secrets to getting him to listen to you is to be a good listener for him. When he talks to you about his favorite video game or sports team, try to show him that you are listening. You don’t have to agree with what he says. If he’s going on and on about his favorite football team, you can show you’re listening by simply saying what he said back to him, suggests Elaine Shpungin, Ph.D., in an article entitled “3 Steps that Transform Sibling Conflict into Sibling Camaraderie” for "Psychology Today." In this case, you just say “Oh, you’re team is winning.” Then, as a bonus, you can ask him why they are on a winning streak. Because knowing you care will make him feel good, he will be motivated to listen to what you have to say next time.
Try to Stay Calm
Your brother won’t like to be yelled at -- no one does. When you find yourself getting angry at him because he’s not listening, try not to raise your voice. Instead, take a deep breath and repeat what you have to say in a calm voice. If you need to, take a break and go to another room to calm down first. Repeat what you wanted to tell him when you’re in a better mood.
Do Fun Things With Him
When you’re friends with your brother, it will be easier to communicate with him about anything. He may not always listen to you, but he will want to more because he’ll want to keep being friends with you. The next time you’re feeling bored, go and get that board game, video game or deck of cards that you and your brother used to play with. As the two of you grow accustomed to having fun together, you will find that getting him to listen to you will become easier and easier.
- Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images