I taped a radio interview on Love Sport Radio today, talking about sibling rivalries. They’d asked me on to tie in with yesterday’s news about Joe Johnson resigning from government.
I never comment in the media about specific people as I don’t know enough about their lives and it wouldn’t be respectful.
But I took the opportunity to talk about how we all find ways of managing in relation to our brothers and sisters as we grow.
There’s lots of research on this, and it makes perfect sense .. if you’ve ever watched those Springwatch programmes where chicks push each other out of the nest you’ll know what I mean. Resources are scarce, and children find any way they can to get as much power, love and attention they can.
Home is where most of us start learning about how to relate to others, and as we move out into the world we take these unconscious beliefs and tactics and test them out on others.
Are you the clever one, the sporty one, the cheeky one? Maybe you see yourself as the deputy for your parents in relation to your siblings?
Relating to sibling can become really challenging when we get older and we need to come together to decide on care for an elderly parent, or when a parent passes away. Often repeating sibling roles without thinking can really mess things up.
But we can all take the opportunity to have a look at how we’re currently relating to our siblings, and what we’d like to do differently.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you’d be behaving like this if the people involved were colleagues rather than siblings.
Notice any strong emotions and get curious about where they’re coming from. What old stories are you telling yourself? Are they still relevant?