August 7, 2020


Dear Nikki,

Help! My totally annoying little brother caught me doing something wrong and now he’s using it as BLACKMAIL!!! I have to do everything he says or he’ll tell our parents and I’ll be in SERIOUS trouble! I’m talking grounded for the next five years! What should I do?!

Blackmailed By Bratty Brother

Hi Blackmailed By Bratty Brother,

Oh wow, I thought Brianna was bad! But I don’t think she’s ever blackmailed me! (PLEEEAAASE, no one explain blackmail to her ☹!!)

The way I see it, you’ve got three options: 1) Stay under your devious little brother’s control. 2) Find a way to counter-blackmail him. Or 3) Confess what you did to your parents.

  1. Stay under your devious little brother’s control. I mean…I’m guessing this is not going to be your choice. And I don’t recommend it. Because I’m guessing that the more you do what he says, the more power-crazed he’ll become and he’ll have you doing bigger and worse things. Think about it—in the long-run, he might be punishing you more than your parents would!
  2. So let’s talk about counter-blackmail.  😈 If your brother is blackmailing you, I’m guessing he’s no angel himself. Surely you know (or can find out) blackmail-worthy dirt on him. When you’ve got it, then you can counter-blackmail. Your dirt will basically neutralize his dirt! If he spills your secrets, then you’ll spill his (and vice versa). This is known (in spy movies, anyway) as mutually assured destruction. If I go down, you go down! But, I’ve got to be honest—you’ll still be living with the stress that he’s got something bad to spill about you. It’s not a perfect plan. So…I don’t really recommend this one either.
  3. Finally, confess what you did to your parents. I know this sounds terrible, but truth be told, your current situation already sounds even more terrible! If you face things with your parents and pay the price, it’ll be over. They’ll forgive you. Everyone will move on. But if you let your brother blackmail you, he could hold that over you for YEARS! Like, I think you were probably exaggerating when you said you’d get grounded for five years. But it’s NOT exaggerating that an especially conniving sibling could blackmail you for five years. Plus, when you confess to your parents, you could tell them that your brother was blackmailing you and he’ll probably get in trouble, too! ☺

So, consider these options. I think fessing up is your best choice. And a bonus side effect to that will be your brother will probably re-think blackmailing you in the future!

Have you ever been blackmailed? How did you handle it? Tell us in the comments!