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19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

When I was five years old, my brother held up an ordinary desk stapler and told me it was what the doctors used to close my chest during my heart surgery, that’s why I had the little half-inch scars under the “big” scar. He said they ran out of stitches so they grabbed the next best thing — a stapler. That damn stapler haunted me for what seemed like an eternity.

A few years later, he thought it would be funny to throw me off the top of the slide into the pool. Into the deep end, thankfully.

He put a snake in my Easter basket (I swear it’s true. It was the one year when snakes were more abundant than Easter eggs).

He once made me get out of the car and walk home… for five miles (he got in trouble for that one — big time).

He blamed me for things I didn’t do. Quite a bit.

The list is endless. But that was his job as my big brother. It’s what he was supposed to do when we were growing up. All that jazz helped create the bond we share today.

With all the silly typical sibling stuff behind us, I’d like to take a moment to remember all the amazing things my big brother did and still does do for me. He’s the best — and I really mean that — big brother ever. There’s no way to list everything, but I’ll put a few actions into words and, hopefully, he’ll take time from his day to read this and understand how much he means to me.

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So, this is for all you big brothers out there. Here are a few of the things your little sisters want to say to you.

1. Thank you for being my first “dude” friend.

You taught me how to be friends with dudes. Whether it helped me understand things like sports or cars or a host of other talents, you gave me a good foundation to interact with the opposite sex. This came in handy later in life.

“Because I have a brother, I’ll always have a friend.”

2. Thank you for teaching me things I couldn’t learn from Mom or Sis.

Things like how to play Atari games, or how to ride the Big Wheel off the roof into the pool, or how to have a party without mom and dad knowing. Or, when I was a freshman and you were a senior and you showed me around campus, helped me figure out my schedule, and introduced me to my teachers.

3. Thank you for driving me to and from school your whole senior year when I was a lowly freshman.

Especially when you were totally cool and lovin’ high school and I was … alternative… and hating high school. Yeah. That must have sucked, but you did it anyways and you were never embarrassed to cruise into the lot in your cool Volkswagon Scirocco with me in tow. Man, I loved that car. How come I got stuck with the station wagon?

4. Thank you for giving me confidence and courage I didn’t know I had.

Remember when I asked that senior to Sadie Hawkins (when I was still a freshman)? Okay, so we both knew he’d say no, but the point is you totally encouraged me to go for it. Not in a bad way either. You weren’t standing in the shadows, waiting to laugh at me. You were cheering me on. You were proud of my courage. He turned me down (politely) and, thanks to you, I totally survived the rejection. The end result is that Mr. Senior-Who-Said-No and I talked and laughed and joked the rest of the year in art class so, all in all, it was an awesome move on my part.

5. Thank you for covering for me.

So, I wasn’t an angel. You covered for me a few times. There are two times we still laugh at: the time I drove up the neighbor’s driveway and when I came home after hanging out with the college boys in Berkeley. You laughed your ass off, but you made sure I didn’t get caught. I’m glad I was able to return the favor… over and over again.

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6. Thank you for having cute friends.

No brainer. Older brother = older cute friends. Damn, they were fun to look at, hang out with and, er, kiss. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

7. Thank you for always being my spare date on New Year’s.

It was always a blast to spend New Year’s with you. You’re an awesome date and there was never that pressure at midnight to kiss (ew). And if either one of us got hammered, it was cool. It didn’t matter if we ended up spending the night at each other’s places. No one had to do the walk of shame in the morning.

8. Thank you for being the strongest one at Dad’s funeral.

You hugged me and consoled me. You told us funny stories. With effortless beauty and grace, you recited O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman, which moved people to tears. You let my husband hug me first, but you hugged me second when Dad was being buried. To this day, twenty years later, you still call me on the anniversary of Dad’s death to make sure I’m okay. Because I’m your baby sister.

9. Thank you for being my first superhero.

You always had a baseball bat or golf club by your bed, ready to kick some ass to protect me. Of course, having your black belt helped. And I was always impressed when you went all Bruce Lee on us with your nunchucks.

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero!” ― Marc Brown

10. Thank you for really caring, even though you sometimes acted like you didn’t.

I know… having a little sister was sometimes a pain in the ass. You acted like you didn’t care, but deep down I always knew you did care about me. You worried about me and you made sure I was safe and happy. You never wanted me to be hurt or sad.

“As we grew up, my brothers acted like they didn’t care, but I always knew they looked out for me and were there!” — Catherine Pulsifer

11. Thank you for all the talks.

You know the ones. When you talked about girls and came to me for advice or when I asked you about boys. You were there to pick up the pieces when some douchebag broke my heart. You never once rolled your eyes or complained. And you definitely supported me when I found “the one.” Even when it meant telling Dad I wasn’t going to that college he wanted me to go to.

“Here’s to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes.” — E.M. Tippetts

12. Thank you for all the Saturday mornings together.

You and spent a ton of Saturday mornings in pajamas on the family room floor watching Saturday morning cartoons. Hey, that time wasn’t wasted. That was serious bonding time. Those Saturdays helped develop our friendship. Scooby Doo and French toast — nothing better.

13. Thank you for being the consistent guy in my life.

Before getting married, of course, you were the main guy in my life. You didn’t care how weird I acted or dressed. You didn’t care if I was blond one day or purple-haired the next. You thought my punk scene was intriguing, even though it was polar opposite to your popular world. You never failed me. I love you for that.

Even now, you’re second only to my husband. There’s no other guy I’d rather hang out with. You still “get” me.

14. Thank you for making awkward situations easier.

Anytime life gets awkward, whether it be with ex’s or people I’m not particularly fond of, you make it easy. You make the ex’s feel lame (in a nice way), you make me look good, and you make light of the situation. Whatever you do, I always come out looking fairly cool.

15. Thank you for being my family sounding board.

Oh my lord, thank God we come from the same family because no one understands the issues like you do. I’m perfect, of course. You recognize this, which is why I love you.

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16. Thank you for dropping everything to be by my side.

In person or in spirit. Because we’re blessed to live close, for the most part, you’re able to be with me in person. You’ve been there for my wedding, when I needed your help during all my crises, and for the births of both my children. You’ve been there for both my children’s major heart surgeries (ALL of them) and for most of my surgeries. You’re the most supportive brother I know.

17. Thank you for being an amazing uncle.

Not only am I lucky to have you for a brother, but I’m even luckier to have you as my children’s uncle. You’re adored and loved beyond belief by my children. Not a day goes by that they don’t mention your name. Thank you for being a prominent figure in their lives. I couldn’t be happier to share you with them or to share them with you.

18. Thank you for being a great guy.

For real. You make being a guy look so easy. There are a lot of jerks out there. Thankfully, there is you. You cook, you clean, and you hold the door open for people in general. You also fix things, can live with or without sports, and look pretty darn cute in a tux. Most of all, you care about people. You care about the environment. You care about… kittens (OK, I added that one in because you do like itty bitty kitties and I think it’s freaking adorable). All of these things aside, it’s refreshing to know there are great guys out there and you are one of them.

19. Thank you for making me a sister.

I love being your sister. Enough said.

“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.” — Clara Ortega

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Missy Mitchell

Author, Artist, Advocate

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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