30 Things Only Siblings Will Understand

They can go from being your best friend to your worst enemy and back again in a matter of moments. Brothers and sisters love you like no one else, and they also know exactly which buttons to push. Siblings teach invaluable lessons of camaraderie, survival, rivalry and humor as you journey through life’s ups and downs side by side. Read on for 30 things only siblings will understand and then give yours a call to share a laugh about childhood memories.

Patrick via Flickr

1. Knowing what it's like to be the oldest child, middle child or baby of the family.

Yes, birth order really does shape your personality to an extent. Just ask Jan Brady.

2. You suffered through eating what your mom or dad made for dinner, even if you hated it.

Back in those days you ate what was served and smiled the whole time, all the way to the clean plate club. But you haven't touched a pork chop since you left home.

3. You never missed a golden opportunity to learn from your older sibling's mistakes.

You eavesdropped on your bro or sis experiencing your parents' wrath so you knew exactly what NOT to do in the future.

4. Being known as the “little brother” or “little sister.”

Apparently, outside the home, your older sibling is a legend and you’re just the runner-up.

5. Where exactly the root of all your phobias stem from.

No one else can sympathize with your fear of spiders more than your siblings, who were there for every spider sighting and subsequent scream along the way.

6. You know what it’s like to have to live up to your sister/brother’s star status as a student when you got the same teacher.

Or … you had to prove that you were their total opposite.

Joshua Miller via Flickr

7. The insanity of sharing a bathroom to get ready for school in the mornings.

Who used all the hot water in the shower … again?

8. The magic that was trick or treating together and trading and sorting your candy loot.

You wordlessly exchanged all your Tootsie Rolls for all of your sister’s Twix.

9. Only your bro or sis can decode your drawings in Pictionary and win via telepathy.

You have the shared mindset that a drawing of two squares = a washer and dryer set.

10. Your parents always asked if you starved in your last life…

… because siblings have to fight for the lion’s share of the yummy foods in the house.

11. You made pinky promises swearing "don't tell mom or dad!" All. Day. Long.

Then you sealed said promises with healthy doses of blackmail.

Kate Loweth

12. Road trips were constant chaos in the land of the back seat.

But your siblings also doubled as human pillows and kept you entertained with a neverending rotation of fighting, laughing, game playing and napping.

13. The importance of being the first one to yell “front seat” or “shotgun” to sit in the car’s passenger seat.

This outcome changed the entire course of any car trip.

14. Siblings have inside jokes and references no one in the world would ever understand.

Don’t get us started.

15. Having a built-in playdate is worth its weight in gold.

Friends busy? You’ve got a friend in your bro or sis.

LorileeAllanna via pixabay

16. How to make up really quickly and play nice if you’re fighting and your mom or dad walks in the room.

You could go from punching each other to best friends in less than one second.

17. Or … how to pull off an Oscar-winning performance of impromptu tears to get your sibling in trouble.

We all know who the award goes to …

18. Being called by the wrong name by the people who gave you life.

On a daily basis, your mom or dad called you by the first syllable or two of your sibling’s names or by the wrong name entirely: “Kel-Mar-Karrie!”

19. Always having a fall guy and someone else to blame when your parents get mad … just say “that was Sara!”

“NOT ME! It wasn’t me! Sara did that.”

amyelizabethquinn via Pixabay

20. The power trip that goes hand in hand with being left “in charge” of your other siblings.

Getting to be in charge while babysitting either made you an insane ruler or you and your siblings bonded under the pressure of surviving without parental supervision.

21. You know the gift of unspoken communication.

A mere look or gesture from one of you to the either is rife with secret codes and special understanding.

22. You know your sibling’s fears, and you’re not afraid to use them against them.

Like waiting until right before bedtime to remind them of that scene from the scary movie you both watched.

23. Cringeworthy memories only you share.

Like that time you accidentally slammed dad’s hand shut in the sliding door of the minivan.

24. You’ll always have someone to commiserate with about how crazy your parents are.

You can imitate the look your mom makes when she’s mad and all your dad’s catchphrases.

Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash

25. Make-believe outdoor games only your siblings know the rules to.

No one else would ever be able to make sense of the silly antics you kids got up to in the yard.

26. Sharing clothes meant double the wardrobe or dreading the hand-me-downs.

You either couldn’t wait for your big sis to outgrow her designer duds or you hoped they wouldn’t fit you once she did.

27. You always had a bed to jump into if you were scared during an overnight thunderstorm.

But no one spoke of this the next morning. You weren't scared... you thought they might be.

Greyerbaby via Pixabay

28. What it’s like to wear matching outfits for holiday photos.

You had to smile countless times to capture the perfect snapshot, all while donning the exact same or coordinating clothing as every one of your siblings. It was a rite of passage.

29. You always had someone in your corner to stick up for you.

Even if you were at each other’s throats at home, once out in the world, you had each other’s backs through thick and thin.

30. What it’s like to be accepted, understood and loved unconditionally by someone who knows you better than anyone else in the world.


––Beth Shea


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