‘I got married when I was 30, and I was utterly traumatised when I discovered that my younger sister, who was 28 and in a long-term relationship at the time, deliberately set out to get pregnant with her first child in time for my wedding, so that she would be the centre of attention. ‘When I tried to bring the subject up at a later date, my parents just blanked me.
Ironically, it’s not always the gifted child who is lavished with praise and treated as special.While it’s only natural to compare ourselves with our brothers and sisters, there’s often an irrational knee-jerk tendency to irrationally blame them for our own limitations.But unless they are openly critical, they can’t be held accountable for our feelings of inadequacy. The very phrase conjures up nostalgic images of ruddy-cheeked boys, straining to beat each other at tree climbing or Ludo.
But spool forward 25 years and very often that competitiveness has crystalised into an emotion that is much less healthy and much more shameful – sibling envy.
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