It’s an understatement to say that your relationship with your siblings is important. Without a doubt, maintaining a healthy relationship with a brother or sister is even more crucial once you become an adult. Unfortunately, it is also a relationship that can easily be damaged. What’s worse, is that some of your everyday behaviors might be driving a wedge between you and your kin.
Curious as to whether you might be the reason your relationship with your siblings isn’t any good? Here are ways you might be ruining your bond with this important part of your family.
You can’t control your vices
When you’re a kid, your vice might be always stealing the last cookie before your sibling can eat it. But when siblings become adults, those vices become much bigger. And they can be detrimental to your familial relationships. Perhaps you are in financial upheaval and have borrowed or stolen from your sibling. Or perhaps you have an alcohol problem that has led you to neglect your relationships with your family. These are just a couple things that can ruin such an important bond.
Are you putting your vices ahead of a sibling that genuinely cares about you? If this is you, then it is time to take inventory of the things in your life. Make a conscious effort to put family first.
You’re a perfectionist
Being too judgmental of your siblings and starting a rivalry can really drive a wedge between your relationship. For example, maybe you never let your brother or sister host a family event because you don’t think they are capable of being as good of a host as you are. Or maybe any time your sibling calls you with good news, you put it down because it doesn’t meet your high standards.
Take yourself off the pedestal and give your siblings more encouragement. The more you stick your nose up, the less likely you guys are to have a good relationship.
You can’t laugh
In a healthy relationship, you and your siblings probably have an inside joke or two. You don’t have to necessarily have the same sense of humor, but you should always be able to share a good chuckle with your family. If you take everything too seriously and can’t share a laugh, it can put space between you and your kin. And going out of your way to not have a good time can drive your siblings to not want to talk to you at all.
Taking the time to laugh together, even over something small, is great for the relationship. Sharing something funny will make room for more good times in the future.
You can’t let go of childhood grudges
It’s common for brothers and sisters who didn’t get along as children to become closer after they grow up. What’s important is being able to grow past childhood grudges and maintain an adult relationship. Holding onto issues and rivalries from your childhood is an excellent way to sabotage your relationship with your siblings.
As harsh as this sounds, carrying a grudge from childhood into adulthood is petty, and will only hurt your family relationships. Your best bet is to hash out whatever is bothering you so that you and your sibling can move on with your lives. If need be, consider seeing a family therapist.
You interfere in their relationships
Let’s be honest — you aren’t always going to like your siblings’ significant other. Perhaps you don’t like that your sibling is paying attention to someone other than you. Or your sibling’s partner has said something that rubbed you the wrong way. Whatever the reason, going out of your way to end your sibling’s intimate relationship is not a good course of action.
The only exception for stepping into a sibling’s personal relationship is if he or she is being abused or taken advantage of. Unless your sibling is in a relationship that is clearly toxic, it is best you stay out of their affairs.
You interfere in their career
Want a surefire way of ensuring your sibling never talk to you again? Be the person that puts his or her job in jeopardy. Messing with how your sibling makes a living can cause a high level of distrust, especially when it comes to whether or not they are able to make money.
Long story short: Interfering with your sibling’s career can do irreversible damage to your relationship.
You insist on ‘going at it alone’
Are you someone that tries to do everything alone? Or do you insist on handling everything without any input from your brother or sister? You don’t have to share every little detail about every little thing with your siblings. But completely isolating yourself from them is a good way to sabotage your relationship all together. This, in turn, can lead to you becoming estranged from your family.
Try incorporating your siblings into more of your everyday life. Even if that means doing something as small as exchanging a quick email or text just to say hello.