Sibling Rivalry: What To Do When You Feel Hatred Towards Your Siblings
In movies, books, and TV shows, siblings are portrayed as the ones sharing clothes, wearing matching clothes, and even standing up for the other in time of need, but is this relationship the same as in real life?
Some people are fortunate enough to have a loving relationship with their siblings and parents but some people aren’t as lucky.
In reality, having two or more siblings in a family means having two or more individuals with different personalities and attitudes. If you have a sibling, then there’s a good chance that you’ve struggled with competition, jealousy, and even intense arguments with them.
So, if you’re not on good terms with your siblings, you’re not alone. Sibling rivalry is common and over time, this sibling rivalry can turn into resentment and later, hatred.
So what can you do when you feel hatred towards your siblings? How to cope when you or your sibling are more enemies than friends?
What Does Hatred Toward Sibling Mean?
Sibling rivalry is the conflict between two or more kids of the same family. Sibling rivalry can be between blood-related siblings, adopted siblings, foster siblings, or step-siblings. Hatred towards a sibling can develop at any age and can escalate over time.
Sibling rivalry can be in the form of:
- Verbal bullying/abuse
- Physical bullying/abuse
- Constantly competing with each other
Many siblings, later in life, may find it hard to get along with each other and may become estranged from each other. While healthy competition between siblings is common, any kind of unhealthy interaction, bullying, or abuse between siblings isn’t.
What Causes Sibling Rivalry?
When you live with someone 24/7, it’s easy to feel irritation and annoyance toward the other person. The same can happen with siblings.
If you’ve ever thought, “I hate my sister”, or “I hate my brother”, let me tell you, you’re not alone. Even the most even-tempered person can feel irritated by their sibling. (Trust me, I know).
But, have you ever wondered what can be the reason behind your hatred toward your sibling? Below are some of the reasons why siblings may develop negative feelings towards each other:
1. Parental Favor
If you feel that your parents favor your sibling over you, then it can cause resentment and increase the rivalry between you and your sibling.
Comparing you and your sibling by your parents is common but sometimes these feelings can foster feelings of jealousy, which can lead to resentment, and later, hatred.
As you and your sibling grow, you undergo personality changes, attitude changes, habits, etc which can cause you to feel adrift if you or your sibling disapproves of the others’ choice.
If your sibling has been abusing you or bullying you, then this can be another reason why you might feel hatred towards them.
6. Family Dynamics
Family dynamics also play a huge role in sibling rivalry. If your family dynamics lean more toward aggression, then you or your sibling is more likely to respond with aggression.
How To Cope With These Feelings?
Hate is a strong feeling that can not only bring emotions such as guilt and shame to the forefront but can also be emotionally draining. Here are some things you can do to cope with the feelings of hatred towards your sibling:
1. Know Your Parents’ Behavior
More often than not, sibling hatred develops because one sibling believes that the other is favored more. If you feel this way, then it’s time you take a step back and understand your parents’ behavior.
There’s a possibility that they might be unintentionally favoring your sibling and may not realize how they’re hurting your feelings. Take a step back and understand the reasons behind their behavior.
Are they closer to your sibling than you? Do they share common interests with your sibling?
2. Avoid Competing With Your Sibling
As I said before, healthy competition between siblings can help but when this kind of competition has been engrained from the beginning, it can be hard to avoid competition later in life too.
Avoid competition with your sibling when you can. If others say that your sister has a better-paying job than yours, it doesn’t mean you’re less than her. Instead, look at yourself as someone who loves the job they have, even if it doesn’t pay much.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
Having boundaries whether it be a romantic relationship, parent-child relationship, or sibling relationship is important. Setting healthy boundaries can help you protect your mental and emotional health.
For example, if you feel some topics are off-limits, then you can ask your sibling to not bring it up in family gatherings.
4. Lean On Your Support System
Finding support from your support system can help you even if you’re not close to your sibling. Your support system can include your parents, children, colleagues, friends, spouse, or people you trust to offer comfort and support.
Your support system can help you understand your feelings and help you work through them. You can find support with a support group or through other means such as art, spirituality, music, books, etc.
5. Seek Therapy
If you’re constantly aggravated with your sibling and don’t know where the feelings of hate are coming from, then there’s a chance that you might be harboring some kind of irrational anger or that you are indirectly projecting your feelings onto them.
Therapy can help you with conflict resolution, can help you understand the source of your hatred, and how you can work through your issues with your sibling.
Sibling relationships are often complicated but they do not always lead to feelings of resentment or hatred. Hate is a strong emotion that can be emotionally draining and painful. If you feel hatred towards your sibling, then it is recommended that you seek help and guidance to understand the root cause of your feelings.
You can even find comfort and support from your support system. If you’d like, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
I hope this article helped you understand sibling rivalry, what causes hatred between siblings, and how you can cope with your feelings when your siblings don’t like you (or vice versa).
How is your relationship with your sibling? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!