That old saying about the grass always being greener on the other side is never more true than in families. Those of us without siblings often wish we had them: but those of us who do have siblings often wish we didn’t!
It doesn’t seem to matter if we are the eldest or youngest sibling, or somewhere in between. You can guarantee that one of the others will always be vying for attention - and often getting it! Whatever you do, any achievement seems to be upstaged by a sibling every single time.
Siblings also have the incredible knack of annoying you in the way that no-one else can. This can happen in various ways. Here are ten ways we have experienced that siblings can really get under your skin. See if any of them resonate with you?!
Insisting on still calling you by your childhood nickname.
Dredging up embarrassing memories from the past that you would rather forget.
Always criticising your appearance, no matter how much effort you have put in and how nice you think you look.
Subtly undermining what is dear to you, be it your job, your partner, your children or your domestic prowess.
Trying to outdo you (or pretending to) to impress your parents.
Talking about you behind your back or discussing your business with your family and friends.
Breaking the agreed ground rules for family present-giving to make you look mean.
Always getting their own way when it comes to arrangements for Christmas or other special events.
Offering you the benefit of their wisdom without being asked to or wanted to.
Taking advantage of your good nature so that it’s always you who ends up forking out or clearing up etc.
We could go on but you get the picture! It’s ironic that it is often our nearest and dearest that really annoy us - and seem to be doing it on purpose. The worrying thing is to consider whether they are thinking some of the same things about you ….
Yet it’s so true that no matter how much our siblings may annoy us, when they are in any way criticised or threatened by someone outside the family, our hackles rise and we leap to their defence. There is something primeval about blood relationships that overrides all the petty day to day niggles and makes us stand united.
It is the same in times of trouble. You may think that you don’t get on with one or more of your siblings, but often when the chips are down, things are very different. These are the times when you need that familiar face and voice, and when your shared history becomes a source of great comfort rather than a potentially explosive minefield.
So why not make a determined effort not to let your sibling(s) annoy you any more, but to try and appreciate them for who they are and their significance in your life? You could take this one step further by climbing firmly into the driving seat and starting to make some positive changes in the family. Create new events, celebrations and traditions to signal a truce in any ongoing conflicts between you.
As part of this sea change, perhaps it’s time for some special photographs of all the family together? The family photography experience will be fun in itself, and will also give you all some lovely photographs to treasure. Then if things do get tense again in the future, the memories of happier times together will help you to pull through.