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Dear Minerva:

I haven’t spoken to any of my siblings in over 3 years. In one case, a decade. The whole lot of us just don’t mesh particularly well and it doesn’t come naturally. We all do our own thing. I tell myself this partly because it is true and partly to make myself feel better for giving up on trying to make the relationships happen. Even the isolation of 2020 didn’t really make a dent. Sometimes I think I should reach out, but that is how it has always been - me reaching out. Am I wrong for staying away?

Sincerely,

Sibling Guilt

Dear SG:

You know your family far better than I. What I do know is that the mere fact of being the offspring of shared parents isn’t really all that much to base a relationship around. That ultimately ends up being a bond that either works or doesn’t. The happenstance of shared DNA doesn’t necessarily extend to compatibility as friends. It doesn’t vouch for common interests or shared goals, or even likability. If no one is pressed by the broad expanse between you, then don’t worry about it. We destroy our own happiness with obligations to the “should be’s” of the world. My advice to let things be. A forced familial friendship will be taxing for all parties involved. We can choose to be around who we want to be around in this world. Our chosen family are often far more sacred of a bond than blood could hope to supply.

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