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How the Relationship Between Sisters Changes Over Time

How the Relationship Between Sisters Changes Over Time

Ahhh… sisters!  They can be your best friend, your confidant, your nemesis and lots of things in between! Sisterhood is a complex combination of shared history and independence; a relationship that evolves and changes with time. While each group of sisters will have their own unique story, here are six ways the relationship between sisters often changes over time.

1. They are first friends.

Sisters learn about interacting with other girls from each other. Whether you shared a room or had your own space, as a child your sister knew more about you than any other person on the planet. You could act cool or put on sophisticated airs at school but she knew if you kept candy under the bed or spent your nights mooning over the boy who say in front of you in homeroom. Sisters teach you how to share, how to be compassionate, and how to make up after an argument.

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2. They are rivals.

Sisters are rivals at some or many points in their life. When a second girl enters a family, the first is suddenly cast as the “big sister” with all the expectations that come along with it. They may resent this new bundle of joy and not welcome being a role model and helper for their little sister. Later, rivalries between sisters can be about boys. My sister was three years ahead of me in school. I vividly remember liking a boy who ate lunch at my table and how all he ever wanted to talk about was how amazing my sister was.  I was less than amused and anxious for her to graduate and go to college! Sisters may compete for their parents attention, to get better grades, be more popular. Later, they may compete over their career success or about who is a better mother or has the better children.

3. They are partners in crime.

Remember those summer days when you and your sister would go out in the yard in search of adventure?  The hose fight that seemed so innocent and fun became big trouble when you ended up soaking the clothes mom had hung out to dry! Sisters are the best partners in crime – or just mischievous fun – because they know each other so well. An exchanged glance becomes an elaborate plan to play a trick on a brother, father, or the family dog. Think back to fun antics from your childhood and I bet your sister was right there with you!

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4. They push each other’s buttons.

Sisters have a knack for finding and pushing each other’s buttons. They know just what to say to bring you down or build you up, depending on their mood, and you do too!

5. They grow up together.

Sisters share a special bond. Older sisters model for younger sisters how to act in front of boys, how to use makeup, do their hair, and more. Younger sisters often get to do things sooner than their older siblings as rules and expectations become more relaxed (often because the parents are getting tired)! Sisters share celebrations and heartache. They support each other through each stage of life; the transition from childhood to the teen years to being a young and then aging woman.

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6. They have each others back.

No matter how strained a relationship is between sisters, you will see the family loyalty kick in if you dare say anything bad about a girl’s sister! It’s the “I can bad mouth her because she’s my sister but you sure can’t!” Sisters look out for each other and are there in times of need. That need might be lipstick when out on the town or a shoulder to cry on during a nasty breakup. Big or small, sisters are there for each other.

Having and being a sister is special. It’s a relationship and a bond that you should work at so it stands the test of time. Sisters become the person you can go to who will remember that bad haircut when you were 10 years old or how unreasonable the curfew was in your home growing up. They will celebrate your successes and pick you up and help you through the tough times. You can laugh together and cry together. If you are lucky enough to have a sister – or a few – reach out and tell them how lucky they are to have YOU as a sister!

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Featured photo credit: Tara Reed via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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