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Girls in the hood

YOU'RE both grown up now. Is there any chance of growing into a new relationship with your sister?

DON'T COMPARE: Parents often can't help comparing their children, and possibly don't realise the blueprint they are drawing up for the future. It's time for you and your sister to move past any labels that you may have acquired in childhood. The 'smart one' and the 'pretty one' are titles and attitudes that really need to be put to rest.

EXPRESS YOURSELF: Saying what you mean, and asking for what you need, is extremely frightening the first times you attempt it. Do you want to spend more quality time with your sister? Work out a standing lunch date, or make sure that you have a girls' day once a month. Try to create a space in which you two spend the kind of time you spend with friends.

KNOW WHEN TO STOP: If the above isn't working, then it's time to reframe what it is possible to receive from your relationship with your sister. It's painful, but only in the short run. In the long run, it's possible to revise your expectations -- not to expect less, but to expect differently.

SEEK HELP: If you're still going over past experiences, and simply can't seem to let go of hurts and grievances, do look into counselling. There's no shame attached in reaching out for help, and the perspective of someone outside the family dynamic is priceless.


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