Sisterhood - the Relationship Between Sisters

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The topic about the relationship between sisters is often talked about in connection with friendship and rivalry.  If we were to look over the hundreds or thousands of book synopsis and articles published about it, there seems to be a common occurrence of the positive and negative aspects among women who have sisters.  True sisterhood appears to be more than blood connection as girls who became women discovered.

The Home Scenario

There may be varying situations in every home that houses biological sisters.  Variations may occur because of age difference, the number of other siblings, and even economic conditions of the family.  The home scenario typically establishes the rights and authority that each member of the family has over the others.  Although parental authority is generally automatic, sibling authority is usually subject to birth order and other situations that would require such delegation of authority.

Siblings are encouraged to share.  Common things that sisters share include the bedroom, clothes, and school things, among others.  This situation "forces" sisters to live their lives in connection with the others because of the constant physical proximity and the responsibilities they have with each other for being sisters.


Sibling rivalry is a natural occurrence in most families.  It can happen even without purposeful intent to engage in it.  This probably arises from the fact that children have to "compete" for the attention of the same set of parents.  Among siblings rivalries, rivalries between sisters can be one of the most bitter and most exhausting.  

In childhood, it can simply be a contest of who gains the most approval from parents.  In adulthood however, the contest can cover more serious things that can affect the relationship between sisters.  One issue that is directly related to this is favoritism by parents.  When one child perceives that one sister is more favored than her, there arises a desire to prove that she has what it takes to be the favored one.

The problem with this situation is that a silent competition may be waged on an unknowing sister who just happens to be the "favorite" of the parent and who has not knowingly asked for such favor to the detriment of her other sisters.  Many women carry this grudge against their sister throughout their lives thereby affecting what could have been a beautiful relationship between sisters.  Openly competitive sisters likewise present another problem in maintaining the essence of sisterhood.


When women refer to their best friends as "like a sister", it can be somewhat inaccurate in the sense they can never really approximate the role of a sister who is likewise a friend.  Sisters have the unique advantage of shared history which most current friends will not be able to identify with.  Referring to a friend as like a sister is more of an acknowledgement of how good and close the friendship is.

Sisters who are likewise friends to each other enjoy an incredible source of support that cannot be matched by other friendships.  It is a friendship that knows and accepts individual weaknesses and strengths and rarely has room for pretensions.   A sister-friend is a comfort in times of troubles particularly in issues that counseling from women is needed.

My Say

Having sisters or siblings for that matter provides us ready sources within which to cultivate meaningful relationships.   The reality however is that most of us find ourselves going into the other direction as we build walls instead of bridges .  Sometimes we are caught up in situations we cannot control which leads us to this.

That said, it is never too late to rebuild sibling relationships.  Strained relationships between sisters, brothers, and siblings can be mended.  It just needs one to start for real sisterhood or brotherhood to prevail.

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