When You Have a Sibling Who is Different From You

Author: Kerrin Frappier, Real Life Stories

I’ve never met sisters who are so different,” my mother says at least twice a week.

She says it incredulously, but she’s been coming to terms with this since my sister and I were just babies, as the differences between my twin and I were clear right from the get-go. She was a great eater and learned to talk very early, while I couldn’t have been less interested in food, or speaking in actual English.

Siblings, even twins, can have contrasting personalities — one can be confident and engaging, while another may tend to be reserved and a little bit guarded until he or she gets to know someone. One sister can be stubborn and loves to have the last word during any disagreement, while the other sister may abhor conflict and like to make jokes to lighten up uncomfortable situations. One brother could get nervous making doctor’s appointments, and another brother can talk to any stranger without hesitation. Siblings could have clashing interests in movies, television programs, and music.

But, why shouldn’t this be the case? Where is it written that people from the same gene pool must be clones of one another? Sure, siblings may have virtually the same experiences growing up, but that doesn’t mean they internalize things in the same exact way. And they don’t have to.

It would be boring to have to do everything in the same manner and never have an independent thought between two people, siblings or not. Siblings’ distinct identities can compliment one another. No one knows how to push buttons like a sibling, but perhaps, few people know better when we’re in need of advice, or a swift kick to get us into gear again.

Siblings can also use their different strengths to be influences on each other. Very often, they can talk about just anything, but also have outlets that allow for some space from one another. You don’t have to enjoy the same things or agree on everything to love and look up to one another!

Let’s hear it for the siblings who are nothing alike. The ones who struggle sometimes to understand one another, but always come back to love and support each other. The ones who disagree on everything except the fact that no one will ever love you (or get on your nerves) quite like a sibling. Here’s to the ones who put up with listening to that awful country music station on a trip in the car or are forced to watch your favorite “dumb” movie over and over and over.

To my sister, I appreciate your quick wit and your steadfastness. I love that you are my sister to bother and annoy, and I know we have learned a lot from each other. Here’s to many more fights over the TV remote and where we should go to dinner. But most importantly, here’s to many more days being each other’s best friends and confidants… even if we don’t always show it.

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