Siblings have always been our first partners in crime. Our first best friends. Our first bullies. They are the ones who teach you the value of sharing fairly, because you knew you’d get the smaller piece of everything otherwise, the ones who teach you the joy of privacy by repeatedly invading yours. From snitching on each other to covering for the other person in front of your parents, from beating each other up to defending the other person, a sibling is someone who always has your back. Childhood would not have been the same without our siblings.
In fact, there is evidence which suggests that maintaining a close connection with one’s sibling is correlated with positive mood and good health in general. But adulthood is an inherently bittersweet experience, and the freedom that it brings can also lead you to drift apart from your siblings. Different personalities, different tastes, different lives, and different places can make it seem like the only thing that you have in common is your DNA. Like every other relationship you might have, the bond that you share with your brother or sister also needs your time, patience and energy to grow into something beautiful and enduring.
8 Ways To Stay Connected With Your Sibling
1. Reach Out To Them
A call or even just a simple text or a relatable meme is enough to make someone smile and remind them that you are thinking about them. How many times has your phone lit up with a notification during a hectic day and it’s been a text from someone checking in on you? Even if it’s the cringiest Whatsapp joke, sharing it means that you want them to laugh at something that made you laugh as well.
2. Have a Meal Together
There’s nothing like food to bring people together. You can even take this up a notch and cook together. Depending on your culinary skills, the food may end up burnt or over-salted but your relationship will definitely be the sweetest thing on the menu. Whether you’re talking about your day, discussing politics or critiquing a movie, there’s no better way to spend some quality time together.
3. Have a Family Game Night
Dust off that old Ludo board, play some cards or even snakes and ladders. You could also look up some really difficult movie titles for a game of dumb charades and spend the night in. This is especially perfect during the weekend when you have all the time in the world to guess which movie your sibling is trying to act out. A word of advice would be to definitely stay away from Monopoly if you value your relationship with your sibling.
4. Surprise Them With a Visit
Bridge the distance between the two of you. Literally and figuratively. Book tickets to their city for a long weekend and just show up! Bonus points if you get them a little token of your affection to remind them of you, even after you go back. Have a dance party for two to all the hits of the 90s, or a marathon of Karan Johar movies or even just stare at the ceiling and talk about any and all the things that remind both of you of home.
5. Give Compliments
When was the last time that you complimented your sibling? Granted that most of the time both of you are too busy making fun of each other or doing something on your own, but take a moment to genuinely appreciate them. It could even be something as simple as telling them they look great, as they are leaving the house or letting them know how much you enjoyed having the food that they made. They may get plenty of appreciation from their own social circle, but it will mean so much more coming from you.
Note: ‘Nice t-shirt. Now give it back, it’s mine’ does not count as a compliment.
6. Show Gratitude
In our everyday lives as well, we often take the people who care for us the most for granted. We forget that they have to expend time and energy on doing things for us, no matter how trivial they may seem. Take time out of your day to say thank you to the sibling who stayed up late waiting for you to reach home, or who fought with your parents so that you could pursue your non-traditional career.
7. Spend Some Quality Time Together
It’s essential to spend some time together without your parents out. If not at home, maybe have a long overdue heart to heart over a cup of coffee? Doing something that neither of you has ever done before is sure to be fun. You may not agree with all of the other person’s decisions and life choices, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fall out of touch with them. Bury your old fights and disagreements, start afresh. Make plans for just the two of you and take a moment to reconnect and understand each other’s perspectives.
8. Revisit Old Memories
Dig out those old sepia-tinted photographs on a lazy afternoon and spend the rest of the day reminiscing about the good old days. Photographs have the magical ability to transport you to simpler, happier times. Travel to a time where you had to wait for photographs to be developed before you could see them, a time when our friends and families captured the precious moments of entire generations in rolls of 35 mm film. Looking at those old photographs is sure to take you on a walk down memory lane, and what could possibly be better than traversing it together?
What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and reach out to your sibling. No time like the present!