You grew up together and lived under the same roof, so, with so many shared experiences, why is it so difficult to connect to your siblings as an adult? With the holiday season right around the corner, if you relate to this question, it might be a good time to examine your relationship with your brother(s) or sister(s) and make some changes.
Here are some tips to help you connect to your siblings:
Open the Door for a Healing Conversation
If your relationship is strained, perhaps there was an incident (or series of behaviors) that caused it–even as long ago as your early childhood. Tell your sibling that you’re ready to listen to their feelings, even if they’re difficult to hear. Then, through prayer, forgiveness and an understanding heart, do what you can to reconcile. If you need to discuss something, think about healthy and productive ways to discuss them.
Make Space For Change
Sometimes life events, like the birth of a child, a new spouse, the death of a parent, or a big move can make big changes in your relationship. Even things that are seemingly positive can cause a disruption to a relationship that can be difficult to process. Think about that and make spaces for changes.
Pray About Jealousy and Other Negative Feelings
Do an honest inventory of your feelings. If you are harboring jealousy or any other unkind feelings towards your sibling, it’s time to pray about them and release them to the Lord.
Treat Your Sibling Like an Adult
It can be very tempting to see your sibling the same way you did growing up. But be mindful that he or she has unique feelings, experiences, and is a capable adult–despite what your opinions may be of him or her. Kindness goes a long way in repairing a strained relationship and treating your sibling with respect they deserve will help you connect on a whole new level.
Find Something You Have in Common
In a non-competitive way, find something that just the two of you have in common. Perhaps a show or simple common interest, try to stimulate your relationship by bonding over this.
Whether it’s talking to a counselor together or just on your own, consider talking to a professional counselor to help you figure out the best way to reconnect to your sibling.