Whatever the reason, if you find that one or more parents is favoring another sibling over you, either by having a closer relationship with your sisters kids, bragging more about your brothers accomplishments, paying more attention to your sister, or always taking your brothers side in a disagreement, it can make for a stressful family gathering with raw feelings that can be easily hurt. Are you sick of the stress? Here are some ways to cope with sibling rivalry as an adult.
- Dont Take It Personally: Understand that your parent may not love the other sibling more, they just feel closer or more invested in their lives, for whatever reason. They may not even be aware of it, and most likely not doing it to hurt your feelings.
- Find Support Elsewhere in Your Life: Find supportive people in your life to provide the love, acceptance and approval you may not get from your parents as much as youd like. While we may not be born into families of people who think like us and share our values, there are many people in the world that can provide the support that our family members may be unable to give.
- Dont Perpetuate Sibling Rivalry: Dont compete with your siblings, and dont blame them for being favored. Even if theyre going out of their way to remain the favorite, you cant blame them for wanting their parents love and approval. Just accept that your relationship with your parents is yours, and try to keep it separate from sibling relationships.
- Accept The Reality of the Situation: Youll also feel better if you accept that you may not get as much support and approval from parents as you want, and thats okay. If you dont come at them from a place of need, you will actually have more personal power. It may be difficult to get into this frame of thought, but youll feel better after you do. Start by noticing all that you do get from them, and valuing that.
- Invest In Your Own Family: Finally, if you have a committed relationship or family of your own, you can focus on providing that which youd like to be getting from your family of origin. Focus on what you share with them, and on what you can provide to yourself in your own life, and youll be better able to accept familial quirks.