In many ways, having a sister is a lot like having a best friend who you just so happen to live with… right?
Ok, maybe not. To be quite honest, it can often seem like anything but that if you and your siblings are the types to squabble over any little thing.
Just off the top of my head, I can think of roughly 2,364,721 instances of my sister stealing something of mine, wrongly blaming something on me or just generally being a freakin’ pain in the a*s!
But, despite all of that, we still love each other. Plus, now we’re adults, we’re kind of over the whole petty argument phase. Now, it’s just sweet friendship (mostly).
And d’you know what? It feels pretty good. So it’s no surprise to me that a recent study has claimed that people with sisters are generally happier and more optimistic than those without.
Researchers at De Montfort University and Ulster University in England are the latest to suggest this.
In a relatively small survey, they asked 571 people in the 17-25 demographic various questions on their mental health and general outlook on life. And do you know what? Yep, you guessed it, those with sisters came out on top as the most ’emotionally adjusted’ individuals.
The Telegraph reported that when speaking to Professor Tony Cassidy, he explained:
“Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families.”
“However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families. It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things. With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down.”
Clearly, there’s no use in bottling things up!
And, when it comes to sisters, apparently they encourage each other to be more open and communicative about their feelings, whatever they may be. And researchers believe that in doing so, better mental health is promoted.
This is not the only study to investigate this issue either… Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, carried out something similar involving 395 families with more than one child. And, the research put forward similar findings- having a sister makes you a kinder person.
In this particular study, the findings also found that having a brother provides benefits too… but only if the relationship itself is based around love rather than hatred (I could’ve told you that!).
So, there you have it! Maybe that’ll make you think twice before teasing or saying something mean to your sister. She’s the reason you’re such a happier, empathetic and kind person… apparently. If you’re not any of those things then just think how bad it could be if you didn’t have her!
Of course, these studies are relatively small and to be taken with a pinch of salt. Overall, the main thing to remember is: enjoy those relationships, because some people never know what it’s like to have siblings in the first place.
Plus, you can be absolute weirdos together and not have a care in the world!