When You Become Friends With Your Adult Siblings

by Kat George

When you're growing up, a lot of the time, your siblings are your siblings. Sure, there are parts of your early relationship that resemble friendship, but then there are also the weird sibling tantrums you have, the resentments, and the knowledge that this person, as part of your family, is someone that you both have to protect and impress from time to time. It's like friendship, but with all these other addendums. Sometimes siblings are super annoying. Sometimes you have to hang out with them when you don't want to. Sometimes you wish they were never born.

But you can never just stop seeing your siblings or cut them out of your life entirely (I mean, maybe you can, but chances are you'll still hear about them/see them at family gatherings). So when you've grown up with a fraught childhood sibling relationship, what happens when you become adults and start, you know, talking? What happens when you shed all the annoying shadow games and parent-based jealousies? What happens when you actually become friends, hanging out because you want to, and not just because you're forced to? What happens when you realize you actually like the little snot burgers you grew up with? Here's what happens when you become friends with your siblings.

1. You Find Out Stuff You Didn't Think You'd Be Able To Handle Knowing

There's a time when no one wants to know about their siblings sex lives, what drugs they've taken, or how potty their mouths really are. But once you start being actual friends with your siblings, you start sharing your real selves as you start getting to know one another.

2. You Drink Together

It's one thing to share war stories from the dance floor with your new sibling friends, it's another to make them. When your siblings are your friends you go out and paint the town red together, which is fun in its own unique way. And also sometimes terrifying, like when you turn around to see your much younger brother with his tongue down the throat of one of your friends.

3. You Finally Have Someone To Talk To About Your Parents Who Really Understands

You can talk to friends about your parents until the cows come home and maybe they get it about 80 percent, but talking to someone who gets it 100 percent is a complete revelation. Someone who has lived and witness the exact same crap as you, and can actually commiserate in a first hand way. Mum's mood swings suddenly seem like less of your own wild problem, and something to giggle about with siblings because you finally know you're in it together.

4. You Start Feeling So Much More Secure

All the insecurities you have in life start to fade when you know your siblings, tied to you in blood, are also tied to you because they want to be. That's the strongest bond of all — a family that actually wants to be together. Knowing that you have those people there to talk to and care for you when you need it most makes you feel more self-assured in your life, more able to take great leaps and do things like lose toxic friends.

5. You Start Getting Excited About Your Own Family

When you've nailed friendship with your siblings, starting your own families and having them grow up together starts seeming like a really exciting thing that you can't wait to happen. Little cousins who go on to be besties for life? Yes please.

6. You See Them As Humans

The most important thing is finally recognizing your family as human. They're full, autonomous individuals with hopes and dreams and fears and desires and needs. Whereas once they might have seemed put on earth you annoy you, you start to realize that they're just people too, and while you might have figured out their purpose (annoying you) when you were a child, they're still trying to figure it out, just like you're trying to figure it out for yourself.

Images: ABC; Giphy (6)