Sibling rivalry is a normal aspect of childhood, especially when the age gap between siblings is between two and four years apart. Most siblings outgrow the rivalry stage, but sometimes siblings remain competitive even when they grow up. How to get over adult sibling rivalry?
When siblings are kids, they compete for their parents' attention and affection. When they grow up, parental affection doesn't mean as much to them but they are so used to being rivals that they simply can't stop. This dynamic continues into adulthood and makes the relationship between siblings bitter. What can you do to fix this relationship and get along with your sibling(s)?
Try to understand where this feeling of jealousy comes from. Is your sibling more successful? Do they make more money? Is their love life better? When you find the thing that makes you jealous, ask yourself, “Why don't I have what they have?” It will probably turn out that your failed relationships or lack of money are not your sibling's fault.
Set your priorities straight. Do your really need all the things your sibling has? Sometimes we want things just because other people have them, not because we actually need them. And when we get what we want we become disappointed, because we discover we never really needed it in the first place. You have your life, and your sibling has theirs. It is perfectly normal to have different priorities and want different things. You need to accept this difference.
Have a heart-to-heart. Communication is essential in any relationship. If you are not able to talk about things, your relationship will never work out. Tell them you miss them and want to be friends. Don't blame them for anything, try not to be defensive, forget about the past and start everything from scratch. Sometimes such talks help people discover that the rivalry was in their head and their sibling never even thought of them as rivals.
Spend more time with them. If you have past issues, you probably won't become BFFs straight away. Get used to spending time with each other. Start with having coffee or lunch once a week. If you don't live in the same city, schedule regular phone calls or Skype sessions. Share the latest news and learn to be genuinely happy for each other's success.
Build your own support system. If you grew up competing for your parents' love and approval with your sibling, you need to find people who can provide you support. Your friends and your significant other can provide the support your parents are unable to give you because they need to divide their attention between you and your sibling. Don't forget to include your sibling into this support system. You need to learn to rely on each other instead of competing.
Accept it. If you are unable to fix the relationship with your sibling, you need to get over it. Keep communication to a minimum and be nice to each other during family reunions. Live your life and let them live theirs.
- How to Build a Good Parent and Child Relationship, How to Deal With Annoying Relatives