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Childrearing

Having Sisters Makes You A Better Person

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I say this without the slightest exaggeration whatsoever: my life would be a complete and utter black void of despair if it weren’t for my sisters. They are, without a doubt, the two most important adults in my life. From the time we were children, throughout our lives, and up until now: they have made and continue to make me a better person. And I see that same influence in my own girls’ relationship with one another. (I also have a brother and I love him to pieces, but it’s not the same.) According to a new study out of Brigham Young University, having sisters isn’t just fun. It can actually make you a better person.

Researchers from BYU have concluded that having sisters can boost your mental health and self-esteem.

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Image: iStock/gpointstudio

The sister bond plays an important role in healthy development and positive mental health. Sisters can protect their siblings from “feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful.” They can also help you develop social skills, like communication and compromise. No one knows the art of compromise like the girl who wants to borrow her sister’s favorite sweater, ha!

The same study says that having a sister can also make you more compassionate and kind.

When sisters show affection, they’re promoting positive behaviors like altruism. The study found that those strengths aren’t even replicated in the parent-child bond. It’s not like life with a sister is always going to be roses and rainbows, though. Fighting between siblings is completely normal and helps develop conflict-resolution and empathy. In an interview with ABC News, lead study author Laura Padilla-Walker says, “Even if there is a little bit of fighting, as long as they have affection, the positive will win out. If siblings get in a fight, they have to regulate emotions. That’s an important skill to learn for later in life.”

Now, I have two sisters. So I didn’t need science to tell me all of this. But it’s nice to know that their influence on my life is validated. And it’s reassuring to hear, especially when my own little pair of sisters is currently in a screaming match over a Baby Alive.

They’ll appreciate each other when they’re older, I’m sure.

(Image: iStock / monkeybusinessimages)

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