The relationship between a two siblings is the most inexplicable yet loving one. Often misconstrued, often misinterpreted, yet this is one relationship that has stood the test of time. The charm of this relation never dies; it has remained unaltered, if not enhanced. This is the singular relation that encompasses all: from fights to sweet memories, from trivial alterations to grave skirmishes. So correct was Daniel handler when he wrote, ‘“Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something” under the pen name of Lemony Snickets. They are perhaps the only people you can borrow clothes from, like it is your birthright (oh wait, it indeed is), the only confidante of your feelings as to how weird your parents and the other members of the family are, the first resort when you are heart-broken. But often the delight and sanctity of this relationship is destroyed when comparisons, unreasonable fights and petty envy enter the equation. We often realize that our siblings are the only people who do not leave us even when our shadow does, and that they accompany us through thick and thin, time and again. Hence, it is our duty to become a doting brother/sister to our counterpart. Here’s what you can do:
10) Remember when you were their age (or would be, in future)
For the older siblings: if your younger brother/sister acts mischievously, or acts immature according to your standards, then hold your breath and before losing your calm, just remember when you were their age. That should be enough for you to understand the mental state and mood s/he is in.
For the younger siblings: whenever you are given a prolonged series of lectures by your older sibling on how to behave, what to think, or when he/she dictates what you should do, instead of feeling subjugated, just contemplate how you would behave if in their place. And the fact that you will soon be in their shoes would help you picture the state clearly.
9) They aren’t perfect, but so aren’t you
They’re the funniest, most eccentric bizarre people I’ve ever met, my siblings.We all seem to agree in unison with Dana Carvey.
Remember that your siblings are also human beings. They are also fallible creatures who learn from mistakes. So are you. If this fact is paid enough attention, more than half of the quarrels would never arise. Though inconsequential it might seem, thinking before speaking and/or reacting can help avoid myriad of potential tiffs.
There is certainly no gift as precious and expensive as that of time, especially in today’s world. So, go ahead and pour your heart out to your sibling every once in a while. Tell her/him what has been awesome in your life, what you have been up to, any new discovery you may have made, what all you have read, so on and so forth. Or simply, just watch any sibling-centered movie, for example, Ramona and Beezus, Hansel and Gretel, So Close, Look who’s talking now, or just any movie that leaves you both loving each other all the more. And there certainly is no substitute for spending some quality time outdoors. Be it watching movie at theatre, going for a coffee, going for a stroll, or for that matter just accompanying each other to the market. Believe me, it is the little things that count.
7) Sibling rivalry
If you really want to be a doting sibling, this is one thing you are supposed to keep a distance of million miles from: sibling rivalry. You may be tempted into competing with your own siblings, thanks to the incorrigible relatives and neighbors who just cannot pay a visit without comparing you with your sister/brother. It might seem fine to rival your own sibling for that moment but eventually it turns out to be an error of judgment. Just because you both have same blood doesn’t suffice as a reason to measure you against each other in every other aspect. So, the first step towards being an epitome of an ideal sibling would be to resist and dispose the diabolic urge to indulge in sibling rivalry, or trying to outperform your sister dear.
6) Tell them you love them (and do):
“My sister and I are so close that we finish each other’s sentences and often wonder whose memories belong to whom.”
If you really strive hard to be the ideal sibling, these words by Shannon Celebi precisely sums up what you need to do for the same. Sharing feelings is a much underrated task. Words have unprecedented power. So, go ahead and let her know how much you love her/him, how much you care for him/her, and assure them that no matter how much you fight, you will always be there for them. Sometimes, all it takes to mend a broken relationship, or to get close to someone, is to tell them how much you value them.
5) Undo fights
Well as stated earlier, the statistical probability of not fighting with your little brother or sister is a grand zero, a nullity. So, the crux lies in resolving the issues. Never drag a fight to the night. Have a contract: you both will be allowed to vent out your views, no matter how mortifying they may be, you can spit expletives, but when you both overcome your anger, you shall sit down together, forget and forgive, and work out the problem at hand. Quarrels are inevitable, and bitter too, but what you make of it is entirely up to you. A caring sibling would never hesitate to say sorry, or to discuss and sort the altercation, even if it means that you need to have the courage to apologize even when the mistake wasn’t completely yours.
This point is not peculiar to siblings’ relationship. Any relationship can get ruined beyond repair if it is infected with the curse of ‘communication gap’. Talking to each other about the positive development in each others’ lives will add to your friendship, and sharing the hard times you are facing will go a long way in strengthening your bond. And when you pour your heart out and let them do the same, you realize you are getting a confidante in the person you only thought of as a crazy, eccentric boy/girl who shared your parents.
3) Be a support
Your parents cannot understand your teenage problems; your friends have plenty of their own. Your sibling is the only person who understands the problem as her own, in the light of the entire situation. Nothing is hidden from them, and yet they can give an objective assessment of the status quo. Hence, a doting sibling will always be ready to extend his/her hand for any possible, to give a shoulder to cry upon, to give a piece of their mind for the peace of your mind. This also encompasses being trustworthy and downright honest with them, such that when they share their secrets with you, you are expected to tame your urge to spill the beans.
2) Hear them out:
In case you have elder siblings, listening them out would mean not discarding their opinion just because it’s their, and to pay heed to some materially relevant and intelligent talk they might be doing. In case you have younger siblings, it is your fundamental duty to guide them on the right path, the first step to which is lending them a patient ear.
Mark my words, siblings and chocolates make life bearable.
1) Remember the details
God lies in the details. So does the strength of relationships. Always remember the minute details about your sibling. Be it birthdays, anniversaries, special days, or the little acts that bring smile to their faces. Take the pains to overcome your hectic schedule to be there for them, and if you cannot be physically present, at least make sure you make every possible effort to make them feel special. Again, it is the little things, really.