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Science Says: Having Sisters Will Make You A Better Person


Being a middle child in a sister’s trio, I can tell how difficult it is sometimes to get along with them. One minute you are best friends, and the next you are the worst enemies. I think that no one can get on your nerves as your siblings can. But we still love them, and we can’t live without them, right?

Well, this is not surprising given the research that shows the many benefits of having sisters. (I know. I know. It is hard to imagine that there are benefits when she’s “borrowed” your favorite dress for the hundredth time).

Alex Jensen who is an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University says that having sisters will help you develop many social skills, such as negotiation, compromise, and communication. Because with every argument, big or small, you and your sibling will develop in a healthy way.

Plus, having a sister will give you a mental health boost and increase your self-esteem as a 2010 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology showed.

Researchers from Brigham Young University discovered that sisters help and protect their siblings from feeling guilty, unloved, fearful, self-conscious, and lonely.

“What we know suggests that sisters play a role in promoting positive mental health,” Jensen says, “and later in life, they often do more to keep families in contact with one another after the parents pass.”

They also make you more compassionate. The same study found that your sister can make you a more giving and kinder person. This happens because sisters often promote positive social behaviors due to their compassion and they are also loving and affectionate.

“Even if there is a little bit of fighting, as long as they have affection, the positive will win out,” said lead study author and a professor in BYU’s School of Family Life, Laura Padilla-Walker. “If siblings get in a fight, they have to regulate emotions. That’s an important skill to learn for later in life.”

A sister will also help you strengthen and improve your interpersonal and communication skills. She will teach you how to be more empathetic which in turn will help you resolve conflicts in a better and more mature way.

Plus, men who grew up with sisters are better at communicating with women and can understand women better as opposed to those who were the only child or have only brothers.

So, now would be a great time to call your sister and tell her how much you love her and are thankful for growing up with her! You certainly are a better person because of her. <3

Mary Wright