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Having a Sibling of Opposite Sex Makes You More Successful in Relationships, Studies Find

Having a Sibling of Opposite Sex Makes You More Successful in Relationships, Studies Find

Your most vivid memories of you and your siblings may be fighting over who gets to sit in the front seat of the car or who gets the biggest glass of juice. What you may be surprised to discover is that this somewhat meaningless bickering could have prepared you for future romantic relationships. It turns out that the type of relationship you had with siblings of the opposite sex can have an impact or the quality and longevity of your adult romantic relationships.

Teenage romance; a result of close sibling interactions.

You may need to thank your sibling for the romantic relationship you had with your teenage sweetheart. According to a study conducted by Susan E. Doughty and colleagues at the Pennsylvania State University, mix-gender sibling intimacy is a positive predictor of romance in later relationships.

The study involved interviews with working and middle-class adolescents. In the first interview, the participants were asked about their sibling relationship intimacy, conflicts they may experience with their siblings, and issues to do with control. Two years later, the same subjects reported on the role that intimacy played in their romantic relationships.

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So if you remember having a great summer romance during your adolescent years don’t forget to thank your brother or sister.

Your birth order may be affecting your relationships.

If you have an older sibling of the opposite-sex, you may be more likely to have rewarding interacts with strangers of the opposite sex, according to a study published in the  “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study involved unstructured interactions of 40 mixed sex pairs. There participants were undergraduates who each had a sibling of the opposite sex. The study looked at the various possibilities of birth order; for example, a firstborn man was paired with a first born woman, and so on. Each pair was videotaped during their initial meeting, and they then completed a questionnaire about their interactions.

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The results showed that last born men talked nearly twice as long and asked more questions than firstborn men. The also evoked more gazes and verbal reinforcers, and received more self-reported liking from the female they were paired with. Last born women were more likely to initiate the interaction, and they also made their male partners smile more, than first born women.

Your birth order may be affecting your relationships with the opposite sex in more ways than you realize. If you are the youngest in the family, you may find it easier to woo the opposite sex.

Sibling favoritism and your relationship.

Siblings who reported equal treatment of themselves and their siblings had higher self-esteem and less romantic relationship distress, reported a study conducted by Amy J. Rauer and Brenda L. Volling in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. On the other hand, if siblings experienced different parental affection, all of the siblings, even if they were the favorite, reported more negative models of self and greater romantic relationship distress.

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The study involved a survey that was undertaken by 200 young adults.

The results indicated that early within-family dynamics, and the treatment of siblings by their parents can have an impact on the way later relationship function.

Having more siblings may mean less chance of divorce.

A new nationwide study reveals that the more siblings you have, the less likely you are to get a divorce. Each additional sibling a person has reduces the likelihood of divorce by two percent (up to seven siblings).

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“It wasn’t the difference between being an only child and having siblings that was significant. ― We expected that if you had any siblings at all, that would give you the experience with personal relationships that would help you in marriage,” said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State’s Marion campus. “But we found that the real story appears to be how family dynamics change incrementally with the addition of each sibling. Having more siblings means more experience dealing with others, and that seems to provide additional help in dealing with a marriage relationship as an adult.”

The study used data from the General Social Survey, which involved interviews with about 57,000 adults from across the United States at 28 points between 1972 and 2012.

The results showed that each additional sibling up to about seven provided additional protection from divorce.

Summation

If you find that you enjoy a fulfilling and romantic relationship with your partner in life, you may want to give your brother or sister a call and thank them.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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