Sibling Rivalry

The jealousy, competition, and fighting among siblings whether related by blood or not is called sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry could be in the form of verbal or physical fighting, name-calling, constant competitions, among others. Sibling rivalry grows and without paying proper attention to it, it could graduate from simple jealousy to severe hatred.

Is Sibling Rivalry Typical?

Sibling rivalry is quite normal. For a family with more than a child, you can be sure there is some sort of sibling rivalry going on. Often, sibling rivalry starts during childhood and could extend through adolescence.

What Causes Sibling Rivalry?

There are many factors that could contribute to sibling rivalry:

1. Self-discovery

Each sibling is trying to define and figure out who they are and in doing this, each would love to demonstrate the talent that makes them unique. Jealousy and competition may arise.

2. No attention

Siblings fight to get noticed and when they feel they are not getting enough, there might be some rivalry.

3. Tension and stress

Stress has the ability to infuse frustration and intolerance on people. When a person is stressed and frustrated, it could lead to conflict.

The Effect of Sibling Rivalry

As much as sibling rivalry seems negative in itself, there could be some good to it. One positive effect of sibling rivalry is healthy competition. Healthy competition is an excellent way of improving the lives of siblings.

The negative effects of sibling rivalry are in the form of depression, hatred, fear, and anxiety.

One positive effect of sibling rivalry is healthy competition. Healthy competition is an excellent way of improving the lives of siblings.

How Do You Deal With Sibling Rivalry?

1. Understand that your siblings are different from you

Your brother or sister is a unique individual, therefore, he/she cannot behave absolutely the way you behave. They have their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Know your siblings’needs

Getting to know the needs of your siblings will help you deal with them rightfully. You will be able to do and say what they want, which in turn would make them happy.

3. Practice respect

Respecting each other as siblings establishes a bond between you. Disregarding them breaks the bond gradually. Everyone deserves some level of respect, your siblings included.

{Read: How to Respectfully Disagree}

4. Do things together

Teamwork helps with bonding. Get involved in what your siblings are up to. Be there to cheer and encourage them. Eat, play, talk, and go out with your siblings.


Starting to see your siblings as a part of your life would go a long way in helping you live with them peacefully.

They are gifts to you just the way your friends are.

If you do not have siblings, you can apply this to your relationship with your friend and others around you.


What’s the relationship you have with your sibling(s) like?


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