Sometimes, you lose touch with your siblings. That’s natural in all families — whether you grow up in a traditional, nuclear family or a family of adopted superhero children raised by an eccentric billionaire, an android mother and a talking, vaguely British monkey butler, like the six siblings of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.
No matter your family situation, reconnecting with siblings can be challenging. These tips can help.
- Leave everything in the past. Don’t bring up old conflicts, like when your sister took your favorite sweater without asking or when your brother insisted he could time travel and then ended up disappearing for 17 years.
- Don’t compare yourself. Don’t feel bad if your siblings have gotten further in life than you have — maybe your sister has an awesome career or your brother has an adorable family. We all make our own choices, even if yours were stupid.
- Don’t discuss favorites. Even if mom and dad have clear favorites, bringing it up only causes hurt feelings. Don’t vague-post about it on social media, and definitely don’t write about it in a tell-all autobiography.
- Don’t judge. Your siblings might be living completely different lives than yours, and they might make choices you don’t agree with. Accept these differences without judging. This means keeping quiet about the fact that your brother calls his ferrets his “kids.”
- Have healthy arguments. If a conflict does come up, make sure to understand the other person’s perspective before saying something that could be damaging. Most siblings usually mean well— except for your brother, he’s always been an asshole.
- Don’t let it get physical. Sometimes a conflict can escalate to the point of getting physical. Don’t let this happen, as it can destroy all the work you’ve done to reconnect. And definitely don’t stab your brother in the arm by using your superhuman knife skills.
The Umbrella Academy is now streaming, only on Netflix. If these siblings can make it work, anyone can.