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10 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Sisters Can Relate To

10 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Sisters Can Relate To

I have a long distance sister. My sister lives in another state and I miss her like crazy, but it does make getting together all the more poignant and enjoyable when it does happen. Sisterhood is undeniably a special bond, one that can’t be broken — regardless of how far apart you are or how often you get to see each other. Often life gets busy and whether they are across the street or across the other side of the world, getting together with your sister can get less frequent as we get older. However, there is an upside to living far away from each other. Having a long distance sister means that catching up is all the more significant.

Here are 10 sweet moments that long distance sisters can relate to:

1. Having a place to stay when you travel

When you live away from your sister, you know that any time you visit her specifically or happen to travel in her vicinity, you will definitely have a place to call home. Free lodging with family, especially a sister, means always having a home away from home. And if you forgot something or need a special pair of earrings to finish off an outfit, you can always raid your sister’s room, just like old times.

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2. Exchanging all the presents at once

Having missed several special occasions by the time you get together means you get to exchange all your gifts with each other at once. Birthdays, graduations, religious holidays – any occasion that requires a gift is saved up and a good way to save on postage is to put all those presents aside and take them with you next time you visit. Then, you can open a bottle of wine and a giant box of chocolates and sit on the lounge room floor to unwrap all your goodies.

3. Meeting and reconnecting with nieces/nephews

If residing apart has meant that you aren’t able to be there to hold each others’ hands while in labor, visits can mean meeting new nieces and nephews for the first time or seeing how much they’ve grown and changed the next time you reconnect. Photos and videos can keep you updated, but being an aunty in the flesh without having to babysit weekly makes the relationship with the little critters all the more worthwhile.

4. Exploring each others’ home improvements

Getting to stay at each others’ house infrequently means you don’t see the mess of renovation and home decoration. When the time comes to visit you have both got the spare bedroom immaculate, like a bed and breakfast. Showing each other your homes can be the fun part of not living near one another.

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5. Sharing a meal

As children, you probably sat at the dining table together a million times over a million meals. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and you never even said two words to each other except maybe to fight over the last piece of garlic bread, but now meals take on a different meaning. Breaking bread with your sister at your favorite cafe or restaurant, or better still cooking a meal for her gives you both immeasurable pleasure and comfort. Open a bottle of good wine and break out the ice cream and coffee and you’re likely to be sitting at the dining table for half the night.

6. Hugging

As kids it was probably the most uncool thing in the world to do to hug your sister. You don’t realize how little affectionate physical contact you have with your siblings whey you are children; the only time you touch is likely to be the rare occasions when you fall asleep on the lounge together or if you shove each other as you pass in the hallway. However, as adults there is nothing as comforting as that bear hug the minute you see each other at the air port or in the driveway. The older you get, the tighter and longer the hugs.

7. Making eye contact in real time

When you mostly communicate with your long distance sister via text message, email, or online chatting, you don’t make actual eye contact with her. Even if you’re looking at her through a computer screen, you’re probably just looking at the image of yourself talking or you’re doing other things while you talk. Eye contact is underrated. It’s these moments that are a stark reminder of the connection between you.

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8. Waking up and going to bed in the same house again

How many mornings and evenings together did you take for granted as children? Living apart puts an end to bleary-eyed breakfasts in your pajamas and late nights watching movies together. They say, about many things, you never know when the last time will be. Catching up brings those morning and evening opportunities back. It’s just nice to be under the same roof again, knowing they are on the other side of the wall provides a sense of coziness lost long ago.

9. Reminiscing about old times

At some point it is inevitable that you will remember the past together. When you don’t see each other regularly, you lack having someone in your life with that shared experience of growing up together. You have known this person the longest in your life. Longer than your parents, partner, children, and your best friends. Having somebody to evoke the past with, who understands and remembers your memories, good and bad, helps you to make sense of who you are and where you come from. Nothing is as precious as going through old photo albums with the one person who was standing beside you.

10. Making plans for the future

The distance between you is an opportunity to look forward to something. It’s knowing that at some point you will see each other again and that will get you through being apart. Absence and distance definitely make the heart grow fonder. Petty disagreements and personality clashes, sibling rivalry and old resentments disappear because you cherish your relationship all the more.

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In this day and age, people go their own way. The world is small. It isn’t unusual for families to live continents apart, but with the ease of travel and technology those relationships not only survive, but thrive. Having a long distance sister is a privilege and it’s the quality of time spent together that’s most important, not the quantity. Being far away from each other forces you to make those moments count.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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