Sibling stealing your thunder?
If you find being constantly compared with a brother or sister, conduct a self-evaluation and be sure of your own capabilitieseducation Updated: Mar 16, 2011 10:42 IST
They are people who are closest to us — our siblings. But sometimes, our relationship with them can sour because we might perceive them as being more talented than us, or better looking, or a parent’s favourite. To enjoy and make the most of this relationship, keep a few things in mind:
1 Each individual is unique: Many a times, we forget that each person has his/her unique characteristics that make him/her special. Acceptance will make you accepted, as this is what would enable you to only focus on others’ positives.
2 Do not compare: If others around you compare you with your sibling, you do not have to do the same. Be happy with who you are and stop worrying about what you cannot be.
3 Recognise your potential: More than others knowing and recognising what you are good at, it is more important that you judge your qualities, positives, skills and abilities that make you unique. Knowing yourself well is extremely important if you want to portray your positives to others.
4 Treat yourself to your successes: If no one recognises your successes, it does not matter. Your ability to identify your successes and celebrate them will make you feel good about yourself and help you feel more confident. Our ability to recognise our achievements is a significant contributor to our self-confidence and self-esteem.
5 Ensure a good relationship with your sibling: Ignore what others say. If people compare you and your sibling, that does not mean he/she is happy about it. Overlook the talk. Work on your relationship. Focus on what you share with each other.
6 Do not read meanings into what parents say: A number of times your parents may praise your brother/sister but it may not always be intended to belittle you.
View this as their way of identifying and praising your sibling for what he/she has done and not what you have not. Your parents’ behaviour needs to be seen in isolation for the act that it is and may need to be taken at face value without attaching a negative connotation or additional meaning to it. This would help you build a better relationship with them.
7 Be goal-oriented: Being goal-oriented is important if you want to rise and showcase your skills and abilities. Identify things you are good at and make goals for yourself. Your attention to your work will surely help others see your true potential as well.
8 Strive for success: Remain focussed on success. The closer you are to your objectives and strive towards achievement the more others would recognise your potential. Success is important for people to think that you are committed to yourself and that also makes them value you as an individual.
9 Have the right attitude: Remember to have the right attitude towards yourself and others. Being self-critical will get you nowhere. Listen to what people say, as you are likely to get advice that may be beneficial to you in the long run. Do not become closed to people and their opinions because you feel criticised or scrutinised.
10 Discuss it with your parents: Always remember one thing. At the end of the day, your parents would want the best for you. In the process, it is quite possible that they may instead become overly critical without realising it. Talk to them. If they are going wrong somewhere they would rather know about it than unknowingly compromise their equation with you.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare