Sibling relationships can be truly bizarre things.  People talk all the time about how a certain friend is like a brother or sister to them, meaning that their affection and closeness rivals the ties of blood.  In many cases, these same people have actual brothers or sisters that they aren’t particularly close to, or don’t care for, or actively dislike.  I know many people who talk shit about their siblings constantly, only to vociferously defend the siblings to others who do the same.  It’s weird.

What is it about our siblings that makes the relationship so peculiar?  Is it because they represent someone who shares most of our background as well as genes (nature and nuture, if you will), and so every single thing they do or believe that is different than us becomes magnified?  Or is it that in the competition for attention starting from childhood that we instinctively dislike things our siblings adore in order to better differentiate ourselves?  Is it as common as I think, that when siblings move away from home and each other, that they actually become closer in affection?  I know that is the case for me personally.

Every time I hear someone say something about a “band of brothers” or “their sisterhood”, I think about the fact that if they really were related, the one thing they would want to do is stay the hell away from each other.  I do know some close siblings, that actually share a circle of friends and seem to enjoy each other’s company, but they are pretty freaking rare, and even they have their issues when the inevitable family fight starts up.  Most of the rest want their siblings as far away as possible, so they can spend time with their self-chosen “brothers” and “sisters”.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on June 3, 2010, in Philosophizin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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