Ask Laskas: Your Turn to Give Advice on Sibling Tension

Jeanne Marie Laskas writes our magazine's monthly advice column; now you help counsel this woman for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue.


My twin sister and I have been arguing lately. I keep trying to talk to her, but she’s constantly moody. I do a lot for her, but if I ask for a favor, she doesn’t want to do it. I love my sister, but she doesn’t think about my feelings. How can we mend our relationship?
—Hurt Genetic Clone

What’s your take? Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

Have your own qualm? Send your questions about manners, parents, partners, or office politics to Sending gives us permission to edit and publish.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

14 thoughts on “Ask Laskas: Your Turn to Give Advice on Sibling Tension

  1. Actually i have a younger sister. she’s two years younger than me. her actions sometimes drive me crazy because she imitates me in some actions but later i realized that that act was just her way to show me how she likes my style ….. so try to find something incommon with ur sister ( after all she’s ur twin) and practice it together( a certain sport can be good)…. show her that u love her and give her the warmth a sister could give her other sister… And don’t be frustrated when you fight because they say that if u dont fight with ur sibling, you don’t know him…..

  2. I wonder if your relationship has been built on a pattern of tit-for-tat. You mention that you do a lot for her, but she does not reciprocate. While healthy relationships should approach a 50-50 give-and-take on average, from one time to the next that percentage can vary quite a bit. She may be unable to give to the relationship at the moment, and if the pattern includes score keeping, she may be unwilling to accept even your overtures of sisterhood, because she cannot reciprocate. And she does not owe you an explanation of why…. Cut her some slack. Rethink your approach to the relationship, and your motives for giving to her. If you can present a new style of interaction, without strings attached, you may find your sister’s moodiness disappears.

  3. She sounds depressed. Maybe money problems, or something like that. Invite her out to dinner, your treat and after a glass of wine she may open up more.

  4. (March issue) When family members send you photos, put them in an album and display it on your coffee table, in your bookcase, or someplace that appears easy to access. Be sure and tell them how much you enjoy looking at the album.

  5. I don’t know your age, but here is my story:
    My sister and I didn’t get along for years — until we were about 30. Little resentments, long remembered, kept me from  accepting her for who she was — and vice-versa. I still sometimes get a bit over-heated, or hurt, over comments she has made to me.
    But the thing that is most important here, is that I wasted time — time I could have used being friends with her– thinking about MY feelings, MY opinion, MY way of life; when I could have been spending time with my wonderful, caring sister. It does take two, though– she has changed in the same way. I realize that I am lucky, and that some families don’t have such a good outcome, but my best advice would be to LISTEN and ACCEPT, not to try to make your sis into who you think she should be, but who she wants to be.
    Please realize that we are both now in our mid-50s, and this did not happen overnight. But IF ONLY (some of the saddest words in our world) I had known then what I know now, I would have had more love in my life.
    She is now the one I call when I need to talk to an understanding, close friend. Please don’t waste time, please don’t wait. — Just sign me “been there”.

  6. sigh, some times when we think we are helping, others think we are telling them what to do.  Back off and let her come to you. 

  7. Relax your expectations.  She is who she is.  If you expect her
    to be more like you, or any other way, she will likely feel the pressure and
    continue to distance herself.

  8. It sounds like your relationships has changed based on the fact that you said you’ve been arguing lately.  To begin to mend and out of love for her, I would focus on her feelings and try to help her deal with them.  You don’t know why she is “constantly” (be careful of labeling) moody.  If she knows you are in her corner, she may be more likely to reciprocate.

  9. Talk to your sister about your favorite parts of the relationship, then bring up how you feel it has changed. Perhaps she has been inadvertently offended by something that you didn’t even know you did- perhaps she doesn’t even realize she’s acting differently! You could say, “I love that we can borrow each others clothes, tell each other all our problems, and share chores, but lately I feel like I’m being a burden.” Taking away the accusation “You’ve changed!” may make your sister more aware of how her behavior is affecting you, and pointing out the change may make her feel less on the defensive. Above all, remember that everyone and every relationship goes through tough times and keep the love in your heart! Good luck!

  10. The first thing is to realize that something is bothering you sister to make her act like this and don’t push at her. I do not know your age, but, if you are teens, then it could be a raging hormone issue or just the sudden realization that she is actually an individual and not your clone and she does not know how or even want to handle the twin closeness at this point when she may just want her own indivuality and space. Give her ths space she needs and just be yourself and act natural. If you share a room, then it may be time for a seperate space if that is a possibility. Don’t feel like you have to do a lot of favors for her as that may irritate her more. She may think you are putting a guilt trip on her. She will change her behaviour when, in time, she realizes she can relax around and with you.

  11. you cope with it and when she shows a sign of affection towards you or a need of your attention and help, do not be afraid to remind her, in a kind way, of how she behaves and how you feel about it.

  12. Classic signs of borderline depression.  Perhaps medical intervention is in order.

  13. If you and your sister are reaching puberty, she’s responding to her new hormone rage differently than you. Please be patient and see if it doesn’t get better. If not talk to your Mother about it and ask her help. She probably doesn’t understand herself either. A good sis is hard to find. Keep working at it. You sound good at it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy