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.

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  • Your Comments

    • been there

      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”.

    • Dsb539

      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. 

    • Wendy

      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.

    • PersonalLIfeCoach

      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.

    • Calpe79

      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!

    • Sandstar6981

      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.

    • Yesenialozano84

      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.

    • Just saying

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

    • mg1948

      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.