I have a few of these among my siblings; one in particular. I think it’s low self-esteem. She (and sometimes (actually often) another sibling) seem to enjoy putting people down to build themselves up. My father was much the same. I try hard to get along, but it seems any idea/suggestion I raise is looked down upon by them, and I’m treated as if I were 4 years old; not as an over middle-aged adult. Another sibling is sometimes treated like this as well by them, but prefers to keep distance.
Both these siblings worry all the time about how others view them: “what would people think?” For example, I’m planning on selling some homemade items locally, but one sibling quickly said the store wouldn’t sell them (how would she know? She hasn’t even seen my products). Come to find out, the person who would be in charge at the store overseeing this is a close relative to sibling’s significant other, so here comes “What would she think?” again and a paranoid-type of thinking and worry about others’ opinions (I do wish they would worry more about what I would think at times!).
It seems to be a method to put others down, more than anything. I’ve tried repeatedly to use Christian virtues and even build them up by compliments, but then, they play "I’m the boss’ and get very controlling, as well as obnoxious.
I try to ‘notice’ the positive in them and ignore the negative as a sort of behavioral modification, and at times, that works, but only temporarily. These two are bitter and empty, as well as angry most of the time. It is not fun to be around them, but I really try to hear them out. They pry and pry at our family’s private business, finances, etc.; none of which is any of their business–it’s all about the gossip between them that will follow. I have to wonder too about their mental health. I am trying hard to be Christian but running out of patience, and am tired of feeling angry and having to deal with this. Life is too short.