The Surprising Benefits of Adult Sibling Connection

Discover how strengthening sibling relationships can enhance your life.




Your relationships with your siblings are unique and precious. Your brothers and sisters are your tribe. As you grow into adulthood, these bonds can deepen and mature and greatly enrich your life. Beyond shared childhood memories, adult sibling connections have wonderful positive benefits, including emotional support and lifelong friendship.

Shared genetics and family history
NPR reports on the biological explanation for the intensity of the sibling bond. Siblings share half their genes, which, according to evolutionary biologists, lays a strong foundation for lifelong bonding. Siblings share a unique history that spans from childhood to adulthood. Adult siblings can reminisce about their upbringing, recall shared adventures, and keep family traditions alive. When you are with your siblings, you can honor your family history, and keep the stories and memories alive to pass on to future generations.

Emotional Support and Understanding

According to The American Psychological Association, one of the greatest benefits of adult sibling connections is the unwavering emotional support your brothers and sisters provide. Siblings who have grown up together can understand each other in a way no one else can. They have known you all your life and you can feel safe enough with them to share your true self. This deep-rooted bond is often a place of empathy, unconditional love, and emotional support. 

Lifelong Friendship and Companionship

As you navigate the journey of adulthood, having a sibling as a lifelong friend can be incredibly rewarding, CNN reports. Adult siblings who maintain a strong connection often enjoy a built-in support system and a constant companion throughout life's ups and downs. They can celebrate achievements together, lend a listening ear during challenging times, and serve as a source of stability and continuity amidst life's transitions. Siblings who share common interests and values can form deep friendships, creating bonds that go beyond the traditional sibling relationship.

Personal Growth and Learning
Sibling connections offer opportunities for personal growth and learning through shared experiences and perspectives. As adults, siblings can challenge each other's assumptions, encourage personal development, and inspire new ways of thinking. They can provide constructive feedback and honest reflections, helping each other grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. By embracing differing viewpoints and engaging in healthy debates, siblings can broaden their horizons and expand their understanding of the world, fostering personal growth and development in both practical and profound ways.

“Siblings often have a better sense of what you’re experiencing with peers or with parts of your world that parents don’t have access to or don’t see in the same way. That shared perspective is one of the facets that makes sibling relationships so valuable for child development. No one else will know what it was like growing up with your parents in your household, and that sense of being understood by another person can be incredibly powerful," Laurie Kramer, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Northeastern University, explained to The American Psychological Association.

How to nurture sibling relationships
According to CNN, there are a few simple things that you can work on to help grow and deepen your connections with your siblings. They suggest broadening your relationships and creating new memories that go beyond just meeting up at family gatherings, where you can easily fall into your familiar family roles. It is also important to let go of old issues and accept your siblings as the adults they are today. Finally, make sure not to compare yourself to your siblings and to accept and respect differences in your life choices and personalities.

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, a clinical psychologist “Our image of our siblings can be out of date. Just as we want our siblings to recognize we’ve changed [since childhood], we also have to watch our own assumptions about what they’re like. Sibling relationships are often the longest relationships of our lives and are at least as important as the parent-child relationship. We can’t redo the past, but we can choose to move forward with our siblings in different ways,” clinical psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, told The American Psychological Association.

The benefits of adult sibling connections are immeasurable. From providing emotional support and companionship to fostering personal growth and preserving family history, siblings can play a vital role in your life. If you make the effort to stay connected to your siblings, you can cultivate lifelong bonds that enrich your well-being, enhance personal growth, and bring lasting joy and connection.

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