Sometimes it seems like you’re always trying to find ways to make peace with your siblings. As you grow up and become adults, the problems you had with them as a teenager may have only gotten worse. If your siblings have ever been abusive to you in ways that are simply unforgivable then keeping your distance is the right thing to do. But, for those of you that find yourself in petty quarrels now and then, I’m going to give you some ways to make peace with your siblings.
1. Don’t Revert Backwards
One of the most effective ways to make peace with your siblings is to not revert back to the way you used to fight with them when you were a teenager. If you find yourself whining or even bringing your parents into the fight to pick sides, this is not the way to fix anything. We’ve all grown and changed as we’ve gotten older. It’s important to remember that when your sibling starts pressing your buttons. Try to think of them as someone other than your relative. Maybe even see them as a business associate you can’t fire. Treat yourself with respect by treating them with it. No matter what, don’t become that 15-year-old you used to be. Things will only go in circles if you do that.
If there’s something that you did wrong and you knew it then or know it now, be the bigger person and apologize. You are a full grown adult and it’s important that you act like one with all people at all times. Say you’re sorry, take responsibility and don’t go back on it. Saying you’re sorry and then pointing the finger back at them as an excuse for why you did what you did will only start another fight and frankly, that’s a pretty immature way of handling things. You’re better than that.
3. Don’t Impose on Them
If you’ve been imposing on your sibling for some time by either staying at their house longer than you should’ve, taking money from them or eating their food that you didn’t buy, it’s time to get your act together and stop. Just because they’re family doesn’t give you the excuse to act like anything goes and the gravy train will never run out. It puts a strain on your relationship and causes resentment from them and guilt with you.
4. Keep Your Distance
Sometimes you can love someone and still keep your distance. If you know that issues may flare up when you spend too much time with your sibling, it’s better to have shorter spurts of time with them than force a situation. Maybe they just get on your nerves to no end. Maybe you do too. The time apart will give you a chance to miss them and have more to catch up on. You’ll enjoy each other's company more when you know it’ll be brief.
5. Accept Who They Are
People for the most part are wired to be who they are. While people do grow and learn, sometimes certain buttons never change. Remember that you’ve evolved and when your sibling presses an old button, it’s going to be harder to not react since it’s so hardwired into you. You may have changed, but that button may never stop getting pushed by them. They may never understand how much it affects you even if you scream it at them. Learn how to let it roll off your back and move on when it happens. You are in control of your emotions and reactions.
This is the root of all sibling problems, isn’t it? Maybe you thought your dad loved your sister more. Maybe your brother always envied your 4.0 GPA throughout high school. Whatever it was, it’s done. You can’t go and relive the past. That only happens in arguments and we’ve already talked about accepting them as they are, which also means accepting the past as it was. Whether they have always been one step ahead of you and you’ve felt like you’re always trying to catch up, or you’re envious that they have the seemingly perfect life, you have to let it go and be you. Remember and commend yourself on your good qualities, your achievements and everything you’re doing in your life right now. Your life was made for you, not them.
7. You’re Individuals
Whether you share the same blood or not, you grew up with the same family and you will have them for the rest of your life. You are your own person regardless of your family and regardless of your sibling. They have made their choices in their lives and you have too. Know that who you are now is the person you will be with them and vice versa. If it helps, try to imagine meeting them for the first time. Treat them with kindness and respect. People reflect your good nature and the energy will automatically shift.
Making peace with your siblings can be done but it’s going to take your adult self to do it. Don’t fall back into old patterns. Remember who you are now and treat them kindly. Have you been learning how to make peace with your siblings? Leave a comment and let us know!