Research shows that having a sister can help make you a better person 5 months ago

Research shows that having a sister can help make you a better person

My sister is 18 months younger than me – and she is literally my best friend in the world. 

Because not only do we share genes and parents – we also share a history, values, memories, ups and downs and now, as we happened to have five children between us in the space of seven years, we also share the experience of motherhood – and it is amazing.

Sisters are your forever soul-mate, built-in best friend and most powerful support system.

As well as this, it actually turns out that having sisters makes you a better person.

Yep, it's true. Researchers from Brigham Young University found that having sisters boosts your mental health and self-esteem, and that people with sisters find themselves striving to protect them from “feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful.” And obviously, working so hard to protect someone from those kinds of feelings makes you a more nurturing, empathetic person.

This is what assistant professor Alex Jensen from Brigham Young University, who has written several studies on sibling relationships, had to say about the study:

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

And don't worry if you tend to get into arguments with your sister – these are also good for both of you.

“They help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise and negotiation, even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development.”

Oh – and brothers benefit from having sisters too.

In fact, research has found that brothers who grew up with sisters are better at communicating with women than those who were only children or only have brothers. (This applies the other way around, too.)

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

Now, how's that for girl power?!