Another relationship where love happens automatically and without any complications is the one between siblings. Most siblings are known to fight in the early stages of their childhood and almost 90% of the sibling’s rivalries ends in the tightest bonds of friendship as they move into adulthood. In the early childhood days the relationship is more competitive depending on the age difference between the siblings but in almost all these relationships there is an underlying feeling of protectiveness. When an outsider threatens the relationship, the underlying love for each other shows up and they put on a united front to show their protectiveness towards each other. As they grow into adulthood they outgrow their petty fights almost always and they end up being life long friends. What is notable in this relationship is that here again is a relationship based on trust. Once again its blind trust and is unquestionable. Whenever a person needs comfort and there arises a need to be loved or needed they more often than not turn to their siblings. Here they are sure that they will be trusted, well received, listened too and be loved even if they don’t deserve it.
We all know that people need loving the most when they deserve it the least. It is during those low moments that one needs someone who cares. One is sure in the fact that even if the world shuts them out and even if they don’t deserve it, their siblings are always there for them, that is the basis of this relationship.
I too have a brother and like most other kids fought like the proverbial cats and dogs. I remember beating him and getting beaten up royally by him. Ofcourse I would scream murder after that and get him into royal trouble with my parents. Regardless all thru my childhood I always believed and took it for granted that my brother would always be there for me. Well he was. Being the younger one I would always run to him when I had a problem and he was always there for me, though it was hard to admit I needed his help. Now as adults it comes very naturally to ask for his help, talk to him and pour my heart out. I am also very certain of his unquestionable love and trust, as I am, of my own pledge of love and trust for him. He is one person I can count on always and I know that he will be there for me, as I will for him, no questions asked. That’s the bond we share, that’s the miracle of this relationship. These are relationships which are pre-defined and exist within those parameters and under normal circumstances they function very close together, warmly and affectionately, co-existing but never demanding and always there when you need it.
In my relationship with my brother I realized that it never really mattered that there was a lot of age difference between us. What mattered was that we could connect and it wasn’t always that I needed help. Even though I was younger it never stopped him from sharing his troubles with me. Even if neither of us could do anything about the problem we still found solace in just talking to each other about it. What we both needed and got from each other was the knowledge that there is one person who loved the other a lot no matter what and that gives the strength to move on.
And then you flip the coin and look at the other side! Sibling rivalry is as real as sibling love, be it Cain & Abel, Thor & Loki or the desi Ambani brothers, we have read all about them. The rivalry arising from a struggle for power and money. They say money can destroy anything and anyone. In the case of these power hungry people, it does stand true. In my journeys, I have come across some siblings who are constantly trying to do better than the other. They expend so much of energy just trying to think up of ways to beat the other. The negativity that starts when they were young stays with them even in their adult life. When talking to one such sibling pair, I was told that the main reason this competition actually started was because of favoritism shown by the parents. So one sibling invariably felt slighted and needed to constantly fight for attention. Yet, they say they don’t feel particularly happy at the other siblings misery but definitely feel miserable at the others’ success. It a competitive rivalry.
There is also the place value of the sibling that matters. Depending on what number you are at in your sibling line, the treatment you get also varies. If you are first in line, you have too much responsibilities, the middle ones are forgotten and the youngest get blamed for everything that happens. When there are many siblings, the oldest takes on the role of protector and cares for the younger ones, especially when there is a big age difference but in families where there are just two, the fight continues until they grow out of it.
To conclude, the typical sibling relationships are very simple. Everyone is sure of what they have and what they give. The boundaries are clear. Ultimately everyone is happy.
Here are some quotes, that sums it all up very beautifully:
- “To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”
- “Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago – the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled.”
- “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three.”
- “Having lots of siblings is like having built-in best friends.”
- “Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring–quite often the hard way.”
….coming up next is friendship! Stay tuned.