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!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU - By Me­her Ba­jwa

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!

Malaika Arora Khan and Am­rita Arora Solange Knowles and Bey­oncé Sonam and Rhea Kapoor

Tan­isha Mukher­jeeTan­isha and Ka­jol

Shamita Shetty and Shilpa Raj


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