Roots of rivalry
It is not difficult to trace the roots of the rivalry of sisters and brothers. “It begins in early childhood with rivalry for the love of mom and dad,” says Faber. On my last trip, I watched a mom in the plane with a 6-7 month old baby in her arms and a 3-year-old boy who clearly lacked maternal attention. Mom was completely absorbed by the youngest, she sang to him, making him smile. Looking at this scene of mutual love was a pleasure. But the facial expression of a 3-year-old boy! It read: “How can you do this? You are my mother! ”
Even if your parents were very attentive to your feelings and tried not to single out anyone, the children could still see their rivals in each other. For a child, a sister or brother is one who steals from them, steals songs, tales and smiles belonging to them.
Such feelings are not necessarily related to parents, Faber specifies. In fact, in my personal conviction, people marry for the reason that the words of the marriage vow "to leave all others" mean "you are mine (my)." I wanted this all my life, a man who belongs only to me! ”
But the friendly relations between brothers and sisters are hampered not only by rivalry and resentment, which we carry in ourselves from childhood. Despite the fact that brothers and sisters inherit about half of the same genes, we can be no more than two strangers who happened to be on the street by chance, Judy Dunn and Robert Plomin write in the book Destinies diverge: why brothers and sisters so different". Although there is a genetic connection between us, we can be completely different people who are completely different in experiencing what is common life, perceiving it in its own way. If you are asked to describe the same event from your childhood, you and your brothers and sisters are quite likely to reproduce the situation from the famous Japanese film Rashomon, in which crime witnesses give a completely different picture of how it was done.
Faber describes a case from her childhood when she, a 10-year-old girl, eagerly waited for her adored older brother to return from the city where he worked. When he appeared, he asked her after dinner to walk with him. “This was what I was so thirsty, he wanted to talk to me! remembers Faber. But when we moved fifty yards from the house, my brother put a dime in my hand and asked me to cover it. He was going to meet a girl. I was just killed. It was the first failure I received from a man. ” However, when, when she was already an adult, she reminded her brother about this incident, it turned out that he had only a very vague memory of him. “This is so typical of brothers and sisters,” she says. That which left such a sad trace in the memory of one of them, the other does not remember at all. ”