How My Sister and I Manage Our Love-Hate Relationship

How My Sister and I Manage Our Love-Hate Relationship

One moment we are screaming, and the next we are making cookies.
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If you have a sibling, odds are there have been times when you weren't each other's biggest fans. For some people, like me and my older sister, these moments happen every time you see each other.

Meet me (right) and Gabby (left):

Don't be fooled by our smiling faces. Within minutes of walking into the same space, we are usually bickering. If you didn't know us, you would probably think that we just disagree for the sake of fighting.

We have had full-scale screaming matches about things as small as which side of a bed to sleep on. It has even gotten so far, that when we were younger, my mom walked in on the two of us in the middle of a slap fight that you think only happens in movies (which I found out was quite a comical sight and my mom had to hide in the laundry room after separating us to laugh).

Hearing all of this, you probably think that we despise one another, but the truth is that we are super close and love each other a lot. We just have very different ways of functioning, thinking, and solving problems-- but we both think we know how to do everything the best and most effective ways.

You mix two competitive, stubborn people with extreme confidence in their cognitive processes and you get a lot of frustration.

I am sure you're reading this and thinking, "this girl and her sister are nuts!" I am here to tell you that you can have a very healthy, pleasant relationship with your sibling even if you are like this.

We have learned how to handle our relationship. We know we can only take so much of each other before we need to take a break. We know that nothing we bicker about is personal. We know that in five minutes, we will probably be in the car, talking about our boyfriends, on our way to get bubble tea.

Now that we are both older and have gone off to college, our relationship has never been better. We call each other about once every one or two weeks, and we plan trips home at the same time, and we genuinely enjoy doing things together but we just need to ensure we are minding our limits.

These are some foundational aspects of maintaining our relationship:

1. Communicate

Guaranteed you know at least a couple things they do that really make you see red. TELL THEM. They might not even know that is what sets you off. Use "I statements" and try to find alternatives.

2. Listen

If you tell them what makes you angry, you need to be ready to hear them out, too. Validate their feelings, regardless whether they align with the intent of your actions. This is crucial to effective communication.

3. Know when to take a time-out

Breathers will be your life-saver. If you are starting to get snappy with each other, just stop. Step away from the conversation, leave the room, or do whatever you need to do to calm down enough to have a civil conversation. This does not mean to sweep things under the rug, but nothing productive is going to come out of a heated argument.

You cannot expect all your relationship with your siblings to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. Some take more effort than others, but that does not take away from the fact that you are family and that you will always have their back.

Cover Image Credit: Kassandra Mendoza

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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A Reminder To My Little Brother, You Are One Of My Largest Blessings

My baby brother deserves the world and more.

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My not so little brother Nicholas, is one of my life's greatest blessings. He is childish, yet mature for his age, the one I protect but also the one who protects me. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would feel this way, I am not so sure I would have believed you.

Siblings whether you like it or not, are tied to you for life. They are the people who understand you best, know you forwards and backwards, and simply know what you go through on a daily basis.

Nicholas and I, while younger had the classic older sister younger brother relationship. Kicking and screaming at one another over the silliest of things, and very rarely giving the other as little as a hug. Fighting like cats and dogs. But regardless of all this we were always protective of each other.

I would say our relationship shifted for the better, when times got the hardest in our house. We relied on one another. Comforted and supported one another. It was different and in the best way possible. Thankful for these hard times. Simply because without it, I wouldn't be as close to Nicky.

I believe in my brother. I see the best in him always, even when others at times doubt him. I know that right now as a teenage boy, these times are confusing. You're confused about where you fit in this life. And I want you to know that wherever you end up, I am by your side.

High school is complicated and so is navigating who you are. But do not ever worry Nicky, because I am here to remind you when you forget just how special you are. Here are some reasons why!

Reason one; because whenever you see someone hurting you immediately warm them with one of the tightest yet softest hugs. Overwhelming people with this sense of comfort and support. You may not offer motivational words, but you are there with quiet strength for those you love.

Reason two; that goofy smile paired with the deepest of dimples can light up just about any room and heart. You have a charisma about you bud, one that many people are drawn to. This is something that will carry you through life.

Reason three; even though you like to pretend you do not care about most things, all you want is to be accepted and seen. Just like the rest of the world. You are relatable, you work hard, you fiercely protect and care for your friends and family. You do not even realize it but you have the tools to influence so many other people. Do not be scared to unlock the potential of your greatness.

Reason four; you are so bright. Some people truthfully just do not fit the mold of educational systems. That is okay that you are one of them, and just because you cannot conform to this doesn't diminish the fact that your brain is larger than life. No other 15 year old I know, becomes interested in conversation of bitcoin let alone has productive thoughts on the matter. You're going to be successful in your own ways, despite what your report card says.

These reasons barely scratch the surface as to why I believe in you. Sometimes, as humans we need to be reminded that we are doing great. That regardless of how messy our worlds seem not, one day they will make sense. And we will discover our greater purpose.

Like I said, Nicholas' potential is endless. I truthfully believe that. Because that is what a sibling does. They believe in one another, when it seems like the rest of the world doesn't. Nicky may be younger than me, but I learn so much from him. And as I play the role of the older sister, I also discover things about myself too.

I do not think Nicholas understands truthfully how special he is. How much he warms our hearts and home. He was the best addition to our family and he is one of the largest blessings in my life personally as well. I am so thankful.

This is a corny tribute, however one that is so necessary. Simply because I cannot help but gush about my baby brother. I love you to the moon and back Nicky, keep the goofy smile on your face, continue to love hard, and continue to expand that brilliant mind of yours.

I'll continue to protect and love you for as long as I live. Show the world just how special you are. Again, I believe in you!

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