The bond that siblings share is truly unique. For most of us, it’s the longest-lasting relationship we’ll ever have. In that sense, it also is one of the most influential relationships. Anyone who was lucky enough to grow up with a brother, a sister or both can attest to the fact that siblings play a huge role in shaping who we are. So today, in honor National Sibling Day 2018, here’s a list of 10 reasons to celebrate brothers and sisters (no matter how much grief they gave you as children). Read on below to find the 10 signs you grew up with siblings, then share this list with your siblings!
1.You’re Really Good at Sharing. From toys and snacks to bedrooms and bathrooms, siblings never lack for opportunities to share. Maybe you didn’t always like sharing a bedroom, but you learned to deal with it because you had to. And that’s basically the most important skill you’ll ever learn. At the very least, it sure makes life’s eventualities, like living with roommates or working on a team project, a little easier.
2.Maybe a Little Too Good at Sharing. Borrowing your sister’s fabulous new top might be par for the course when you’re a sibling. But sometimes you forget that not everybody lives according to the sibling rule of what’s-yours-is-mine. But not to worry, because those roommates we mentioned earlier won’t be shy about clearing that up for you!
3.Your Confliction-Resolution Skills Are Top-Notch. Siblings fight. There’s no way to avoid it; it’s the cardinal rule of siblinghood. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Siblings know that they’re stuck with each other for better or for worse, so they basically have no choice but to work out their differences. That means a lot of negotiating, compromising, accepting and forgiving — you know, once the kicking and screaming is over.
4.You Value Other People’s Differences. It’s pretty amazing how different two siblings can be. But growing up with someone who is your polar opposite in one way or another can make you more open-minded and accepting of other people’s differences. A shy sibling can teach you to be more sensitive. A competitive sibling can challenge you to be more assertive. Even siblings who cause trouble can teach you things like patience, empathy, or just provide a cautionary example. Because of the strength of your sibling bond, you learn to accept your siblings for who they are – and even like them better for it!
5.You’re a Team Player. If there’s one thing siblings do even better than fighting, it’s working together toward a common goal. Especially if that goal involves sneaking dessert before dinner, staying up way past your bedtime, or essentially breaking any of your parents’ rules without getting caught. With the right motivation, even the fiercest of sibling rivals have been known to cooperate successfully – and not always to nefarious ends!
6.But You Can Be Competitive, Too. Competition is one of the indisputable truths of having a sibling. When there’s more than one of you, you can’t just sit back and wait for attention — you have to go after it! If your sibling gets better grades in school, you have to have more friends. If they’re a better athlete, you have to be a better musician. Even if you both like the same things, you’re always in competition to do it better. Which sounds exhausting, but the upside is that you made a lot of friends and got really good at the guitar. And you and your sibling will eventually realize that you’re on the same team and agree to put all that silly competitive stuff behind you — at least until the next family game night!
7.You’ve Mastered the Art of Pushing Buttons. Siblings know how to get under each other’s skin. They are also masters of blackmail. As kids, you knew just what to say to provoke each other. As adults, you probably have a stockpile of embarrassing photos and stories about each other, “just in case.” But while you might still indulge a little old-fashioned teasing every now and again, you know what secrets to keep and what lines not to cross. And you’re happy to respect those boundaries – because you know they still have photos from the time you tried to perm your own hair!
8.But You’re Fiercely Loyal. Say what you will about your own siblings, but when push comes to shove, you’ve always looked out for each other. You could be screaming at your brother for hogging the bathroom one day, and the next day you’re up in arms when someone even tries to suggest he is anything less than perfect and wonderful and amazing. It’s a strange contradiction we don’t always understand, but no matter how much our siblings get under our skin, we’d do anything for them. Just don’t tell them we said so!
9.You Have a Selective Memory. Your brother remembers helping you reach the cookie jar on top of the fridge. You remember him blaming it on you when you got caught. You have fond memories of playing dress-up with your sister. She recalls you always taking the best costumes. But even though you and your siblings might remember things a little differently sometimes, you have a lifetime of memories to look back on — and chances are your biggest disagreements will be the ones you laugh about most later on.
10.You Understand What It Means to Be There No Matter What. The best part about having siblings is always having someone you can go to for support, encouragement, advice, or just a sympathetic ear. Nobody knows you better than your sibling, and the more time passes, the more you realize just how lucky you are to have someone who just gets you — quirks and all. They’ve seen you at your worst, but they love you anyway, and vice versa. They’ve been there for every milestone, and they’ve showed you how to be there for someone unconditionally. Nobody has taught you more or understands you more intuitively. They are built-in best friends, confidants, cheerleaders, bodyguards, counselors, and role models. Basically, your siblings are the best gift you’ve ever been given, and you’re super lucky to have them!
How has your sibling made you a better person? Share with me in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this list with your siblings, and all your friends who have siblings. Happy National Sibling Day, and I look forward to reading your comments!10 Signs You Grew Up with Siblings by Ann Kelley