By: Kars Alfrink. Adult sibling rivalry can be something we claim we are just used to. But it is stressful , and can lead to moments, particularly around holidays, of feeling very alienated, lonely , and let down. Andrea Blundell explores. Sibling rivalry is rarely just between siblings, but tends to be a vortex pulling in other family and extended family members. Most often, it is a triangle that involves parents. This is hardly surprising, given that adult sibling rivalry often arises from a childhood where one child was preferred to the other, even if that dynamic changed over time.
Dr. Bob Wright | October 22, 2019
Coping with Adult Sibling Rivalry
Sibling rivalry isn't always outgrown in childhood, however; in some cases, it only intensifies as time passes. While people often think of sibling rivalry as a childhood phenomenon, adult sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon in which adult siblings struggle to get along, argue, or are even estranged from one another. One study found that more than a third of adults between 18 and 65 had apathetic or hostile relationships with their siblings. Research has shown that parenting plays a significant role in contributing to adult sibling rivalry. While parents may strive to remain unbiased when it comes to their kids, favoritism is actually very common. So if you feel that you're less favored by your parents and that pain is affecting you in adulthood, you're not alone. Sibling relationships are complex and influenced by a variety of factors including genetics, life events, gender, parental relationships, and experiences outside of the family. Parental favoritism is often cited as a source of adult sibling rivalry.
By Judith Woods for MailOnline. Updated: BST, 3 July While competition between siblings may be mostly harmless during childhood, it can bring out the absolute worst in us if it develops into envy in later life, as Judith Woods reports. Sibling rivalry. What could be more natural, more healthy? The very phrase conjures up nostalgic images of ruddy-cheeked boys, straining to beat each other at tree climbing or Ludo. Or little girls, eyes shining with eagerness to outsmart one another in the classroom, guilelessly striving to please their parents at home.
All you need to do to start recognizing adult sibling rivalry is to hear the criticisms many siblings have for one another when they talk about their brother or sister. And the complaints go on. Sometimes, we may feel so frustrated by our adult brothers and sisters that we want to avoid spending time with them or our parents. You may even work it out…like adults. There are family beliefs that people are fragile, and rivalries or favoritism is damaging to the siblings or their relationship. Families are often an area we hold sacrosanct.