|The dynamics and relationships between siblings are the central developing factor of personality / Photo by Lenka Fortelna via Pixabay|
Having siblings can both be a fun experience as well as a challenging one. The majority of people living in the world have siblings, and there happens to be a great correlation between your relationship with them and how your personality develops.
Though none of us can choose our families or what kind of siblings we can have, a majority of siblings become the very first friends you gain, and can continue to have a strong relationship with you until adulthood and beyond. This would be a natural consequence of living under the same roof and sharing several moments of the day together, such as during meals and quality time activities.
From a 2010 survey, it was found that 83% of youth below the age of 18 have at least one sibling living with them. This value was higher than those youths who had a father figure in the home, which was only 78%, which shows just how crucial the sibling influence is.
An Important Factor
Siblings often serve as social partners, accompanying us to different events, such as sports matches and parties. They can also become the foils to our character as we grow up. It is inevitable that people would compare and contrast themselves to someone whom they know much about. They find that they may be more or less attractive, or be more talented at certain activities than their siblings. This can serve as motivation to become better if they allow for healthy competition among themselves. They also become role models, especially for their younger siblings.
According to an article from the NCBI, the dynamics and relationships between siblings are the central developing factor of personality, especially in the family setting. Power dynamics within families would lead to sibling rivalry over family resources. In order to reduce competition and have order, they would choose different niches and gain different qualities that complemented the others.
Siblings also become a great source for learning when it comes to social and emotional situations. Due to the fact that many sibling interactions can be emotionally charged, especially in fights, the children learn how to deal with such situations and how to resolve them.
A study found that those who grew up with siblings tended to be more caring, generous, and empathetic to others when compared to children who were lone offspring. This may be due to having another person with whom they had to compromise and share much of their time and even belongings, according to Medical Daily.
|A study found that those who grew up with siblings tended to be more caring, generous, and empathetic to others / Photo by Graham Oliver via 123RF|
It also seems that the gender of your sibling can have an impact on your chances of finding a romantic partner. Research suggests that those with a sibling of the opposite sex were more likely to find potential romantic partners in college as they had an easier time conversing and relating to people they were interested in.
While there seems to be a large number of advantages to having a sibling, the relationship between them may also make a large impact on making or breaking someone’s personality. For instance, it was found that some who grew up having a half-sibling were more likely to engage in sexual activity and drug abuse before they turned 15. They were about 65% more likely than persons with full siblings to engage in cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, and other drugs.
Though this is how the findings were interpreted, it is more likely that the divorce of the parents was the causative factor for their behavior and not the half-siblings themselves.
Birth Order and Personality
One of the most significant factors affecting the personality dynamics of siblings would be their birth order. There is a reason that many older children tend to be more responsible while younger children are more easy-going and attention-seeking. The family hierarchy is one that cannot be controlled but can make a huge impact on personality development.
First-time parents tend to be more attentive and strict on their first child, which can cause them to become more ambitious and reliable as a result. A study found that this was especially true of first-born girls. The younger siblings, who are not treated as severely as their older counterparts, tend to have outgoing and charming personalities, and they become more fun-loving. This may have been a result of being “babied” and pampered by both their parents and older siblings. Middle children are often the people pleasers of the team and have a laidback attitude that is suited for deflating arguments. This is likely due to the experience of having to negotiate between their older and younger siblings.
In general, those who grew up with siblings tend to be more mature and responsible.
While it may at times be difficult to deal with siblings, they can often be the people we can share some of our best experiences with and the ones who understand us more than anyone else.