Up next in How to Improve Family Relationships (34 videos)
Divorce, in-laws, difficult teens -- learn how to handle tricky family dynamics with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Willingness to compromise
Understand the root
Understand the roots of sibling rivalry. Studies show that conflicts often begin in childhood due to factors such as parental treatment, gender, family dynamics, and age differential.
See your sibling as a person
Recognize your sibling as an actual person. Avoid the temptation to regress to childhood labels like "the attention seeker' or "the perfect one" -- your sibling has likely long outgrown that phase.
Pinpoint the friction
Pinpoint the source of friction. It's easy to shift the blame of your rivalry entirely onto your sibling, but acknowledging your own part will give you a deeper understanding of the conflict.
Hash it out
Hash out the hostility. Start by saying "I'm sorry" for whatever part you may have played in the sibling rivalry. Researchers have found people automatically respond positively to hearing an apology. Then, focus on reaching an understanding and ways to fix the problem.
Change what you can
Realize what you can and can't change about your relationship, and try to make peace with a compromise. You may not be able to choose your family, but you can do your best to overcome sibling rivalry.