UNITED STATES—I want to tell you a story; share with you how sibling rivalries sometimes go a bit deeper than one would expect. For those who have siblings you’ll understand everything that I disclose, for those without siblings it might be a bit harder to fathom.

I come from a large family; I have three brothers and two sisters, and when you have multiple siblings it only heightens that level of sibling rivalry at times. Does that mean I hate my brothers and sisters, no, I’m just saying we’ve had our share of squabbles in the past, the present and will certainly have many more in the future. When you have siblings, you compete to a certain degree, it’s not your intention, but it sometimes happens. And when you have as many siblings as I do, you get categorized; not a fun thing at all if you ask me.

You have the pretty one, the social butterfly, the comic, the athlete, the smart guy and the outcast. When you look at my siblings none of us have similar personalities we’re all unique and that led to constant battles. At times we argued over the stupid things: being too loud, too quiet, not outgoing off, who wore whose clothing etc.

I remember when I was a kid, I envied my older brothers. Like they were super cool and I always wanted to hang out with them, but how often do older brothers take their little brothers underneath their wing. Yeah, there was a bit of jealously there in the world of popularity. I wanted people to know me because of me, not because of who I was related to.

I would argue that I had the closet relationship growing up with my little brother because we were total goofballs and we were gamers. Give us a video game and it wouldn’t take us long to beat it.

Nowadays, I have the closet relationship with my younger sister, probably because we attended the same college, and I took on the role of big brother and ensuring that my sister didn’t need anything. I mean attending a school that plays hosts to 40,000 students each year is a massive level of stress. Some adapt well, others not so much. All I can say is that I adapted quite easy, and I’m not the most sociable person. My sister had a culture shock, most people do when they go to college.

As long as I can recall, I can’t remember getting into an actual physical altercation with any of my siblings. We’ve had heated discussions, but I never allowed myself to get to the point where I put my hands on one of my relatives. I will admit there were occasions where it was close to happening. Screaming matches about who was right versus who was wrong was best described in our household. We always had to have the last word; at least we’d do our best to make it happen.

My biggest concern nowadays is that we’ve drifted apart slightly; we’re still in contact, but some of us more than others. The unfortunate side effect of getting older is that when you have a rivalry with a sibling it can be ongoing.

I hate to even admit that some of my siblings are not even talking with one another right now. Do you want to know why? Over stupid arguments they recently had. Even in an attempt to get them to bridge the gap, I’m the odd man out. I’ve repeated to them time and time again, life is short. You’d hate to see something happen and not have the chance to remedy it before it’s too late. I fear that more than anything, which is why when siblings rival it eats me to the core.