7 Life Lessons We Learn from Our Siblings

· September 25, 2015

We’ve argued with them, disowned them, ignored them, bothered them, and done countless other unimaginable things to them. However, a sibling is one of the best treasures that we can have in life. Siblings are our “enemies” that we fight the most with, but also, without a doubt, the ones we love the most

The relationship between siblings can vary, but the truth is that normally it’s based on unconditional love will always remain, forged amid the struggle of growing up together. 

I smile because you’re my brother. I laugh because you can’t do anything about it.

There is no better gift a parent can give to their child than the chance to grow up together with a sibling, someone to share love, toys, happiness, anger, and sadness with. Here are 7 valuable lessons we learn from our siblings:

1. To take care of others

Having siblings, you learn to not just care for yourself, but to look after the well-being of others. With siblings, you develop a special protective instinct, which you’re unlikely to have toward many other people in your life.

“As we grew up, my siblings acted like they didn’t care about me, but I always knew that they looked after me and were there for me.”

-Catherine Pulsifer-

To the outside world, we grow and change with the passage of time. However, between siblings, we know that our inner selves — our hearts — remain unchanged regardless of time.

siblings

2. To be patient

Through the experience of growing up with siblings, we learn that we can’t always have what we want, when we want it. 


Your sibling might exaggerate, be dramatic, create the most chaos that was ever seen, but you know that in the end, you’ll always be there for each other.

Siblings don’t need to say anything. They can sit next to each other for hours without feeling uncomfortable, and they can calm each other down without saying a word. The simple presence of your sibling teaches you that whatever happens, happens, and that everything will be okay.

3. To challenge yourself

People with siblings know best that everything must be earned, and that for everyone who’s above you, there’s someone else who’s above them. If you have siblings, you surely competed as kids. This was probably a source of continuous frustration, but it taught you to push yourself.

Also, sharing your life with a sibling helps you to learn from your mistakes and those of others. Their blunders are yours too, in a sense. The same is true for their successes.

sisters

4. To share

You learn to share both material and immaterial things: your space, your toys, your clothes, your parents, your destiny, and many other things. If you have siblings you know that, in this world, there is nothing that is exclusively yours. In addition, in your relationship with your sibling you encounter plenty of circumstances where you have to rethink your priorities again and again.

When you have a sibling, you know that there is nothing that is 100% yours, even when you claim that it is with all your might. This will be the object of many unending disputes, but in the end that doesn’t matter, because having someone to share joys and misfortunes with is priceless.

Also, siblings live outside the effects of time, because despite all the years they’ve spent together, they’ll continue sharing inside jokes, laughter, pain, tears, and joy forever, because the sibling bond lasts forever, unchanging.

5. To work as a team and negotiate

It’s a tough lesson to learn that we’re not the center of the world. We learn from having siblings that success lies in learning to cooperate with others and in understanding that there is no force more powerful than common understanding and working towards a common goal.

When siblings work together, mountains turn to gold.

-Chinese Proverb-

It’s worth it to put everything aside, because the relationship between siblings teaches you that differences are always solvable if you are determined and ready to cooperate. From the tenderness of childhood, collaborating and negotiating with our siblings helps us understand that there is strength in unity.

cooperation

6. To forgive

Forgiveness is one of the most important things we learn from having siblings. How many times have we heard our parents say “Make peace, or else…” This threat would not convince you at all that your sibling deserved forgiveness, but immediately afterwards you’d shake hands to make it look like you forgave them.

From there, minutes, hours, or days would pass, replete with hostilities, but you’d somehow realize that forgiving and forgetting was more beneficial to both of you. Ultimately, siblings teach each other that there are no unbridgeable gaps between people who love each other, neither as children nor adults.

7. To love unconditionally

The relationship between siblings teaches you to love above all else and to appreciate those who don’t tell you what you want to hear, who pester you, who make you angry, who steal your things, who want what you want, etc.

Siblings might distance themselves from each other in different moments of their lives, but they’ll always be friends no matter what, friends that they didn’t have to choose.

“There is no love like the love for a brother. There is no love like the love of a brother.”

Terri Guillemets

You would give your life for your sibling and they would give their life for you. It doesn’t matter what happens, you’ll stand together through difficulties. In fact, a brother or sister can turn into a superhero in those difficult moments.

In short, siblings make you feel something unique and special. To them, you’ll always be irreplaceable, just like they will be for you. And no one can put a price on that.