When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember These Five Things

February 18, 2018 Martha Lueck

My siblings stress me out, but I have learned five lessons about how to cope when my brothers and sisters get on my nerves. Learn the lessons I've learned here.

When my siblings stress me out, it can trigger my anxiety. And if you have siblings, you might have experienced anxiety from living with them too. Growing up with my five siblings was not easy. At times, dealing with my siblings was (and still is) a nightmare. But I have learned that growing up with siblings can shape who you are in a positive way and teach you a lot about relationships. In this article, I talk about things I remember when my siblings stress me out.

When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember the Following

Our Ages Make a Difference

Age affects life experience. Even if there is just a one- or two-year age gap between you and a sibling, that means one of you has had that much more exposure to stressful events and milestones. So when my younger siblings stress me out, I try to remember that they might still need more time to learn what I already know. Remembering this won’t only ease your own anxiety, but it might even help you become a good role model for younger siblings.

Even If You and a Sibling Have a Similar Personality, You Are Not the Same

Some siblings share similar personality traits. People might tell you that you are just like your brother or sister. For some, hearing this might trigger thoughts like, "We are nothing like each other. I will never be as (insert negative comparison here)." You might imagine your future being the same as his or hers. The sheer horror at the thought of it creates anxiety.

But let me put your mind at ease by saying that you are not (and will never be) the same as your sibling. You have your own mind that will help guide you to your own future. So if you live with troubled siblings, that does not mean that you are (or will become) troubled as well.

Childhood and Adulthood Present Their Own Challenges

Sibling issues in your adulthood are different than those from your childhood. Instead of getting ripped on about superficial things (like appearance or popularity), a sibling might compare your jobs and/or parenting styles. The good news is that as an adult, I can set boundaries with my siblings when they stress me out. Distance might actually strengthen your relationship.

Self-Care Is Essential to Maintain Healthy Sibling Relationships

Loving yourself restores inner peace, which can greatly benefit all types of relationships. If you are at peace with yourself, stressful situations become easier to manage--including those times your siblings stress you out. You are less likely to lash out at your sibling for one annoying act or habit. A few acts of self-care include hanging out with friends, joining a club, or engaging in creative hobbies.

Sibling Interactions Affect How You Form Relationships

Having siblings probably affected your ability to form relationships more than you realize. From a young age, you were forced to play and get along with your siblings. You learned how to share and say sorry. Even if you did not get along with your siblings growing up, you were still told over and over again how to behave. That lesson from a young age stays with you. You probably apply those rules to your relationships with other people.

How do you feel about your stress level with siblings? What are some coping strategies that have worked for you? In the comments, share your experiences growing up with siblings.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, February 18). When My Siblings Stress Me Out, I Remember These Five Things, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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April, 13 2024 at 2:05 pm

I feel extreme anxiety with my older brother and sister. They honestly drain not only me but the entire family and mostly my parents. They are both always either homeless, need help, money, just something. They jump one place to another moving in with friends, family, wont keep a job enough to have their own place, or lose their place excetera( I get it we all go through stuff and sometimes need a hand.. but they are never ending) . Its very overwhelming, because I have Depression and anxiety myself. I recently decided to start a new career and go to college to better myself and work on having stability on my mental physical and emotional life. I really am focusing on working on myself, then if its not one sibling it another one right after another with their problems. It feels so heavy because I want to help them so bad but need help myself. I don't know what to do anymore, I am to the point were I want to just lose contact to were they don't know where I am. I don't want to see them this way anymore. Ide love to have peace to know and see them with good life's. I'm sorry I sound like a horrible person. We are getting too old to live this way is it just me or does anyone have this going on? what's your advice or how do you cope or help or any advice is appreciated....... =( my sister came for help 12 months ago , she left moved in with my parents now they kicked her out and I just received a text my sister is coming again and she needs help again just like before . she left a year ago with issues and still has not got herself together I'm about to have a breakdown. The cycle begins once again. by the way brother is homeless again also and is another one on my mind I'm worried for. (this is every year cycle)

Ian Marin
January, 20 2023 at 10:35 am

My sister is very annoying, she keeps coming in my room when i'm playing with Brandon. She is annoying. She also never got me a gift for my 8th birthday and she was 12 AND SHE COULD"VE GOT ME A GIFT BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOo, SHE HAD TO GET nothing!!

September, 11 2022 at 10:48 am

I’m almost 60. I have 4 sisters. The youngest is 15 years younger. My 2 youngest sisters give me extreme anxiety. I feel like a parent who always wants to please them. I can’t stand it if they are upset with me. I’m in recovery for codependency and I struggle more with them than any partner. Thank you for your practical ideas.

September, 5 2022 at 3:01 pm

my sister and brothers are so rude to me i hate it when my sister does not help me clean it stresses me out like today my nana left for a few hours and i was wanting to surprise her but my sister didnt help me at all! and it aggravates me more than anything!

peyton joyer
April, 5 2021 at 9:02 am

umm ok no it dosent siblings are mean and dont understand you

February, 3 2019 at 10:08 am

I’m about to embark on an overseas trip with my three siblings. We took personality assessments over the holidays and discussed them at Christmas. We were all completely different. We have all had different life experiences now being in our 30’s and 40’s. I’m honestly nervous to spend concentrates time as a group. Yes- they give me anxiety and often I think we cause each other to feel shame.

Maria Houston
February, 21 2018 at 7:43 pm

My five siblings are all distant from me. I grew up with a mental illness and my family continues to ignore me! Very lonely and frustrating.

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