Why It's OK To Stop Speaking To A Sibling

Sayamol Boonto / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

My sister and I are pretty much as close as best friends, and while this arrangement has been amazing, I know it's not typically the norm. It's a bummer when I hear about siblings who have nothing in common, but totally understand that it's much better to stop speaking to a sibling than to let a toxic relationship fester for years. Not all sisters get along, whether it is based on personality differences, or possibly due to household issues from the past.

Having a brother or sister that you don't get along with isn't necessarily the end of the world. While you might have to reunite (and be civil) for big family events, you shouldn't feel obligated to keep up a fake relationship based solely on the fact that you're relatives. No matter what caused the break between the two of you, you probably would have easily mended things if it were easy enough to do so. (For example, your sister stealing your sweater is in a completely different category than your sister stealing your fiancé.) Even if your parents have tried to get you to forget the past and move forward, it's much easier said than done. I've seen sibling relationships crumble for a number of reasons, the top reason being that the two of you are so different, you can't even relate to each other on key issues.

You might feel guilty about letting the relationship fall apart, but if you at least treat it with respect, and don't try to tear apart the entire family based on your negative opinions of your sister or brother, you can definitely thrive based on this period of separation.

Here are a few situations in which cutting off communication with your sibling is the absolute right move.

1. You have nothing in common with each other.

Talking with your sibling is similar to talking to your mom's aunt that you see once every five years. Your brother or sister has opposing views with you on absolutely every topic, and you've ruined holidays based on starting up a political debate with them after a glass or two of wine. In a situation like this, it's better to keep your distance for the sake of everyone else.

2. Your sibling has no respect for your romantic life.

Whether it's hitting on your boyfriend, or treating him like absolute garbage during their initial meeting, your sibling just doesn't understand limits. And it's not like she's looking out for your well-being, or thinking that nobody is "good enough for her sister" — it just seems like your sibling doesn't want you to be happy, period.

3. Your sibling has a grudge that you just can't resolve.

Maybe something happened between you two during childhood, and your brother or sister can't let it go. Instead, they take their anger out on you. Even if you've tried to mend the relationship, it's obvious that they'll never stop painting you as a villain, even if you had no control over the situation.

4. There's been a sketchy issue with money.

Everyone hits a rough patch every once in awhile, and lending a sibling a few bucks isn't unheard of — it's actually a really sweet gesture. But if your sibling treats you like their personal bank, it's healthy to walk away from the situation. There's helpful, and there's financially dependent. Your sibling is the latter. And you probably shouldn't expect to see any of that cash ever again, even if they promise they'll eventually pay you back.

5. Your sibling has lost your trust.

If you trusted them with a secret, and they immediately squealed to mom and dad, you might lose your ability to open up to them. Unless this secret was something that could have impacted your life negatively, this is a somewhat sneaky thing to do. It's like they were just looking for an opportunity to throw you under the bus.

6. Your self-esteem plummets when your sibling is around.

If your brother or sister uses every family get-together as an opportunity to pick at your appearance, or your job, or your relationships, it's pretty obvious that he or she is using you as their personal punching bag. Maybe they're insecure about their own lives, and think that pointing out your flaws is the best way to keep the heat off of their own situation. It's not right, and you shouldn't stand for it.

7. You've never, ever been close.

It's nice to imagine a great relationship with your sibling, but if you two live completely different lives on different sides of the continent, starting one now might be a little difficult. If your sibling never really took the time to get to know you, or vice versa, chances are that you're both content with the way things are. Siblings can help enrich your life, but if you've just never had that type of relationship with yours, it's OK to back off and live life the way you always have.

8. Your sibling has been abusive to you in the past.

Whether verbally or physically, your sibling has gone too far before, causing you pain and possibly quite a bit of fear. Nobody should ever be in an abusive situation, and if your sibling has a prior history of being aggressive in any way, the right thing to do is cut contact. Don't put yourself in danger based solely on the fact that you're blood related.

Images: Sayamol Boonto / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images; Giphy (4)