Understanding Sibling Relationships

Understanding Sibling Relationships

Relationships between and amongst individuals are at the forefront of our existence. Relationships of diverse natures and origin govern our personalities and interactions and our experiences within a relationship are the stepping stones and predictors of our future existence. The relationship between siblings is one such relationship whereby unique interdependence is lined with several emotions.

The Remus And Romulus Complexes

These emotions amongst siblings may range from happiness, safety, security to aggression, jealousy, and violence. According to the psychoanalysis school of thought, the order of birth influences personality, therefore the first born, the middle born and the last born come with their own set of demands and ideas. Remus and Romulus complexes in children explain the feelings experienced by siblings for each other. In the former, the younger sibling is more resentful of an older brother/sister and the reverse is true with the latter.

Society And Physical Traits

Social dynamics and comparisons contribute towards development of negative thoughts amongst siblings. It can be mutual or can be directed at one sibling by the other. Complexes in siblings may arise due to physical looks, skin colour and resemblance to a parent. It can get more complex at the personality level, when certain traits become more prominent and individuals start learning and living with the same. Social learning influences a negative idea a sibling might hold against another sibling.

The Role Of The Parents

Difference of opinions and thoughts are common in all forms of relationships, especially in siblings. Differential treatment by parents of their children can be one the major contributing factors for developing complexes. Every child needs attention and appreciation. Therefore, an equal distribution of positive and negative reinforcement is needed in families to manage sibling related issues.

Factors That Contribute To The Relationship

A need for companionship, a confidante to speak to and a combatant to fight and protect are few of the requirements of siblings from each other and when these are not met, it leads to dysfunctional interactions. Social comparisons can be devastating in such cases, where permanent negativity settles in and reaches a level where siblings though connected via genetics are otherwise completely disconnected!

However, factors like personality, age, gender and order of birth, plays a vital role in the development of a functional relationship between siblings and it can be made more workable with values and workable social norms.

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