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Why won't my brothers interact with me?

For as long as I can remember, I have been in good terms with my brothers. When we were young from birth up to around age 14, we were like the best of friends. That has all changed. I'm the oldest of three boys. I am 19 years old, and my younger brothers are 18 and 15 years old. It all started several years ago. My brothers seemed to have separate away from me. Up until about 7th grade, I shared similar interests with my brother, so it was easy to get along with them. Around 7th grade, my little brother (my middle brother) started acting noticeably different. He hung out with what people would refer to as "ghetto" kids, wore baggy clothing, listened to rap music.. and basically surrounded himself with everything I pretty much despise. My youngest brother basically followed his footsteps, causing them to basically isolate me in a general sense. I was never into that kind of stuff. I enjoyed the complete opposite. Rock music, skateboarding, tight jeans, golf, and hung out with people who were "too white". When we were younger, they would constantly tease me about this kind of stuff. They were young, though.. and I figured it would eventually pass. It has. They obviously no longer tease me about the way I live my life, because they are becoming more aware of the fact that the lifestyle I led and currently lead is the one you'll have to lead in order to earn any amount of respect.

Okay, so we've covered the fact that they no longer tease me. I've noticed a small amount of change in them, however. They no longer wear the extra baggy clothing due to a heightened sense of fashion and the unapproval of both my parents. But they still do listen to rap music, and are fascinated with that whole type of lifestyle. It's mind boggling because no-one in my family has shared similar interests or acted in a similar fashion in the history of history.. When I was around 16 or so I always told myself that they would eventually grow out of it, but will they?

Anyway.. that's not even the entire issue. So recently, I've noticed that my youngest brother is beginning to treat my middle brother the same way they used to treat me.. they used to act annoyed at me that I acted "different" from them. Tease me, not hang out around me. Anyway.. my little brother basically does his own thing now.. so picture this, we basically do not communicate. Literally. I will pick them up from school, not a word to each other in the car. Nothing. My middle brother has always had a tendency to be like the anti social/quiet/isolated one in the family, while my youngest brother has always had a tendency to be the hot-tempered, stubborn, and spoiled one. Although I share a little bit of those qualities as well, I generally seem to be the only one with a positive attitude.

So my problem is.. I don't want to lead my entire life like this. I can't continue to tell myself "One day, my brothers will not act ghetto, they will share similar music tastes as me, they will dress normally, and we will talk and visit each other, etc.. when we don't speak now. Like I literally have probably talked more with my school teachers than I do with my brothers. My family's falling apart.. it started from little things such as not having dinner as a family anymore (much too awkward now)

So what do I do? How can I build a loving, awesome relationship with my brothers? I feel like I'm an only child, and I have 2 younger brothers... we don't do anything together. My two younger brothers will typically do things together like go to movies, but they still meet up with their own friends etc. They won't even bother to ask if I want to come.. I can't give my middle brother eye contact.. it feels awkward. When I do, I feel like I haven't seen him in years. My little brother is a little bit easier to talk to.. but it's becoming difficult.. anytime I try to talk to him, he responds like he's pissed off, or just doesn't want to talk to me, or as if he's too cool for me. When I talk to my middle brother it's about practical things. "Do you need me to pick you up from school", "Did you eat dinner yet?" "Are you using my car tonight?".. nothing on a personal level. When I see my best friend and how he interacts with his older brother, his younger brother and his younger sister.. I get jealous and very depressed knowing that I should be able to experience that happiness, but I can't

My grandmother just sat all three of us down to have a talk about how she notices that we don't interact with each other as much as we used to when we were smaller.. We're all aware of this, but none of us will make an effort to change it. My grandmother specifically pointed out that we need to have a strong brotherly bond, and that me being the oldest.. it's my responsibility to make the first move. But I literally feel that I can't, that it'd be too awkward?

How can I get my brothers back? I don't want to just start having forced awkward conversations with them? It's impossible to find hobbies and similar interests since I don't really do anything except study and hangout with my friends.

:\ I don't think anyone has ever been in this sort of awkward situation with their siblings where they feel as if they are strangers? I feel more comfortable with my friends than I do with my brothers.. It's the most depressing thing ever. My parents don't make an effort to change it, as they barely interact with us that often anymore either.. it creates so much stress and anger in our house..

What do I do?
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replied November 28th, 2009
Hey man, I know exactly how you feel. I am in pretty much the same situation now, however I am not quite sure what do too. I am the oldest brother,20, and have two younger brothers 19 and 16. When we were younger we would always hang out together and had a fun time. Up until I was about 17 things just got progressively worse in the family. We started to hang out less and less and not talk that much anymore. My one brother is now a gamer and all my other brother does it watch tv. They used to be active but now they are just rotting away. Now my parents have even stopped talking to each other and we don't do anything as a family anymore, including dinner. I constantly try to get them to do things with me like go places and stuff but they constantly turn me down and I can't have a conversation with them. I only get yes and no answers. Their grades are dropping and they are unmotivated.
I think that the lack of unity in the family has been a contributing factor in their demise. When we were younger we did many things as a family and that's when I could talk to anyone if I had a problem. Now, since everyone has gone their separate ways, I think my brothers have turned to things like video games, tv, and computers to fill that missing void in their lives. I want them to wake up and see reality because I care, and I seem to be the only one. I think your grandma has the right idea- to sit everyone down and explain the situations and consequences. I think that we need to start acting like a family even though it is difficult. I don't want this to go on forever and I know you don't.
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replied January 20th, 2010
family relation ship
oh i know what you mean i'm the opposite my twin brothersare older than me and it's hard for me to get along with them we don't have any thing in common execept for one thing we all like sports i'm only 16 and my brother dylan is 10 minutes older than my other older brother his name is antonio!!!!!!
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replied April 26th, 2010
I understand how you feel. I have two older brothers that I don''t interact with. We''re really close in age, and live in the same house, but we barely even acknowledge each other. I feel like an only child. Growing up, they used to pick on me all the time. When I started middle school, they stopped bothering me. I was glad that I didn''t have to deal with them, but then I realized that they were ignoring me. I don''t think that they mean to ignore me. One of them told me that they feel bad about how he doesn''t have a relationship with me. He only talks to me at very random times, usually in the middle of the night when he''s a little drunk or a little high. I feel so depressed because they''re strangers to me. I think I''m more of a stranger to them. The two of them interact with each other and I''m left all by myself. Often times, I have to listen to screaming between them and my parents. I get pissed because I have to listen to all this, and I have nothing to do with them. Also, people in town mention them to me and I don''t know what to say. I''m asked how they''re doing, and I have know idea how they''re doing. Because of this whole situation, I have an aversion to holidays. They always leave or separate themselves from me and my parents. My friends'' families remind me of how divided my family is. Holidays are always lonely and those are the times that I feel most like an only child.
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