Raksha Bandhan: How to maintain good relationships with siblings

It is true that siblings are your first friends and playmates. When parents are at work or busy with household chores, your sibling is where you spend your time. But as you grow up, you spend more time with your partner, your children or your friends. Whether you have biological siblings or cousins, a connection with them is very important. So, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan 2023, let’s find out how to maintain good relationships with siblings as adults.

As people grow up, they go through many stages of life with their siblings. What they experience together strengthens their bond or ends up deteriorating it, notes Dr. Chandni Tugnait, psychotherapist, life and business coach. However, as life progresses, it is quite common for siblings to split up and go on different paths in life.

Raksha Bandhan will take place on August 30 this year. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Different life paths, friends, careers, interests, values, priorities and viewpoints on multiple topics often emerge and divide them. With fewer shared daily experiences and reduced mutual trust, the bond that unites siblings during childhood weakens. Unresolved issues or competitiveness could further strain ties over the years. Failing to communicate candidly or address emerging tensions can intensify slow emotional distance and sibling rivalry. Physical distance combined with increasing personality differences make it difficult to maintain closeness as an adult. However, siblings who still care for each other can make the effort to rebuild their bonds.

Tips for Improving Relationships with Siblings as an Adult

Having a healthy, strong and positive sibling bond is essential for emotional well-being and a healthy family dynamic. Here’s what to do:

1. Offer yourself open communication

For any relationship to be healthy, having open and honest communication with each other is paramount, the expert tells Health Shots. Discuss topics that others might avoid, such as finances, aging parents, and disciplinary views. Avoid making hasty decisions; instead, take the time to consider the other person’s point of view and learn to support each other’s arguments.

2. Establish Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries and stick to them, because as you get older, circumstances change and you can’t act the way you did when you were a kid. Give yourself space and avoid being so interdependent that it becomes unhealthy.

3. Appreciate each other

Make sure to always express your gratitude and appreciation to each other. Don’t take each other for granted and value the importance each of you plays in the other’s lives. Acknowledge their efforts and have a sense of mutual respect and appreciation.

4. Make time for each other

You may be planning catch-up calls, visits, and vacations with your friends, but you can also do all of that with your sibling. Make your brotherly bond a priority in a busy life. Doing this strengthens the bond between you and your sibling, says Dr. Tugnait.

5. Be supportive

Be someone your sibling can always count on during tough times. Support each other whenever necessary and, if necessary, provide constructive criticism and help them navigate a difficult situation. Things don’t always go well, but be there for each other and offer emotional support when needed.

siblings on a swing
Also have good relationships with your siblings as adults. Image provided by: Shutterstock

6. Celebrate differences

As individuals, there are bound to be differences between you. So, instead of comparisons, learn to appreciate and celebrate the differences that may exist. Accept differences in lifestyle, viewpoints, and parenting styles. Judge less and be a better listener.

7. Share family responsibilities

Sometimes you have to get up and take on family responsibilities. Make sure you and your siblings are able to do this. Divide the responsibilities between the two of you so that no one bears all the burden, suggests the expert.

8. Respect individual life choices

Every person in life has a path and an opportunity, and that opportunity or path can take your brother away from you. Learn to appreciate your sibling’s life decisions and encourage them in their attempts.

Additionally, if you want to improve your relationship with your sibling, abusive behavior like bullying or name-calling should be completely banned. With care and maturity, you and your sibling can become each other’s closest confidants and lifelong supporters.

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