The roots of rivalry
It is easy to trace the roots of the rivalry of sisters and brothers. “It begins in early childhood with a rivalry for the love of mom and dad,” Faber says. On my last trip, I watched on a plane a mother 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 younger, she hummed to him, making him smile. It was a pleasure to watch this scene of mutual love. But the facial expression of a 3 year old boy! It was written on it: “How can you do this? You are my mother! ”
Even if your parents were very attentive to your feelings and tried not to set anyone apart, the children could still see rivals in each other. For a child, a sister or brother is the one who steals them, steals songs, tales and smiles belonging to them.
Such feelings are not necessarily related to parents, Faber clarifies. In fact, in my personal opinion, people marry for the reason that the words of a marriage vow “leave all others” mean “you are mine (mine)”. This is what I wanted all my life, a man who belongs only to me! ”
But friendships between brothers and sisters are not only hindered by the rivalry and resentment that we carry in ourselves since childhood. Despite the fact that brothers and sisters inherit about half of the same genes, we can be similar no more than two strangers who happened to be nearby on the street, write Judy Dunn and Robert Plomin in the book “Fates Separate: Why Brothers and Sisters so different". Although there is a genetic connection between us, we can be completely different people who experience completely different things that seem to be a common life, perceiving it in their own way. If you are asked to describe the same event from your childhood, you and your brothers and sisters are likely to reproduce the situation from the famous Japanese film "Rashemon", in which witnesses of the crime give a completely different picture of how it was committed.
Faber describes a case from her childhood when she, a 10-year-old girl, was impatiently waiting for her adorable older brother to return from the city where he worked. When he appeared, he asked her after dinner for a walk with him. “That was what I longed for, he wanted to talk to me! recalls Faber. But, when we were fifty yards from the house, my brother put ten cents in my hand and asked me to cover it. He was going to meet a girl. I was just killed. This was the first refusal I received from a man. " However, when, as an adult, she reminded her brother of this incident, it turned out that he only preserved a very vague memory of him. “This is so typical of brothers and sisters,” she says. The one that left such a sad trace in the memory of one of them, the other does not remember at all. "