Being a good sibling isn’t always easy, but there are ways to become a better sibling. It’s not always clear what you need to do in order to be a better sibling for your brother or sister. When all is said and done, our siblings are all we really have, and even though things can be rough, it’s important to stick together.
Imagine one of your parents died earlier than you expected. The only ones there for you who truly understand what you’re going through, are your siblings. This is only one of many examples of why siblings ultimately become so bonded. Why not start the bond early, and become a better sibling who forms a strong connection with their siblings right now?
If you want to try and be a better sibling, we have you covered with 10 character traits that can help set you on the right path. Sometimes, something as simple as listening and being honest can be the thing that transforms your relationship with your sibling.
1. Listen to Them
We all need someone to lean on, and when your sibling is looking to you for that kind of support, you should make an active effort to listen to them. Have a conversation with them and ask them how they are doing, and actively listen so that they know you care. All they want is to be acknowledged and to know that their problems matter – especially if they are a teen.
You’ll be an even better sibling if you learn how to listen to your sibling’s non-verbal communication cues as well. Your sibling won’t always verbally tell you that you need your care or support, but you can pick up on the non-verbal clues.
2. Be a Better Sibling by Offering Them Emotional Support
Your siblings are going to go through hard times where they need you, even if they don’t directly ask you for support. Breakups, failures, and emotional turmoil, all of these are examples of situations that require emotional support. Offering advice, a shoulder to cry on, and helping them through difficult situations is a great trait that they will appreciate. Comfort and encouragement go a long way, and not all siblings have this trait that makes them a better sibling.
3. Be Mature with Conflict Resolution
It can be tempting just to let things explode with your sibling when you have an argument, but being the bigger person isn’t just a good example for them; it also leads to more mature conflict resolution. Take a breath, offer a compromise, and help both of you calm down so that you can discuss what’s wrong before you both say things you might regret.
4. Have Respect for Their Boundaries
Everyone has boundaries and autonomy, and that includes your siblings. You should always respect any boundaries they have and never force them to do anything that they don’t want to. If they don’t want to be touched, respect that because they have every right to deny you. Similarly, they don’t have to talk about anything if they aren’t comfortable with that. Understanding this is what will lead them to appreciate you more.
5. Be Kind Without Wanting Anything in Return
Kindness is everything, and this can be little things like taking the weight off their shoulders by offering to do their chores every now and again, helping them with difficult tasks, or even giving them a thoughtful gift on occasion because you were thinking of them. Acts of kindness without any expectation of getting something back will go a very long way.
6. Be There for Them
Attending their awards, shows or performances says a lot about you as a person, and being there for them during these life events isn’t just a great trait to have but a memory that will stay with them forever. Congratulate them on that big promotion, cheer them on in a stage performance – support comes in many forms.
7. Stand Up for Them
We all need someone to stand up for us when we get into a contentious situation, and that’s part of what makes a good sibling. If you want to be better to your brother or sister, make a point to stick up for them when things are tough, and they are cornered. Show them that you have their back, and they will likely also have yours.
8. Encourage Them to Follow Their Dreams
Be your sibling’s champion and biggest fan, encourage them to be the best person they can and to always pursue their passions. If they love art or music, help them to find lessons or take them to museums and concerts so that they can immerse themselves in their passions. Take an active interest in their passions. Be their biggest cheerleader and show them it’s important to never give up on your dreams.
9. Always Acknowledge When You are Wrong
As siblings, you are always setting the bar for each other. To be a better brother or sister, you need to remember that you’re not always going to be right. When you’re wrong, it can be hard to admit or acknowledge it but it’s essential that you do it if you want to build a strong relationship with your sibling.
Be a better sibling by taking accountability when you make a mistake with them.
10. Be Honest With Them
Being a better sibling is not just acknowledging that you’re wrong, it’s also about honesty. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy, and it helps to build a feeling of trust between you and your sibling. If you want to be better or for any of this advice to work, you need to trust each other. Honesty is where it begins and ends.
Since siblings are meant to love each other unconditionally, and not judge each other no matter what, it should be natural and easy to be honest with your sibling. Don’t ever let that honesty stop, or you risk breaking the trust with your sibling, and damaging your connection with them to the point where you become distanced.
Being a Better Sibling: To Conclude
We hope this guide has been able to help you gain some useful pointers on how to improve your relationship with your sibling and be better to them. We know how difficult it can be to see eye to eye with your brother or sister, but family is important, and they’ll always be your best friends.
A little kindness goes a long way, and your sibling will appreciate the effort and will likely reciprocate it. Let us know in the comments how it goes and if there are any other traits you feel are important to becoming a better sibling.
If you want to do something fun with you sibling, buy a CircleDNA Premium at-home DNA testing kit for you and your sibling. It will be so much fun to review your DNA test results together, and see how many shared genetic traits you have.