How to Get Along With Your Siblings Now That You’re All Adults
The relationship between siblings can look different. We all know someone who considers their siblings to be their best friends and keeps in touch with them every day. But we all probably know at least one person who has a hostile relationship with a brother or sister, or may have completely excluded them from his life. (To be clear: sometimes this is absolutely necessary for your own mental well-being in situations where they are causing you any harm.)
But a lot of people fall somewhere in between: a decent relationship with their siblings that could probably be better. If you fall into this category, here are some strategies that might help you.
What is “normal” sibling relationship?
It doesn’t really exist, but there is some limited research showing that dating your siblings as adults offers some important benefits. Dr. Laurie Kramer, professor of applied psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, recently told CNN :
“People seem to be healthier, happier, and more fit – it all has to do with positive relationships with siblings, you know, and a lot of it comes from the idea that you can get support, help and reassurance if you have a loved one. you who share history and understand the world as much as you do.
What we don’t really know is the root cause, whether it’s that happier people aren’t depressed people and can better build positive relationships with siblings, or having great sibling relationships helps people cope better with everyone. things that life throws at you. “
How can we strengthen the relationship between siblings?
So how do you get these benefits if your relationship isn’t doing very well right now? Kramer provides some advice in the same article for CNN :
Make an effort to create new memories
For siblings who don’t have the strongest relationships, most (or most) of what they have in common is their childhood, making it easy to tell the same three stories over and over. Instead, Kramer recommends creating new memories with a brother or sister – on your terms – and ideally doing something together outside of large family gatherings.
Sure, your brother may have the same naughty side as in elementary school, but now he’s an adult, not the guy who poured a whole container of Ghostbusters slime all over your hair. But hopefully it has grown a bit after the slime. Kramer stresses that we shouldn’t make assumptions about our adult siblings based on who we thought they were as children.
Don’t compare yourself to your brother or sister.
It is so easy to compare ourselves to our brothers and sisters – to look at their lives and see how much we fit, and then dive into the feelings that arise. But Kramer says this is a bad idea, and that we have to remember that everyone makes their own choice, and just because you shared a children’s bedroom does not mean that you have to follow a similar path in life.