Is it really a thing, or is it just me?
“One study of sibling jealousy during middle childhood and adolescence, for example, found that approximately 98% of youth reported experiencing sibling jealousy at least once” (Thompson & Halberstadt, 2008).
My sister and I are 10 years apart.
It’s always been a competition for my parent's attention, at least in my mind. The problem being her dad is her biological dad. He’s not mine. He’s just my step-dad, but he’s been around since I was a toddler.
When I was little, my step-dad and I were tight. I would watch him work on his motorcycle and ask him questions about it. He even hired me to hold the flashlight as I got older. Admittedly, I wasn’t very good at it. I’m easily distracted.
When my sister was born, everything changed. I could see the love in his eyes for her. I was now going to be second best. She was perfect from the day she was born. The perfect baby, the perfect toddler, the perfect child, the perfect teenager, and now the perfect adult.
As a little girl, she the sweetest. She loved to sing and say silly things. She had (still has) a great personality. She rode on the back of his motorcycle from about 5. I wasn’t allowed until I was around 8.
I observed several things while growing up watching this unfold. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried to get his attention; it was always negative attention. I concluded I would never be good enough. I adored her, but I was still envious.
As a child, she got the best grades. Before she was born, I did. It was as if everything I did she could do better. She was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before she was 10. Everything I tried, I ended up quitting.
She had the determination and motivation I never had. It made me so distraught. I remember taking my anger out at age 12, writing how much I hated her in my journal. I didn’t really hate her. I was just jealous of her.
As a teenager, she was on the cheer squad—the perfect cheerleader with the perfect skin, the perfect makeup; the boys all wanted to have their chance with her.
When I was a teenager, I was too busy getting into fights at school and smoking in the bathroom. Isn’t it crazy how different two siblings can be? Complete opposites.
As an adult, people adore my sister and say how beautiful she is. I’m just the fat, funny one, I guess. She has it made. She’s in a beautiful family house; she has a full-time office job she’s been at for at least 2 years now.
She’s going to get married, have kids. It’s all going to be a storybook fairytale for her.
While I have been married since 21, at age 30 now, I’ve still chosen not to have kids. Thus keeping my parents from being grandparents. Does that make me once again second best?
When I started my 9–5, I talked with a coworker in our training class and found out she went to school with my sister. She said the same thing I just wrote.
“The perfect cheerleader. The boys all wanted her.” It’s as if someone finally validated my feelings. They understood what I was going through.
Then she pointed out how she would never have guessed we were sisters because we are so different. I contemplated that statement for the rest of the day. I knew we were different but were we really that different?
While we are opposites, we do have similarities. For starters, we have the same mom. Two, we both have great taste in music.
We both knew who we wanted to marry before we were out of high school and have been with that same partner ever since. We both are animal lovers.
Other than that, I guess we really are different. Is being different that bad, though?
As individuals, we all grow up differently. We all have personalities. We all mold our own values and morals as we get older.
So in retrospect, I guess it’s good that we’re different because it takes many different people to make the world go ‘round. However, at the end of the day, I do still envy her.
I envy the fact that she’s got more money than I do, so she’s able to remodel a home the way she wants it. I’m jealous of her job stability and pay rate.
Still to this day, I get upset that my parents seem to love her more than they love me. I know they did the best they could in raising us. Trust me; I sure didn’t make it easy on them growing up.
You can see by the statistic I put at the top of the article, sibling jealousy is actually a thing. So what’s the difference between jealousy and rivalry?
After further research, I’ve found different websites stating that sibling rivalry and jealousy are in the same category. There is no difference other than the feelings.
Sibling rivalry can include hatred, competitiveness, and jealousy.
I came to the realization about a week ago that while I may be jealous of my sister, we all make our own choices.
I made a lot of the wrong choices growing up and in my young adulthood. I quit many jobs that could’ve provided me the stability and financial funnel she has today.
I’ve job hopped my way into having an extra-long resume, so I’m not very well hireable. So it’s not her fault that I’m jealous of her. I shouldn’t be at all.
Most days, when I’m not in a mood, I love my sister to death. She’s my best friend, other than my mom.
I could hang out with her every day, but we’d probably fight at some point each day because that’s how we are. She’ll tell you like it is while I hold my tongue too much.
While we are opposites, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. So as hard as it is sometimes, you should cherish your siblings. Please don’t be jealous of them.
My question to my readers is simple. Are you jealous of your sibling(s)? Why?