New research from Professor of Communication at the Augsburg College in Minnesota, Dr. Jenna McNallie, has found the exact behaviours that work to maintain healthy relationships between siblings. Which can also be applied to other relationships in life.
Our siblings tend to be the people who uniquely understand our life experiences.
They will likely be with us as we age, face hardship, success as well as the death or illness of a family member.
Several studies have proven the benefits of maintaining a healthy relationship with siblings and the importance of this. In fact, sociology studies have shown that 2/3rds of adults consider their siblings to be one of their closest friends.
Often it is through having these relationships and learning to maintain them through thick and thin than helps us use these skills to apply to other aspects of our lives. Like keeping a happy relationship with our significant other.
Studying over 300 adult siblings across the United States, the study was able to narrow the essential behaviours for a positive relationship down to just 5.
As the quote goes “Your vibe attracts your tribe”, meaning the vibes we give off to others often attracts the people that want to spend time with us.
Put simply, positivity and happiness are often contagious. Being a cheerful and happy person around the people that we share the closest bonds with such as our siblings are only going to reflect on your relationship with them.
Being through the best and worst of times is usually easier when we share it with someone assuring us we are doing great or that things will be okay. In family relationships, this is often unspoken. Although, in Dr. McNallie’s study’, she found the happiest sibling relationships contained spoken or acknowledged and maintained behaviours of assurance.
This comes down to being able to spend more time with each other than over a forced family gathering. The research found that siblings that shared the same network of friends were able to maintain their healthy relationship through being able to spend more time together doing ordinary activities or hobbies.
Being open and sharing your troubles and experiences with someone like your sibling, who has a unique understanding of you is essential to keeping a strong and healthy relationship with them. As the saying goes, ‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved’.
More often than not we can overestimate our own contributions to life and relationships and underestimate others.
When it comes to our bonds with siblings the research found that an equal contribution to planning family get-togethers or events shared together can be essential to maintaining your relationship.
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