No. 40

Lessons from Siblings

I bought flowers for myself this weekend at the market. My brother and his girlfriend came to town for a visit, giving me a chance to play hostess — and giving me an excuse to add some color to my dining room with fresh autumn flowers.

Growing up, I thought my brother and I were so different. He was outgoing, I was shy. He was athletic and played sports, I was artistic and enjoyed being on stage. In many ways, I thought we were night and day.

But as time passed, I’ve really begun to discover how we’re alike as well. We were too many years apart growing up to know each other as well as siblings who get to attend the same school do. We’ve both grown into really complex individuals and there are many ways in which we handle situations in similar manners.

I realized this weekend that my brother is a sort-of mirror for me. As I get to know him better, I get to know myself better — and my parents too. And how my demeanor changes around him tells me even more about myself: I see my deepest habits, I learn how I relate to other people… It’s kinda nice.

Do you have any siblings? Have you found that they teach you about yourself too?

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

9 thoughts on “Lessons from Siblings

  1. This is interesting because I feel the same way about my younger brother. We’re actually really close in age and in our relationship growing up, but I don’t think we really knew each other when we were younger. Now that we’ve been living together, we really do have a lot in common and we live well together. I kind of feel like it’s preparing both of us for when we’ll have to live with spouses.

    And getting to know your siblings definitely helps you discover things about yourself. I’ve started to notice how I do act differently around him than most other people. I think I feel the need to impress him or something because I feel like he’s so much smarter than me lol.

  2. I think that my siblings teach me a lot. i will say that i am a bit bossy towards them but i am the oldest. i have definitely learned that i have a tendency for being that way through my interactions with them.
    however, i love that we have a shared history and years of collective memory it’s precious. i find as i’ve gotten older it is much easier to relate to my siblings{3} and grow out of our childish rivalries.

  3. I like how family relationships grow over time. I think I’ve had that experience with my parents, but for some reason my relationship with my brothers has never changed at all. haha. Sometimes I think my younger brother and I have two halves of the same soul, I can not see him for a year and it’s like I was never gone a day. I feel really lucky, but wish we all lived closer. Do you get to see your family often?

  4. I have a great relationship with my sister… You can tell we’re related and the only difference is that one is tall and the other short.

    We are very different though… She can’t be alone and Im sort of OK with it. She can do numbers and I do. She’s not very technological and I am… I guess we’re a perfect complement!

  5. i have one sibling, a brother. we’re very close in age, and at the core we are very much alike. also, we just “get” each other in a way that only people with shared life experience can. (again…the closeness of our age comes into play there)
    as we’ve aged, it’s become pretty apparent that he is a little bit more calm and level headed than i am, and he’s a nicer person. in fact, when i have a moral dilemma, or when i feel my blood beginning to boil, i take a deep breath and ask myself, “what would rob do?” he’s a teacher and i’m an actor, so there ya go! so, yes, i am constantly learning from him…even when we aren’t together. :)

  6. My sister and I are alike and different in many of the same ways! I’m quiet, introverted, and mild; she’s loud, extroverted, and effusive. I love it. We balance and learn from each other. There were a million little arguments when we were kids, always with yelling and slamming our bedroom doors at the opposite ends of the upstairs hallway, but they always ended in the most adorable apologies (and apology notes) between the two of us…and then the cycle would start again.

    And now my baby sister is off in Wisconsin for college and I miss her like crazy.

  7. It’s one of my favourite things about siblings – how different yet how alike you are. My sister and I have very different personalities and those differences have only become more pronounced as we’ve gotten older. At the same time, we both think certain things through in the same way and it’s fun to catch those moments when they happen

  8. I have an older sister and we are very different people, we always have been adn I’m guessing we always will be. We fought a lot as kids but as we both get older, I find that we’re finding more and more things to relate to. The biggest thing she has taught me so far is that I am strong. See, I am kind of a puch over in the way that I will go otu of my way to make you happy, even if it makes me unhappy. My sister will stand her ground for what she believes in and is one of my biggest supporters. She always pushes me to be strong in everything that I do.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.