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My Sister Is Driving Me Nuts! How to Deal With Sibling Rivalry

What to do when your brother or sister is your major source of drama.

Have a Sister-to-Sister Talk

It can also help to go straight to the source of the conflict -- your sibling. When you're seething at your sister probably the last thing you want to do is talk to her, but sometimes it can feel good to get your problems out in the open.

When you do have the talk, be honest. "Say to the sister...'sometimes it makes me feel bad being in your shadow,'" Wolf says. Tell your sister that you love her and you don't want to fight anymore.

If you can be really mature and take that big step, you might find that your sister isn't at all like what you thought. Maybe she's not really stuck up. She might be just as insecure as you are. In fact, maybe she's only been mean because she's jealous of you. Telling her how you feel might change your whole relationship.

If talking it out with your parents or sibling doesn't work and you're really hurting, it's time to see a therapist or psychologist. They can give you tips to help you deal with your sibling squabbles.

Sibling Rivalry Doesn't Last Forever

As much as you might hate it, sibling rivalry is just a normal part of having a sister or brother. 

Living under the same roof with other kids is never fair. Not everyone is going to get an equal allowance or the same amount of TV time. An older sibling is almost always going to get more privileges. Inequality stinks, but you might just have to suck it up for a few years and deal with it.

Your relationships with your siblings might seem bleak right now, but they should get a lot better as you both get older. Believe it or not, a lot of sisters who absolutely hate each other when they're young grow up to be best friends.

Above all, don't let your self-esteem take a hit because of your siblings or parents. Remember that they don't make you special and unique -- you do. "It's important to know who you are, and not to let other people define you," Goldenthal says.

So your sister's a great athlete or has a gorgeous singing voice. So your brother's a brilliant student. You also have talents that make you special. Maybe you write amazing stories, or you're really good at yoga. Focus on your own successes, and you'll have less time to dwell on your siblings.

Reviewed on January 06, 2011

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