Sometimes, the hardest people to get along with can be the people you’re closest to – like your brothers and sisters. The relationships that you have with your siblings can be a lot more complex than a relationship, which can cause you to get more upset and often fight with your brother or sister more than you would with others.
Why do we fight more with siblings? Siblings can fight over all kinds of things, and bicker over the littlest things. But many times,these small arguments are triggered by bigger issues.
Whether they know it or not, siblings often compete over their parents’ attention. This is called sibling rivalry, and it may or may not be the reason why you fight with your siblings- but if it is, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get along with your brother or sister, or that you can’t be good friends.
How you can get along. Although it might feel impossible sometimes, there are steps you can take to avoid fighting with your sibling and smooth out your relationship.
Here are a few examples:
- Take a minute. Before you react to something your sibling has said or done, take a deep breath and think about the situation.
- Try to talk it out. Talking about why you’re frustrated can help you gain some insight on the situation, and help your sibling understand where you’re coming from. Check out the More tips for communicating effectively fact sheet for more info on this.
- Avoid getting physical. Violence is never an acceptable way to deal with feelings.
- Value your differences. Try to remember that you’re very different people with different talents, interests and abilities.
- Be supportive of your siblings. Even if you don’t realize it, your opinion matters a lot to your siblings.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.