How to Get Along With Your Grown-Up Siblings

Do you continue to experience sibling rivalry, regardless of your age? Many adults feel the need to compete with their brothers and sisters to determine who lives in the nicest house, drives the most expensive car, or makes the most money.

Maybe you’re over everything that happened between you as kids and you no longer feel sibling rivalry, but your brother or sister does. They just can’t seem to shake those old family dynamics.

You’d like for things to be different, but you’re unsure about how to address the tension.

Try these tips to spruce up your relationship with your brothers and sisters:How to Get Along With Your Grown-Up Siblings

  1. Take an honest look at your current relationship. Ponder whether you and your sibling are still holding on to the past. For example, if you were labeled the “smartest kid” in the family, do you unconsciously behave as if you know more than your sibling?
     
  2. Carrying your past into adulthood can have negative consequences on your sibling relationships now.
     
    1. Notice how you speak to one another. What you used to call teasing may now be viewed as hurtful. Leave the sarcastic remarks at home and you may relieve some tension.
       
    2. Realize that different ages of kids means the same experiences are experienced differently. The youngest child, for example, may experience Mom and Dad’s strict punishment of their teenage sibling as “mean,” whereas the teen sibling grows up to see it as, “I was acting up and there wasn’t anything else they could do.”
       
  3. So, it’s common to find that your older or younger siblings may feel much differently about that family blowup on Christmas when you were ten.
  4. Accept that you and your sibling(s) may have very different memories. Your family story belongs to you, just as your brother or sister’s family story belongs to them. Each of you may have a different interpretation of your family history, but that doesn’t have to put a rift between you.
     
  5. It’s unnecessary to debate about who’s “right.” You’re each entitled to your own memories.
     
    1. Focus on changing your own behavior when you’re together. Avoid thinking about how you wish your brother would stop teasing you. Instead, stop being annoyed when he does it.
  • Attempt to change how you react or simply ignore the comment. Eventually, he’ll catch on that you’ve changed your reaction and might be interested in altering his own behavior, too.
     
    1. Remind yourself what you truly love about your sibling. Be more expressive of your love for your sibling.
  • Give hugs when you greet them and say good-bye. Pay them sincere compliments. Also, get to know new aspects of your brother or sister you haven’t paid much attention to before.
     
    1. Show your best side to your siblings. Most likely, you love and respect your brothers and sisters. Treat them as kindly as you do your friends and co-workers. Be generous, gracious, and sweet without expecting anything in return.
  • Treat your brother or sister the way you want to be treated.

Having healthy relationships with your siblings as adults is extremely rewarding. Enjoy your connections with your brothers and sisters because they will truly enrich your life.

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