Sibling Rivalry: 10 Common Reasons Why Siblings Fight

Just as a pizza is incomplete without cheese, a pair of socks is useless without shoes and a sandwich is tasteless without butter, a sibling relationship is imperfect without petty arguments and fights over nothing. But unlike other fights, these often turn out to be for the good because that’s how we chart the growth of our relationship with them. It’s a gradual process that begins with the phase of jealousy or insecurity leading to sibling rivalry but just like every other stage, this is also temporary. With age, our maturity and level of understanding develop, and we realize the value of our siblings and their love for us.

All the arguments and fights pave the way towards a precious and valuable bond. We share a very unique relationship with our siblings, the kind where we have the ability to hate them and love them at the same time. We call them names and don’t pass by a single opportunity to tease them but we can’t stand if someone else does the same. We assume that we have all the right to control them to make them belong to us but when it comes to taking responsibility for some bizarre mishap that we have committed together, it’s all their fault.  But no matter how bitter-sweet this relationship is, we know at the end of the day they will be standing next to us in all dark times.  They are not just family, but a lot more. Sometimes a friend with whom we can share our deepest thoughts, sometimes a strict father that we are afraid of, sometimes a caring mother that cooks food for us to satisfy all our midnight cravings and what not. They are the people whom we trust and confide in. We know that they will have our backs at all odds and will give us the strength to bear everything.

Given all this, still fighting with siblings is as entertaining and mandatory as it is annoying and it’s an inevitable part of growing up. Here are 10 common, stupid and annoying reasons that siblings usually fight for:

10. TV Remote: It’s MINE.

The most common reason that every sibling on this earth has had an argument about is the TV remote and, consequently, what to watch. We all have grown up watching cartoons and weird shows. Though we would have fixed time slots so as everyone gets a fair chance to watch the TV, fighting for it was the basic thing to do. One wants to watch cartoons while the other feels too big to be watching them, one prefers romantics while the other is more of an action freak and with such varying tastes came the battle of the remote and both the parties fought with all the determination to win the chance to see their thing.

9. Who is Their Parents’ Favorite?

We all have watched Karan Johar’s “Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gum” famed brothers who fought as the elder one teased the younger claiming to be the one whom their mother loved more. Let’s be honest and admit that almost every one of us who have a sibling could relate to it as we all have been at a point in life where we have either teased our sibling for being our parents’ favorite.
‘Mother loves me more’ used to be our favorite phrase and we could spend all day singing it out aloud until our baby brother or sister was annoyed to the greatest length. We all wanted to be the number one on mom’s beloved list.

8. The Name Calling, and Who Started It

As a child, a common favorite past time was to think of weird names to call our siblings and irritate them until they lose their calm. All hell breaks loose and it results in a petty fight between the siblings initiating the blame game into action- ‘He started it. He always does’ and all that the other person does is to stand in a corner with a puppy face claiming to be as innocent as an infant. We all have experienced it and we would still leave no chance to experience it all again.

7. I Will Get Ready First

Usually, most siblings have a rather small age-gap between them and end up going to school together at the same time. They get up at the same time in the morning and then begins the havoc of who will use the washroom first. The lazy one always gets in and spends an entire lifetime in there while the other one is outside shouting and feeling their blood boil.
“He takes too much time in there.”
“I always get late because of him/her”

Banging on the door relentlessly pretty much becomes an everyday story.

6. Personal Belongings

From toys to clothes, from chocolates to stationary- what’s yours is yours and you can’t tolerate the idea of your sibling invading into your personal possessions. They could easily share the same things with their friends, but the idea of sharing it with siblings is way too unlikable and they can’t stand it.  “How dare you touch my things?” or “Get out of my room” is the most commonly used phrases while maintaining a rivalry with our siblings.

5. No One Can Stand to be a “LOSER”

As children, we tend to spend most of our time indoors, enjoying the company of our siblings for a great deal of time. Willingly or not, we are often left with no choice but to play with them and such is the rivalry that we believe that winning is as necessary as breathing. We just aim at winning either by hook or by crook and we don’t hesitate to even resort to cheating if we have to, to make sure that we are the winner. And cheating, that’s really where the ultimate battle begins.

4. Revenge Mechanism

That’s the funny thing about sibling rivalry- we don’t miss a moment to quote something that our sibling did ages back, and we seek revenge for it in the present time. They might have hit you four days back but your conscious knocks in four days later and you suddenly feel an urge to have your revenge and this goes on forever. As we grow old, we develop a mechanism called coping mechanism that’s our way of dealing with things but sibling rivalry is definitely dominated by revenge mechanism.

3. Wanting What the Other Has

If and when you are given a choice to pick from two things, no matter if you like the first one but if your sibling likes the other one, suddenly your preference seems to change as well. You also want the same thing as them and this dilemma of choices has no end.

2. Need for Space

As we grow older, the petty reasons to fight seem to vanish. With the advent of adolescence, more practical reasons, like the need for personal space becomes the prime reason to begin a fight that neither of the siblings intended to start. It’s just that sometimes one needs to be left alone and when that is not respected, it can be infuriating.

1. Peer Influence

As we grow older, the importance of peers in our life grows proportionately. Amidst our fondness for our peers, we sometimes tend to be ignorant of our siblings and often, that can be a reason to start a fight with them in an attempt to gain your attention.

Sibling rivalry is very common and can be infernal at times, but remember as the saying goes- ‘today’s little fights become tomorrow’s precious memories.’


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Sakshi Jain