Dear Older Siblings, Respect Your Youngers

Dear Older Siblings, Respect Your Youngers

They're people, too.
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I have a unique relationship with my brothers. People who are a couple years older than me, both in Netflix series and real life, are always saying that they only start to appreciate their younger siblings after moving away for a job or college. Me? I established an exceptional friendship with my brothers in middle school. They are three and seven years younger than me. This probably breaks world records, but we haven’t physically or verbally fought for at least the last ten years. Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time we had a genuine disagreement that aroused any feelings of true resentment towards one another. Sure, I've used a plethora of insults and childish names against them, but it's always complemented by a laugh of all chill and no hate. And the inside jokes are uncountable. Alien words and phrases only we understand, made-up games that only require your hands, weird comments about our parents' behavior, it would take forever to list them all.

Even though it may they may not want to openly acknowledge it, my younger siblings hold a special respect for me. They view me as both an older role model, and an immature peer. (Immature, because let's face it, there are those amazing jokes that you can only have with younger siblings mainly because, if you shared them with anyone else, they would quickly back away with embarrassment and you wouldn't have friends. Some of our best bonding moments occur while acting like five-year-olds at a restaurant.) And, though in slightly different ways, I also admire them with the same kind of respect. And this, the heart of the close nature of our relationship; underneath the surface of fart jokes and the strange obsessions for trashy music, is the reason we have authentic, mutual respect for one another. Around my brothers, I become uninhibited and feel free of judgment. And that feeling of acceptance and love for who I am in that moment overpowers the negativity of anyone who may be staring and criticizing us from afar, including our parents (sorry, mom).

And sure, you may still be scoffing at just the mere idea of having genuine respect for your younger siblings. Understandable. Maybe it's because your sister is in middle school and going through a hardcore Shawn Mendes fangirl phase, or your brother in elementary school is running around the house and shooting NERF bullets into your face. But ultimately, the key to developing such a beautiful, long-lasting relationship with your younger siblings is to respect them to the same degree that they respect you.

Cover Image Credit: Melissa Dela Cruz

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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To The Guy Who Will Marry My Older Sister, My Sister And I Are A Package Deal

I hope you know what you're getting yourself into!

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When you marry my sister, you will not just be marrying her, but her entire family. That includes me. You should know that I'm very protective of my siblings and only want what is best for them. I know you're a great guy and I'm so happy that you've proposed and are in the beginning stages of planning the wedding. I couldn't be happier for you two.

Know that my older sister has six younger siblings that think you're a great guy. We're beyond ecstatic that you've come into not only her life but ours as well. You've shown us what a true gentleman looks like these days. You surprised us by how quickly you jumped right into our family life, not caring that we're loud, chaotic, and just a lot to deal with because there are so many of us. Countless people have told me that they can't imagine what it's like growing up in a family of seven kids, but not you. You grew up with only two younger siblings, not six younger siblings like my older sister did. But instead of shying away from our quirkiness, you threw yourself into our lives and fit right in. That's how I knew you were the one for my sister.

To the guy who will marry my older sister, I think you know what this means. I think you know that my sister is crazy and that you aren't marrying someone "normal." My older sister has many needs, needs that I personally think are just really extra. But what do I know? I'm just the younger sister who's only job was to tease, make fun of, and embarrass my older sister. My sister is the best older sister, though. She's the one who would tell me to stop talking in public so I wouldn't embarrass her, or myself. She's the one who would not say anything to anyone, so I did all of the talking for the two us. This typically ended up with me getting in trouble. Now that we're adults, I'm so thankful my sister, has you. You two balance each other out so well.

To the guy who will marry my older sister, thank you. My parents have prayed for my sister's future husband since she was a baby. When I found out that the two of you were officially official, I prayed that God would make it clear very quickly if this was the right move or not. It for sure was. Looking back over the last two years, I can see how God orchestrated all of this. In fact, looking back over the course of my sister's life and how God prepared both of you to come together at just the right time is stunning. God's handiwork never ceases to amaze me (I mean, after all, He is God). My sister isn't perfect, and I know you aren't, either. But you're perfect for each other, and I'm so excited to welcome you into my family with open arms. Here's to forever!

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