4 Types of Apologies Anyone With Siblings Will Be Very, Very Familiar With

Mar 30 2020 - 11:35am

Sibling relationships [1] are among the most complex you'll ever have. One day you wake up and realize you're stuck with a set of people and you had no say in the matter. And guess what the best part is? You're bound to them for life. While some days it's an attachment you're thankful for [2], other days you may be ready to end your lifelong love affair.

That said, I value the relationships I have with my siblings [3], as they're the longest-standing relationships I have. They know all my idiosyncrasies and I share unique experiences with them. I can't think of many friends who have seen me wet the bed or played hide and seek with me until I fell asleep in the closet. This makes them like home to me. I know that whenever I feel lost, I will feel a sense of belonging by reconnecting with them.

As I age, the relationships I have with my six siblings continue to evolve. One of the most interesting changes I've noticed is in the way we argue and say sorry — especially as we're no longer under the same roof. Here are four ways my siblings and I apologize that you probably relate to if you have a brother or sister [4].

The "Have You Heard the Gossip?" Apology

Out of all my siblings, I'm closest to my sister [6], and something must be in the air if we don't have a random argument every other month. Sometimes, her way of apologizing after an argument is to lure me in with funny family gossip. After hearing from her about my mom's latest message on WhatsApp or what's gone down between my great aunt and her husband, I have no choice but to let bygones be bygones.

The Act-Like-Nothing-Happened Apology

One luxury of having a sibling is that they sometimes have more access to your life than the average person. Consequently, they probably know everything about you [7], from your home address to your least favorite nicknames. This comes in handy when it's time to apologize — they show up and pretend like nothing happened (and then maybe apologize if they feel really bad). If they're anything like my brothers, they'll also come with an empty stomach. Nothing puts the past behind us like food!

The Peace Offering Apology

Peace offerings are something siblings [8] are well-versed in. When you were younger, you probably got something like a piece of candy in exchange for your silence. These days, they're a little more extravagant. My sister's most legendary peace offering to date has to be free babysitting. Honestly, best apology ever.

The Family Meeting Apology

My older brother and I once had an argument that led to over a year of silence between us. Guess what came in to save the day? A family meeting. I was ambushed and given a sermon about the importance of family [9], love, and forgiveness. As usual, it led to forced apologies, extended eye-rolls, and side-eyes. However, the forced apologies reminded me that there's nowhere to run or hide. Because we're family, our paths will always cross, so the sooner we get over it, the better. Shortly after the family meeting, we were taking strolls back down memory lane, sharing inside family jokes, and poking fun at one another. He is my brother, after all.

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