Siblings can be the greatest friends you will ever have. They’ve spent the longest time with you.
They’ve known you since you were a child, they’ve seen you grow and they have memories of you that you may not even remember. There is so much wealth stored in a sibling relationship, if we are only willing to tap into it.
- Your sibling can be your best friend.
- Be communicative and open to them.
- Control your anger.
- Value your siblings.
If you are already great friends with your sibling, you can read on to know how to make it even better. But if you are at war with your sibling, we bring you the right recipe to make that relationship a friendly one.
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Don’t lash out in anger
Familiarity breeds contempt and it is easy to overlook a sibling’s importance and take them for granted. This shows not only in our actions but in our words. We have to learn to think before we speak, and not lash out in anger. Sometimes we say the meanest things to our brother or sister and think we can get away with it. But our words shape them and can affect how they see themselves. Like any good relationship, we have to love and show care when speaking to others.
Talk through issues
Communication opens up channels; it allows each injured party to air their grievances. When you iron an issue out, talk about how it affects you. Use sentences that start with ‘I’, like “I really felt bad when you scolded me”, rather than accusative sentences like “You are so mean”. Accusative sentences undermine the character of the person and sets up a defensive position. But when you communicate genuinely about how you feel, your sibling feels compassion and can be open to correction.
When you make a mistake, be humble enough to apologize even if your sibling is younger than you. It shows humility and sets the bar for how you expect them to behave when they commit wrongs of their own. It also makes you more approachable, and they begin to see you more as a friend than as a sibling.
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Spend time together
Invest in time together; do activities together, visit places together or just eat lunch together. This allows bonding and sharing. You get to see your siblings for who they are, rather than what you think they are. Because siblings are born in the same family, we tend to assume that we know all about them but we forget that people are ever changing. Spending time with your sibling allows you to know their values, dreams and aspirations. It allows you to find similarities in your ideologies and begin the journey to friendship.
Support and Encourage Them
The best way to become your sibling’s friend is to be a good listener, both in words and actions. Find ways to please your sibling, do little things that make them happy. Be open and supportive when they come to you with a problem and give them advice not as an older sibling but as a friend. Support and encourage their dreams, no matter how lofty, it shows that you are there for them and they know that even they fail, you’ll always be there.
Above all, remember to value your siblings. Don’t see them as the young boy or girl who knows nothing; or as the mean elder sister or brother. See beyond the past to the future of possibilities that exist in the friendship horizon.