I already asked this question before, and it was deleted for being off-topic (also because I did not check back for too long, and thus was unable to adjust my post according to the comments / the commenters did not see my changes.)
The question: (hopefully not off-topic now - many thanks to the people who commented the other post)
How to better react to my brother when he overreacts to small things, seeing them as intolerable 'disrespectfulness', or when he expects special rights? What reaction could cause him to re-think his reaction / his state of being-hurt?
(If that's not possible, it would be nice to at least be able to lead a normal, non-argument conversation with him, without having to make too many concessions. It could also help to understand why my brother is reacting this way.)
Additional information: We're a family of four, in a 'western' country. I am 25, my brother is 22. He lives with our parents again and is currently not doing anything, I am visiting our parents place every other week or so.
Typical problem situations:
- He expects to have 'time alone' in the kitchen. He does not want to cook food while people are around; he will state this to the people in question ('around' here is in rooms adjacent to the kitchen; one of them has to be passed to get to the kitchen.) [He has some money to buy food (not enough for eating out every meal), he even could cook in another kitchen in another flat if he asked].
- When my father told me about something he's done (most recent, the bottle smashing, see below), that's "talking behind his back", and hurtful to him - when asked why exactly this is hurtful, he did not give a reason but replied "don't you see what sick person this [our dad] is" (that's a frequent statement of his)
- I would understand it, if my dad had done more than just stating a fact, and if I had not directly told/confronted my brother about this; but to me this does not seem like 'talking behind someones back'.
Here are two religious examples - my brother became a Muslim a couple of years ago - but there are other examples as well. E.g, criticism of all sort is seen as insult.
- He is against letting the dog be inside during the night (religious reasons); when my dad did some research on the view of dogs in islam, and talked to my brother about what he'd found, this was an insult to my brother (maybe doubting his knowledge was the insult).
- On another occasion, my dad read a book very sceptical about the islamic faith, and claimed that the prophet might not even have existed. This was an insult to my brother (and not, for example, a 'different opinion').
More extreme situation:
- Smashing a bottle in my mothers room and leaving it for her to clean, after walking in on her being in the bathtub - he faults her for forgetting to lock.
What I, and my parents, have tried:
- When we were on better terms, I tried to talk to him about instances where he felt treated unfairly by others, and tried to offer different points of view, or just a more moderate reaction. (People didn't always treat him right, but there are more useful reactions than just feeling offended.) He listened, and in generally did not seem to take it badly, but it also did not change anything. Of course, my knowledge of these cases was usually limited, and therefore he might just have been thinking 'she doesn't understand the situation anyway'.
- Telling him he was overreacting considerably -- since then we're on bad terms.
- Reacting pissed (no effect so far)
- Telling him it is quite hurtful to be told he cannot stand me being physically present -- his reply was that 'You would not even know what it means to be hurt, otherwise you would not behave the way you do'. (To a further question, he replied that yes, it's indeed us that have hurt him so badly.)
- We have tried factual arguments and logical arguments. There were very long discussions, sometimes ending angrily, sometimes not, but I don't remember ever having reached consensus.
- By now, my father just ignores him or shoots back sharply (without arguments).
- My mother is generally very friendly and careful towards him, often stating (to him) that she wants that he feels at home and has everything he needs. She is generally ignoring any attacks from him. -- In some sort he is reacting positively to this; for example, these days he from time to time he says (to her) she's not the problem. However, it does not seem to change his behaviour in general. And he will still dig up her 'mistakes' another time. (A few months ago, he used to say similar things to me, like 'you're not the one, it's our mum and dad'.)
- My mother has suggested to him to go see a psychologist. He does not want to because he does not think his behaviour should be changed in any way.
Maybe this is exaggerated, but it feels like having lost a family member. Any help would really be appreciated.