They've got the same last name as you, they sorta look like you, and you'd probably risk your life to protect them. So why is it so hard to get along with your brothers and sisters? While sibling rivalry might always be a mystery, how to improve your relationship with them doesn't have to be.
Time Required: A Couple Minutes, or the Rest of Your Life
- Before you act, take deep breaths. 10 deep breaths are all you need to regain your temper and keep yourself from saying or doing something you'll regret. If you stay composed, you might actually be able to resolve the argument peacefully.
- Don't let their words get to you. They're only words, after all. No matter how nasty your brother or sister is treating you, be the mature one: instead of fighting back with more insults, just walk away.
- Pick your fights. Most fights between siblings aren't even worth fighting. Ask yourself, "Do I really care about winning this argument?" If the answer's no, save your breath.
- Go to your parents, but only if it's a serious problem that you can't solve yourself. And don't approach them in the heat of the fight. Wait a couple of hours, and if you still want to involve your folks, sit down with them and make your point in a mature, even tone, as if you were an adult, too.
- Give them space. Living under the same roof as someone can be a big drain, even if you're not related to each other. If you and your sibling want to make it to your college years without going crazy, you'll need to take a couple of hours a day to have sibling-free time. If you don't have your own room, then do some of your homework at the library, or find a spot to volunteer at, or go for a jog. And make a pact with your sibling to respect closed doors.
- Give yourself a break. There's no use aiming for a perfect relationship with your brother or sister, because perfect relationships with siblings don't exist. Know that it's normal to feel jealous, annoyed or frustrated every once in a while. Cherish the happy times with them, even if they're rare occurrences. Those are the moments that'll really stick with you when you're living on your own.
- Just 'cause you're the younger sibling, it doesn't mean you have to act that way. Always be mature, even if your older siblings aren't.
- Just 'cause you're the older sibling, it doesn't mean you always know best. Give your younger siblings the same respect you want them to give you.