She may be your blood and perhaps even your only sister, but that doesn’t mean the two of you are ready to ride off into the sunset like you’re twin sisters in a gum commercial.
The fact is, sisters aren’t always best friends and even when you deeply love and care for your sister, there may still be some ugly, competitive, or resentful feelings between the two of you that are impossible to let go of.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to confront or face this bad blood because the tension your sister may emit when with you may be so incredibly passive-aggressive.
This means there will never, ever be a sit-down discussion about the two of you, nor will she ever whisper a word about the real ugly feelings that lie beneath your sisterhood.
Sound like you?
Here’s how to know for sure you and your sister are toxic siblings.
1. She doesn’t cheer you on.
If your sister never roots for you or calls to say “Congratulations” when you’ve accomplished a big goal, guess what? She’s most likely jealous of you and harbors ill feelings towards you. Sad? Yes. Your sister should be on the sidelines, but sometimes our sisters simply won’t be there to cheer us on.
2. She always has something to say about your life choices.
My sister comments on every single one of my life choices and it’s usually to tell me how it’s wrong. Or in an extremely passive-aggressive manner, she will tell some “story” of how someone she knows did exactly what I chose to do and how it blew up in this person’s face. But of course she’ll add, “I’m sure it will be different for you.”
Yeah, sure. Sisters that harbor bad blood will be inspecting your life as if you’re right under her personal microscope. From my social media statuses to my expenses, “Sister” has something to say and it’s usually negative.
3. She blames your success on pure luck.
When your sister is forced to acknowledge something you’ve done well, it will never be because you put in the hard work and elbow grease; no, it’s because of luck. Of course, your dear sister is never lucky.
4. She’s constantly complaining about her own misfortunes.
If your sister is constantly talking about her misfortunes and comparing them to your life repeatedly, she’s resentful of you and is putting her anger about her situation onto you. Oh boy, is this toxic! Been there, been through that.
5. You’re rarely seen together.
Does your sister ever show up at events, holidays, your birthday, or go out with you anywhere? If the answer is no, then why? Is she really that busy or does she simply not want to be around you? You know the answer and it hurts.
6. You’ve been fighting since you can remember.
Have the two of you fought since childhood? This is a battle that will never die. It doesn’t matter that the two of you are related: you simply don’t mix and no genes or DNA will let this battle die.
7. You scoff when people say you look alike.
When people say the two of you are similar in any manner, do you or your sister choke on your spit and gasp, “Absolutely not!”? There’s no doubt about the bad blood between the two of you.
8. She only speaks about herself.
When you two do spend time together, does your sister go on and on about herself, never pausing to ask how you are? She doesn’t care how you are, and if she does care she doesn’t want to hear it because your life may make her feel bad about hers.
9. You’re always competing with one another.
Is it a competition between the two of you? Is everything and anything a game to win? From how you raise your kids to how much you weigh, do one of you or both of you find yourself running to a metaphorical scoreboard? If you said yes, the two of you are sister with some serious bad mojo.
Sisterhood isn’t all daisies and tampon-commercial happiness. Sisters can be wonderful but they can also be the first person to figuratively push you down the cliff when you’re down or to throw stones at your trophies when you’re excelling in life.
Whether it’s due to her own feelings about her life or old childhood battles gone wrong, bad blood between a sister and you can be emotionally painful.
It’s easier to tell someone you’ve left a bad husband or broken it off with a toxic friend, but how many people can understand the need to cut off your own sister, your own blood? Not many.
Those ties are so deep, that even when you know the relationship is bad for you, it can be so hard to cut the connections for good. These bad sibling relationships affect everyone from your mother down to you.
If you’re experiencing this, I send you peace, love, and hope. It may never get better with your sister but I hope one day you can accept what is.
Alex Alexander is a blogger for YourTango who has written extensively on relationships, sex, and lifestyle topics.