5 tips on how to deal and live with toxic sibling rivalry
There is nothing as heart breaking or damaging as being involved in a sibling rivalry. The circumstances that lead siblings into bitter, toxic and unending fights are numerous, but the main ones always involve money, favoritism by parents, success in individual lives and manipulation.
In particular, manipulation can lead to someone being misused financially, emotionally and even intellectually.
Most of the time, people opt to escape from this rivalry and live their separate lives away from the larger family, but in some instances, the family is forced to live together and endure the library.
If you are a person who has been dealing with toxic sibling rivalry and you don’t see a solution in the near future, Nairobi News gives you some tips on how to live with it:
- It may hurt but you have to be the bigger person – especially if you are the person being wronged. You can try leading by example by showing your siblings kindness, understanding and empathy. Over time, they may begin reflecting on their character and behavior and try to rise up to the occasion of being better humans towards you.
- Learn to speak up for yourself and communicate openly and in a calm manner. Being confrontational with them in every interaction is only a recipe for larger disasters. Speak up on how this rivalry is interfering with your life and your relationships with other members of he family. Don’t throw accusations around but be diplomatic about it.
- Boundaries! Make sure your siblings know where your boundaries lie. They must know that you are not a cash cow just because your mother had to leave you in their care, that you are not to be manipulated and looked down upon for being the last born (more so the last born and a female), that your life is yours to do with as you please without being dictated to. Be consistent with your boundaries, do not give allowances for anything that will reignite the rivalry. Let your sibling know what behaviors are unacceptable and make it clear that you will not engage in or tolerate rivalry.
- Learn to put the sibling rivalry on the back burner and focus on your individual growth. Instead of getting caught up in comparisons and competition, focus on personal development and achievements. Celebrate each sibling’s successes, highlighting their unique strengths and talents but don’t hold out much hope that they will do the same for you.
- Seek mediation or counseling: If the sibling rivalry persists and causes significant distress, consider involving a neutral third party, such as a family therapist or mediator. They can help facilitate open dialogue, identify underlying issues, and provide strategies for resolving conflicts effectively.
If at the end of the day you are able to resolve the sibling rivalry, encourage cooperation and team work amongst yourselves; and create an environment where you all have empathy towards one another by understanding each other’s perspectives and supporting each other during challenging times. This can help build stronger bonds and reduce rivalry.