The sibling relationship is the most interesting one in existence because while you’re related by blood, you can also be the best of friends.
But the brother-sister dynamic is very unique because it involves two biologically-related people who grow up together but still have to face and learn to bond with gender differences.
I’m blessed to be an older sister to an incredible brother and our relationship has changed over the years and we’re finally at the point where we’re not at each other’s throats over small stuff.
There have been and still have times and areas where we can’t fully connect because I’m a woman and he’s a man.
Thankfully, despite the lack of full transparency in those subjects, we’re still close and we have found ways to keep our relationship and friendship alive.
If you have a sibling who is either a brother or a sister, read on to find out some ways that can keep that life-long bond strong and steady.
#1. Talk about generic topics but go deeper.
As we got older, my brother and I began sharing with each other on our goals, our job situations, concerns and potential plans for down the line.
It may not seem like a deep topic to talk about, but we were able to be honest with each other, whether it was on happiness and success or disappointment and failure.
Talk to your sibling on subjects that everyone talks about, but ask more specific questions to find out how they feel, what they think and any concerns they may have on a particular situation.
Examples of generic topics include career, life choices, relationships, sports, politics and even religion, if you’re spiritually devout.
#2. Play and do fun activities together.
Have fun with your sibling! It doesn’t even have to be something that requires you to use your brain. Though if you want to, that’s a great option too.
Recently, the one activity my brother and I have been doing together, whether it be with him and our friends or family, is bowling. It’s a sport that doesn’t require any specific skills and it’s fun.
Doing activities together, whether it be watching a movie, going out to eat or if both of you are in a relationship, even double-dating is a great way to bond.
If you and your sibling are going to bond, might as well have fun with it, right? Right.
#3. Talk about a topic that either of you are passionate about.
My brother is a huge LeBron James (LBJ) fan and he has so much passion and is so engaged whenever his name is brought up in conversation.
I love talking to him about sports and LBJ because he’s extremely engaged in the conversation and I’m a huge fan of listening to his opinions.
Find out what your sibling is passionate about and try to bring it up in your future conversations and see how it goes.
It doesn’t have to be brought up in every single conversation but if all goes well, it’ll really bring the two of you closer together.
#4. Ask them for advice on a subject you’re comfortable with.
There are times when I need some perspective or advice from my brother about guy stuff, because I’m not a guy and women think differently than they do.
I’ve asked my brother for suggestions on what guys would like for gifts, when I got stuck on deciding what to get my boyfriend for his, amongst other subjects.
It doesn’t have to be a serious topic. It can be about something as simple as what to get your mom or dad for their birthday, or something more complex like school or work problems.
#5. Treat them to dinner or to a necessity from time to time.
My brother and I love Chipotle, so every once in a while or whenever we have time, we make a pit stop there and pick up dinner before we go home, and I treat him.
Another thing that I help him out with is gas money. He drives me around a lot, especially when it’s time to go home, so I always offer to pay for gas. It’s my way of saying thanks to him.
The next time you go out to dinner or learn that they need something for work, for school or just anything, offer to treat or to get what they need for them.
Everyone loves to be appreciated and be treated every now and then, and your sibling will definitely feel that way if you practice this simple gesture.
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