When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember These Five Things
When my siblings stress me out, it can trigger my anxiety. And if you have siblings, you might have experienced anxiety from 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 the Following
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 his or hers. The 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 those 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.
Lueck, M. (2018, February 18). When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember These Five Things, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, November 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2018/02/what-to-remember-when-siblings-trigger-anxiety
Author: Martha Lueck
I’m almost 60. I have 4 sisters. The youngest is 15 years younger. My 2 youngest sisters give me extreme anxiety. I feel like a parent who always wants to please them. I can’t stand it if they are upset with me. I’m in recovery for codependency and I struggle more with them than any partner. Thank you for your practical ideas.
my sister and brothers are so rude to me i hate it when my sister does not help me clean it stresses me out like today my nana left for a few hours and i was wanting to surprise her but my sister didnt help me at all! and it aggravates me more than anything!
umm ok no it dosent siblings are mean and dont understand you
I’m about to embark on an overseas trip with my three siblings. We took personality assessments over the holidays and discussed them at Christmas. We were all completely different. We have all had different life experiences now being in our 30’s and 40’s. I’m honestly nervous to spend concentrates time as a group. Yes- they give me anxiety and often I think we cause each other to feel shame.
My five siblings are all distant from me. I grew up with a mental illness and my family continues to ignore me! Very lonely and frustrating.