Sisters: the Trickiest Relationship

Love her, hate her, or compete with her, your sister forms a huge part of your life and will influence all your future relationships!

Did you grow up attached at the hip like Sonam and Rhea, or were you more like popstar Lily Allen and her elder sis, Sarah Owen (the two fought bitterly through their teenage years and Allen even wrote a song about it called, Back To The Start). “Sisters are probably the most competitive relationship within a family, but once they grow, it can become the strongest relationship,” says cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. And experts everywhere agree that your bond with your sis defines how you will relate to, and deal with, other women in your life. Despite having grown up with various experiences in common, sisters often have the most volatile relationships. You could share a close bond with her, be locked in a feud, or, like in most cases, have felt both ways. Just look at Kim and Khloe Kardashian—they spend as much time in cat fights as they do spreading the love for each other. So whether you’re a protective, older sister (cue Malaika and Shilpa), or a rebellious, younger one (like Solange and Tanisha), this is one bond that’s critical...

Sibling Rivalry

Teresa Cunningham, author of The Sister Knot, believes the way parents treat their daughters influences the sibling relationship. “If the parents treat their daughters unequally, there will always be a built-in power struggle for attention and resources among the girls,” explains Deborah Tannen, author of You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives. We’ve all had moments where we’ve secretly cursed our sibling, because people compare us to them all the time. Who’s prettier? Who’s smarter? Who’s nicer? Sibling rivalry can go from being healthy competition to causing permanent rifts being sisters. Trisha*, a 25-year-old banker, always felt overshadowed by her elder sister, Meghna*, a graphic artist who is showcasing her work across Europe this summer. “She was always getting these cool job offers. I’m the organised, responsible one, and she’s the wild one with endless creativity. At some point, I started to resent her good fortune. Instead of feeling happy for her, I just wished she’d stop telling me about the fab stuff happening in her life,” confesses Trisha.

Make It Work

Had a rocky relationship with your sis? Try these tips to form a stronger, healthier bond with her. First, be more open-minded. It takes two to quarrel, so you need to put your differences aside. Secondly, stop comparing. Focus on being confident in your own skin, and loving yourself for who you are. This will go a long way in cementing positive feelings towards your sister, and overriding those (often nagging) thoughts of jealousy and resentment. Thirdly, respect her for who she is, because while you two may have different ways of doing things, it doesn’t make either of you right or wrong. The goal here is for the two of you to develop a friendship. Invite her out to lunch, or re-connect over a book or movie you both love. Baby steps is all it takes!


Inside Celeb Sisterhoods

See-Saw Sisters: When Jessica Simpson started out as a big popstar, Ashlee wanted to be just like her. And then suddenly, Ashlee took the lead with a hit album, marriage and a baby after Jess got divorced (ouch!).

The Inseparable Sisters: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are so in sync, the world initially thought they were the same person! These two firmly believe nothing is worth doing if they aren’t doing it together. 

Battle Star Sisters: From hurling curses at each other, to not speaking for weeks, Khloe and Kim Kardashian take the cake when it comes to sibling fights. Fortunately, their rows never last more than a few days (or weeks).