Do you have a sister? Then you’d know that she is sometimes a blessing and sometimes not so much (especially when she “borrows” your favourite dress). Science however, says that people who grow up with sisters turn out to be better people, so you may actually have a lot to thank your sister for.
Growing up, sibling-conflicts may be the most common and the most annoying thing to deal with at home. The fact that we know our siblings since birth gives us the liberty to get really mad at them, more than we would get with friends. But it also means more inside jokes, double the clothes, accessories and make-up, covering up for each other and understanding more things than anyone else would bout each other.
Let’s look at all the scientific benefits of having a sister and you might just want to let her have that jacket of yours she really likes, it looks better on her anyway!
1. Your sister has made you more compassionate!
How? Having a sister means that you have to share things. This makes you a more giving person. Sisters promote positive social behaviours like altruism in the way they show you affection. This is because your sister may not show it but you know she is always looking out for you. This inspires the younger sibling to naturally develop that behaviour towards other people.
2. Your sister can give you a mental health pick-me-up
Feeling crappy? Call your sister! A study showed that sisters can boost self-esteem and mental health. Sisters help protect siblings from feeling guilty, lonely, unloved and afraid. You can also count on your sister to give you real, honest feedback for anything under the sun. She won’t sugar-coat it because she will always want what’s best for you.
3. Have Decent Interpersonal Skills? Go Thank your Sister!
Younger siblings have been found to learn how to handle conflict from growing up with an older sister. They also learn how to diffuse difficult situations better. Older sisters too learn to become nurturing and empathetic as people.
“I was always asked to take care of my younger brother as early as 3 years old. Through the years looking out for him came naturally. I realise now how growing up with a brother gave me the training I need to be a better mum. I’m a lot more aware of what my son is going through. I absolutely love being an older sister!”-Radhika,37.
Brother’s who grew up with sisters are found to be better communicators, especially with women
4. You Learn to be Independent from your Sister
Since women are found to be better communicators, they tend to be more encouraging. This leads to the desire of wanting to do better despite failure. The outcome is a sibling that is ambitious and has the confidence to try things out independently.
“I was a shy person growing up with no excellent skills, just a ton of average ones. I would mimic at home and make my family laugh, I would dance gracefully. Outside of home though, I was known as a bad dancer! This one day, my sister’s friends came over and demanded to see me dance. I thought they were pulling my leg but it turns out that my sister had built up my dancing talent so much, that they actually wanted to see it! I decided to take up dancing at age 26 and I can actually give my sister credit for seeing what I couldn’t”-Namrata, 28.
5. Your Sister Teaches You to Cope Better
People with sisters are found to be happier, less stressed and people that are able to deal with stressful situations better. They are also more optimistic as individuals.
“My sister nearly ran away and got married in her early adolescence and everyone including my parents decided to hide it from me. However, I knew something was up and watched her cope with such grace that it helped me deal with HUGE issues till this date. I guess having a sister that dealt with heartbreak so gracefully gave me that confidence that there’s always a way out of problems and you just have to find it”.-Naomi, 34.
So, why exactly are sisters making you better people and not brothers? It just comes back down to how well women express emotions. Emotional expression is the key to a better psychological health.
And let’s be real, she may be the most annoying person, your parents may pamper her more and she may keep stealing your favourite clothes but she is also the one that will have your back when you can’t speak to anyone else, she will always be your constant cheerleader and also the one who can make you see yourself in a light that no one else can. Let’s not forget the silly inside jokes, imprompty singing and dancing and the make-up and hairstyle trials on each other!
She knows your family secrets, because, they are hers too! Your sister will always be your first friend and your best one!