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Family fun

26th Jan 2024

Having a sister makes you a better person, according to science

Kat O'Connor

They’re really not so bad after all!

Our sisters are our best friends, but they can drive us crazy at the best of times. They are always using Netflix when we fancy watching Bridgerton, they steal our deodorant and always help themselves to the clothes in our wardrobes.

Despite their tendency to drive us up the wall, having a sister is actually good for you.

A study has found that having a sister can actually have a positive impact on your life and you know what, we believe it!

The research, which was conducted by the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, revealed that having a sister makes you more caring, compassionate and has a positive impact on your social behaviours.

It also discovered that our sisters can help us mentally too. The researchers found that having a sister can help people’s mental health because they encourage them to talk about their feelings. Sisters can help us feel less alone, less self-conscious and more wanted.

As someone who grew closer to her sisters during the pandemic, I completely agree that they can improve your life. They’re the ones you lean on after a dreary Monday and are always there with a cup of tea or glass of rosé at the right moment.

My sisters were the people I turned to, who made me laugh, and who helped the lockdown seem less daunting.

They picked me up on the days when everything felt a bit too much and were always willing to watch Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging with me, over and over again.

Speaking about the study, assistant professor Alex Jensen said: “They help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise, and negotiation. Even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development.”

The study even discovered that men who grew up with sisters had better communication skills and were more understanding.

“Some research suggests that having a sibling who is a different gender from you can be a real benefit in adolescence. Many of those sibling pairs become closer during the teen years because they become good sources of information about the opposite sex,” Jensen told Motherly.

Sisters can also help their brothers become better at resolving arguments and controlling their emotions.

I guess we ought to be more grateful for our sisters, even when they steal our favourite Zara dress and ‘forget’ to give it back.