Ask Sydney

Dear Sydney...

Lately, things have been extremely heated in my household. It seems like every little thing leads to an argument between my sister and I. For a while I thought that this was all her fault. But I must be contributing to this as well...what can I do to reduce the conflict?

Whenever people live together, there is bound to be some conflict, so it is more beneficial to not place blame on any particular person too much for it. This isn't all your sister's fault, but it isn't yours either! It takes two to argue. And many times, a big contributing factor to conflicts like these is simply a lack of communication. When living with another person, it is important to establish and respect boundaries. There will be certain things you may not know your sister dislikes that are conflict producing. And on the other hand, there will be things which you dislike your sister doing/saying. So, get together and make a list of "likes" and "dislikes". Number them off as you go. For example...

LIKES-

  1. I like it when you ask me how my school day was.
  2. I like it when you help me clean up the kitchen.

DISLIKES-

  1. I don't like it when you come into my room without knocking.
  2. I don't like it when you ignore me.

Make sure that there are not more "dislikes" listed than "likes". Also ensure that this is only constructive criticism. This isn't to hurt each other, but instead to communicate boundaries better so that future pain can be prevented for the both of you. At the end of making your list, exchange and discuss openly.

At the end of the day, remember that love will get you through any conflict!!

--Sydney Johnson

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