There really is no shortage of clichés when it comes to sibling relationships. We’ve witnessed all kinds of sibling relationships in the media, from polar opposite sisters who don’t seem to make eye contact to awkward little brothers who love to play pranks on their older sisters. , have experienced these dynamics in real life as well. Less discussed, however, is adult sibling relationships. However, even in this scenario, there are still a lot of clichés.
In film and television, most sibling relationships occur in childhood, shedding light on the adult experience that comes with growing up in a close-knit environment with siblings. What if we start? How will your relationship with your siblings change after that?
Above Image: Riley Reid
Tips for nurturing adult sibling relationships
Over the years my sister and I grew much closer, but it took us a while to find our way. It was a big enough age gap to put us against each other because we played different roles (see, it’s a cliché for a reason)! I was the peacemaker, she was the troublemaker. She can imagine how it went…
But I’ve learned over the years that we grow out of these roles and blossom into new ones as adults. It can be difficult to let go of past identities if you don’t see each other on a daily basis.
To learn more about this concept, we spoke with licensed therapist and relationship expert Fernanda Barcelo. “The dynamic we had with our siblings throughout our childhood is so ingrained in us that being around them is like traveling back in time to childhood! Our children Era, the family unit and our roles within the family, determine a large part of who we are, our presence in the world, and how we relate to others.”
She adds: The oldest can always be the most responsible leader or type A. This is not to say that we do not evolve as we age. It simply means, for most of us, going back to the way we used to get along when we were kids. This is because patterns of behavior are easy to follow.
However, if this is preventing you from building better or stronger relationships with your siblings, make a conscious effort to avoid stereotyping based on your childhood persona or labeling within your family. Please (e.g. angry brother), the good ones, the irresponsible ones) are important. This means giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain situations, checking in before making assumptions, and checking our own triggers and reactions to see if they actually match the current situation. It can mean to see if, or if we are responding to old and established narratives. Not who our brothers were and who they really became.
This concept made me think about how grateful I am to have developed a positive relationship with my sister lately. In honor of Siblings Day today, I wanted to share some ways I was able to do this as an adult.
find a low stress connection
In my personal opinion, putting pressure on a relationship (especially with a sibling) is a recipe for disaster. Instead, I recommend finding a low-stress topic or subject where you can find common ground.
This is as easy as watching a TV show or sharing a recipe. For my sister and I, it’s about sharing funny stories about our children and reminiscing about our childhood.
let go of expectations
It’s also important to remove expectations of siblings to further foster unnecessary pressure. I admit that I used to have irrational thoughts about her sister and how I wanted her to live. I was frustrated. Of course, this led to avoidable resentment.
Letting go of comparisons is also essential. A common cause of resentment between siblings is the idea that their parents favored one over the other. When I was a child who couldn’t find words, I may have thought like that. But now that I am an adult, I have an opportunity to heal and grow.
Instead of begrudgingly clinging to expectations and unnecessary comparisons of how someone else should live their lives, accept them for who they are and meet each other along the way.
Regular check-in schedule
Sounds easy, but check-in can be harder than you think. You know that moment when you meet someone you haven’t heard from in a while and at the end of the conversation say, “Let’s do it again soon!” Just let a year go by without communicating again? yeah, it happens to the best of us.
But I’ve found that scheduling regular check-ins with my sister has brought us much closer together. You can, but phone calls and texts can go a long way in fostering relationships that turn into friendships. Even the silly memes on Instagram here and there matter!
Adult sibling relationships can be complex and ever-changing, but nurturing them can be a rewarding experience. Find less stressful connections, let go of expectations, and check in regularly It may take time and effort, but investing in positive sibling relationships can bring joy and support. So use the opportunity to celebrate Siblings Day to reach out to your siblings and strengthen your bond.