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When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember These Five Things

Posted on February 19, 2018

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When my siblings stress me out, it can trigger my anxiety. And, if you have siblings, you might have experienced anxiety living with them too. Growing up with my five siblings was not easy. At times, dealing with my siblings was (and still is) a nightmare. But I have learned that growing up with siblings can shape who you are in a positive way and teach you a lot about relationships. In this article, I talk about things I remember when my siblings stress me out 

When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember That . . .

Our Ages Make a Difference

Age affects life experience. Even if there is just a one or two-year age gap between you and a sibling, that means one of you has had that much more exposure to stressful events and milestones. So when my younger siblings stress me out, I try to remember that they might still need more time to learn what I already know. Remembering this won’t only ease your own anxiety, but it might even help you become a good role model for younger siblings.

Even If You and a Sibling Have a Similar Personality, You Are Not the Same

Some siblings share similar personality traits. People might tell you that you are just like your brother or sister. For some, hearing this might trigger thoughts like, We are nothing like each other! I will never be as (insert negative comparison here). You might imagine your future being the same as theirsThe sheer horror at the thought of it creates anxiety.

But let me put your mind at ease by saying that you are not (and will never be) the same as your sibling. You have your own mind that will help guide you to your own future. So if you live with troubled siblings, that does not mean that you are (or will become) troubled as well.

Childhood and Adulthood Present Their Own Challenges

Sibling issues in your adulthood are different than those from your childhood. Instead of getting ripped on about superficial things (like appearance or popularity), a sibling might compare your jobs and/or parenting styles. The good news is that as an adult, I can set boundaries with my siblings when they stress me out. Distance might actually strengthen your relationship.

Self-Care Is Essential to Maintain Healthy Sibling Relationships

Loving yourself restores inner peace, which can greatly benefit all types of relationships. If you are at peace with yourself, stressful situations become easier to manage–including those times your siblings stress you out. You are less likely to lash out at your sibling for one annoying act or habit. A few acts of self-care include hanging out with friends, joining a club, or engaging in creative hobbies.

Sibling Interactions Affect How You Form Relationships

Having siblings probably affected your ability to form relationships more than you realize. From a young age, you were forced to play and get along with your siblings. You learned how to share and say sorry. Even if you did not get along with your siblings growing up, you were still told over and over again how to behave. That lesson from a young age stays with you. You probably apply the rules to your relationships with other people.

How do you feel about your stress level with siblings? What are some coping strategies that have worked for you? In the comments, share your experiences growing up with siblings.

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Author: Martha Lueck

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