How to survive sibling rivalry

13 Nov 2023 — Sibling rivalry can be a real challenge, especially during the holidays when everyone is stressed and trying to enjoy themselves. Here are a few tips for surviving the mayhem:

1. Set expectations and boundaries. Before you even arrive at the gathering, talk to your siblings about what you expect from each other. This can help to prevent conflicts from arising in the first place. For example, you might agree to avoid talking about sensitive topics, or to take turns spending time with your parents.

2. Take breaks when you need them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break from the festivities and go for a walk, read a book, or do something else that helps you to relax. It’s important to prioritize your own mental health so that you can enjoy the time with your family.

3. Focus on positive interactions. When you’re interacting with your siblings, focus on the positive. Try to find common ground and make conversation about things you all enjoy. This can help to build rapport and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

4. Be patient and understanding. Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up. Try to be patient with your siblings and understand that they may be feeling the same way you are.

5. Seek professional help if needed. If sibling rivalry is causing significant stress or conflict in your life, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can help you to develop coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with difficult situations.

Here are some additional tips that may be helpful specifically for surviving large family gatherings at Christmas:

  • Bring a friend or partner along for support. Having someone you trust to talk to can make a big difference.
  • Set aside some time for yourself each day. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, take some time to relax and de-stress.
  • Be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to adjust your expectations.
  • Remember that the holidays are about spending time with loved ones. Try to focus on the positive and make the most of the time you have together.