Friday, 8 April 2016

How to handle a strained relationship with siblings

Hi everyone

Writing about something quite personal today but not talking about it isn’t helping so hopefully after this post I can finally let it go and I encourage you to do the same if you can relate to it. These days I try not to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians anymore because time is of the essence and I have to spend it building my future. And I promised myself that I wouldn’t watch repeats/marathons anymore. I will never get that time back!

So in developing my time management a bit I found that I’m always stressed about my siblings. This is the part that I hate about being first born. Your life never belongs to you. It’s nice if you and your siblings get along. I’ve always wanted that. But it’s not what I’ve been given so I need to adapt to it.

Several things can cause siblings to not get along. Most common things are comparisons (especially amongst twins or if there’s a black sheep and a ‘Your Majesty’ or if the last born gets all the attention or if there’s an academic and a creative). Some people struggle with more serious things like issues in mixed families (in terms of parents who re-marry) and people who grew up with struggles with deceases or disabilities or even drug use.

I was hoping to only cater for my situation in this post but as I’m opening up about I’m realizing that people struggle each day with any of the above mentioned things and I just fit into one (misplaced dependence). But I’m hoping that what I’ll be implementing to make effective changes in my life will also help you.

1.       Everyone is a breaking point
I think we all want to help because no-one wants to see their family struggle or not have anything. But sooner or later you’ll realize that you are reaching or you’ve reached a point where you have nothing else to give and because you’ve always given, that family member feels a sense of entitlement to your possessions or earnings. It’s a hard thing to stop but if you go into debt trying to take care of a person who is capable (therefore not disabled to the point where they can’t take care of themselves) then you have to realize that a line should’ve been drawn when there was still time.

2.       You are not their parent
It’s not enough to just think it. You have to say it to them. So that they realize that you did not give birth to them and therefore you do not need to maintain them. It sounds harsh right? But at this moment my father (who is my brother’s parent) said to him that he will never give him another red cent until he starts to take money seriously. But now I have to replace that source of income? NO!! When they call you needing something, say to him/her: “Ask your mom/dad.” It’s simple. If they care about you at all they will realize at this point that you can no longer take care of them.

3.       Be able to predict
I know this sounds awful but before he pens anything on any piece of paper he will start with the date when I get paid so that before the sun even comes up there’s an emergency sounding text on phone. Like clockwork, before you can even take out your tithe you’ll hear the knock on the door. Usually this is after they spent ALL of their income on things that only have their name written on it (or their luxuries). And you're stuck covering their necessities!! But that’s not enough. They have to get a piece of yours. Without even noticing they become a fixed cost – like rent and electricity.

4.       Get a friend
If you are unable to say NO (me) then put controls in place so that when you’re overthrown you can have a voice of reason. (I’m giving this a test run…we’ll see if it works).

5.       Control Communication
This is also another big issue because I’m big on communication. So not talking to my brother has caused me a great deal of stress but I hate myself if I enable him because then I’m not teaching him to value me and to value my hard work. You know, when we were young and my mom would give us each halves of a Bar-One, he would devour his piece only to have more of mine. It seemed insignificant then but now it’s exactly the same. So it’s important to bend the tree while you’re still able to do so.

I just find myself exhaling properly for the first time this week which indicates to me that not only did writing this make me feel better but it also helped to feel unburdened which is also the point of my blog.  Also see Heart vs Mind. to help you follow through on decisions you make!

Let me know below if you no longer feel helpless!


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