How Can I Get Along With My Siblings?

by Frederick Akinola
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Siblings having a good time

Do you have a sibling you’re always at loggerheads with? You’re always quarrelling. You never seem to agree on anything. Think about the conflicts you’ve had with your brother or sister. What do you fight about most?  If your sibling constantly annoys you​—bossing you around or invading your space—​it might be hard not to let resentment build. How can you prevent irritation from bursting into a raging argument? The first step is to identify the real issue.

What Is The Issue?

So you should ask yourself, what is the root cause of our problems? What do I do that riles them up? Problems between siblings can be likened to pimples on your face. The surface evidence of a pimple is an unsightly sore, but the cause is an underlying infection. Similarly, an ugly clash between siblings is often just the surface evidence of an underlying issue. You could attempt to treat a pimple by squeezing it. But you would only be dealing with the symptom, and you may leave a scar or aggravate the infection. A better approach is to deal with the infection and thus prevent further
outbreaks. It’s similar when it comes to problems with siblings. Learn to identify the underlying issue, and you will get past the incident and right to the root of the problem.

Learn to Resolve or Avoid Conflicts

Of course, identifying the underlying issues you have with a sibling is only part of the solution. What can you do to resolve an issue and avoid a future confrontation?  Agree to some ground rules. Learn to create boundaries with your siblings and stick to them. Look back at what you indicated caused conflict
between you and your sibling. See if together you can work out some rules that you both agree on and that address the underlying issue.  Abide by the rules yourself.  If you want your sibling to respect your privacy, for instance, if you don’t like your sibling walking into your room without knocking then do not use your sibling’s clothes without permission.

Don’t Be Quick To Take Offense

Why is that good advice? Because, as a Bible proverb states, only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge. If you are easily offended, your life will be miserable. Forgive and forget. Serious problems need to be discussed and resolved. You don’t have to call your sibling to account for every mistake made. Learn to overlook things. No one is perfect.

Involve your Parents as Arbitrators.

If you and your sibling can’t resolve an important issue, maybe your parents can help you make peace. Remember, though, that the ability to resolve conflict without appealing to your parents is like a mile marker​—it’s a measure of genuine maturity.

Appreciate Your Siblings’ Good Qualities.

Your siblings likely have qualities that you admire. Write down one thing that you appreciate about each of your siblings. When you do so, you might see that their good qualities outweigh their downsides. This will help you to understand them better, and get to overlook some things they do.

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