Why You Should Patch Up Your Relationship With Your Sibling
There’s nothing quite like the bond between siblings. You’re often close enough in age to be friends, but also too close in living quarters to get along all of the time. You also compete for many of the same things like your parent’s attention, resources (if one goes to karate classes, there isn’t enough money for the other to take painting lessons) and friends. Perhaps because our siblings are people we can be the closest to in the world, they’re also the people with whom we can have the most contentious relationships. It’s very common for siblings to drift apart, or have downright falling outs. But this relationship is so precious, and you should do what you can to save it if you feel like you’ve lost it. You can’t replace your sibling, no matter how hard you try. Here is why you should repair your relationship with your sibling.
No one else understands your parent’s behavior
Nobody else in the world understands just how infuriating it is when your mom asks that one nagging question she always asks or picks up on the subliminal message your dad is trying to send when he makes that face—nobody besides your sibling. And boy is it nice to have someone to commiserate about that with.
Or how your parents shaped you
Your sibling was there—right there, in the other room or the same room—during your most formative years. They understand exactly how your parents influenced your behavior, persona, neurosis, fears, hopes, and issues. You can try to explain it to friends, but nobody gets it like your sibling who saw it all.
It can be the most natural friendship
There’s no friendship as natural and comfortable as that between siblings. You can spend days on end together without worrying about being “on” all of the time. One can nap while the other does work. It’s like having all of the benefits of a buddy without having to put in much work.
They’ll take you to task
A sibling can take you to task unlike anybody else, and bless them for it. A sibling call tell you when you’re being selfish, impatient, dense, mean, and just downright wrong. They can tell you, because even though you’ll get upset at first, you’ll realize they’re right, and you’ll forgive them. In this way, they make you a better person.
They know when you aren’t genuine
Siblings also know you so well—your body language and facial expressions—they can tell when you aren’t being entirely forthcoming, and they’ll call you out on it so you have to express your real feelings.
They’ll drop everything for you
A sibling will drop everything they’re doing when you really need them. It’s a biological draw—a sense of urgency—that your best friend just doesn’t feel. A sibling will bail you out of a tough situation at three in the morning.
Caring for your elderly parents
One day, you’ll both need to take care of your elderly parents. You have no idea what a tremendous task this is. It is a full-time job. Heck, it’s a job on which you’ll work overtime. It will be so much easier if you get along with your sibling.
You’ll want them when you lose your parents
And when you lose your parents, you’ll desperately want a connection with a blood relative. You’ll be so grateful to be on good terms with your sibling when this happens.
Aunts and uncles are very special
You don’t want to deprive your children of an aunt or uncle! That’s its own unique, special, loving, and influential relationship.
So are cousins!
You also don’t want to deprive your children of cousins. Cousins are nearly as good as siblings so if your child has siblings and cousins in his life, he’ll have a wonderful network of love and care.
They just get your moods
Siblings just know your moods. They can sense exactly what you need and what you are feeling just by looking at you. That is a special connection you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s a connection that makes life feel like it makes more sense.
You can parent each other
Sometimes, your parents won’t be the best parents. Your parents might drop the ball on being there for opening night of the play you wrote or for your kid’s fifth birthday party. But your sibling will step in, just as you will do for them.
If your parents ever divorce
If your parents ever get a divorce or hit a rough patch, you’ll be so glad you have your sibling to talk to about it, and seek comfort in.
It’s the longest relationship you might have
The relationship you have with your sibling might be the longest you have in your entire life. Think about it: you may have known your sibling since you were born, or since they were born, depending on who is older. And if you’re close in age, you may know one another for 70, 80, or 90 years.
You have a chemical bond
You have a chemical bond that you have with no one else. When you’re near each other, certain comforting, relaxing, happiness-inducing chemicals are triggered in your body (if you can learn to get along, that is).