I was officially diagnosed years ago with little brother complex. No, you won’t find it in any medical journals. Yes, it was a self diagnosis. It also started many years before I lost my brother.
What is it you ask? LBC is an innate desire to take young men under my wing and care for them in my own unique way. I blame the strong male presence in my life, from cousins to friends to co-workers to my own actual brother. I always had more males around me growing up, and that shaped a lot of my humor, preferences and personality. I feel like I can take the female perspective, along with that my unique understanding of the male mind, and help them out. They don’t have to be younger than me, just have to be someone I’ve come to care for like I do my little brother.
It’s possible… okay, it’s definitely true that my caring can sometimes seem rough. I give them tough love, with real honesty and often on topics they’d rather not hear from me on. From relationships to health to schooling and careers. I want the best for them you see.
For a time I think I backed off from offering this tough love…. it didn’t exactly work out for me to help my own real little brother, though I certainly tried. But last night someone made me really laugh with his response to my (inappropriate) advice and called me a life coach.
While I’d love to have that kind of influence, we all do make an impact somehow. I think with Austin my impact was real. I don’t believe he ever questioned being loved by me or that he could count on me, even when he chose not to.
One day when my boys no longer think I’m the ultimate authority, I’ll be glad if they have people they’ll listen to who love them enough to be tough. Hopefully when it matters most.
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