How To Handle The Stress of Adult Sibling Rivalry

"Mom always did like you best!" Sound familiar? If you feel strained in your relationship with your family because your parents favor another sibling, or another sibling’s family, you may be surprised to find that you’re not alone. While most parents love their adult children, it’s surprisingly common for a parent to be closer to, or more supportive of, particular adult offspring over others, sparking sibling rivalry. It’s also common for people to feel that a sibling is or ‘has always been’ favored by a parent, even if this may not be recognized or acknowledged by the rest of the family. While it hurts to be the less favored ‘child’, it’s human nature for some people to be drawn together for various reasons, such as geographical proximity (your sister who lives closer to mom may understandably spend more time with her), shared personality features (your dad and brother think the same way, and thus understand each other more easily), or other factors within or beyond your control (perhaps you disagree with your parents more often than your siblings, and they resent it, consciously or unconsciously). Unfortunately, while this is human nature, it stings more when coming from a parent, as we think of our parents as people who are ‘supposed’ to love and support us unconditionally, and we may still see them as a little greater than human (a viewpoint left over from childhood). Read more


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