The harsh reality of being the ‘shit sibling’ in the family

They’re so Gryffindor and you’re so Hufflepuff

We’re aware of the family stereotypes – the youngest gets away with everything, the eldest is the most successful and the middles one’s chippy.

Less talked about is the sad, unfortunate truism that in every family there is a shit sibling. Not exactly a rotten apple, more of an ugly duckling. Doesn’t drop out of school and hang around with a bad crowd, more of a middle of the road gets B’s and never wins Monopoly kinda vibe. They waddle through life constantly falling into traps exposing their inability to compete with their siblings.

This is a daily occurrence

This is a daily occurrence

All your teachers refer to you as X’s little sister

You know when you meet your best friends uni friends and expect you’re gonna love them cause obviously your mate is classic and has classic taste, but they’re actually not classic and you really don’t see why your friend chooses to hang out with them?

At school, the shit sibling is that new not so classic friend. Teachers meet you and coo ‘you must be Lily’s sister, how is she? Such a natural historian your sister’. Let me stop you right there Miss Johnson, I'm very sorry but I'm not as capable or enthusiastic as my sister. I won't be handing in my homework on time and you will certainly not be guiding me through an Oxbridge application. Unfortunately, just because we look the same doesn’t mean we have the same mental capacity. Please leave me alone.

Prize giving was fun for them and not for you

The real lesson to learn here is don’t try and follow in their footsteps. Don’t join the netball team because your sister was captain and ‘it-girl’ position GA. It doesn’t matter how many shoulder passes she throws you in the garden at home, you will play a quarter at WD if you’re lucky. Don’t take Latin GCSE because your brother says it’s ‘so easy, you’ll deffo get an A*’. After long car journeys of him reciting “bam, bas, bat, bamus, batis, bant”, it becomes painfully clear that you will get a B.

Supportive as always

Supportive as always

The extended family are equally aware how comparatively shit you are

Weddings, christenings and birthday parties are a great opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives, drink red wine and generally feel inadequate all evening. ‘So how are things?’ is just not what you came here for, you came for the food. Mainly the prawns. Just ask the other sister, she can gush about her boyfriend and her job, dropping witty anecdotes here there and everywhere about her career, boyfriend and ‘proper degree’ from her well respected uni.

Anthropology by the way, as I’m so fondly and frequently reminded, is not a good subject. It's for 'vacuous bints', my brother told me. But they ask anyway and you mumble away, avoiding eye contact, while trying to convince them your life consists of more than VK’s, hummus memes and watching old episodes of Drake and Josh on youtube.

It's better to be shit on your own than get a shit boyfriend

The humiliation only increases when you finally bag a boyfriend to accompany you to a family do, but he’s a bit of a dweeb and actually makes you look worse by association (see chart below). Obviously your brother’s girlfriend is fit af and really knows how to work a room. The smug bitch. Hate her.

A comparative analysis

A comparative analysis

They stole the sporty genes ( and the clever ones)

When it comes to sport I wouldn’t say I’m useless, but I’m Venus and my sister is Serena. Actually, what am I talking about, I’m the third sister who nobody knows sat in the stand eating strawberries and cream. I may as well be adopted. Considering my brother and sister have both played semi-professional cricket you would have thought some of their talent might have rubbed off on me. Apparently not. While they played, I made the egg and cress sandwiches and occasionally managed to get with the all-rounder who bats at 7 and doesn’t bowl. Growing up on the boundary hasn’t helped me achieve anything other than a few 6/10 boys’s phone numbers and an incredibly lame party trick: I can name the 2005 England Ashes test team in batting order. Yes that's right boys. 1 to 11.

I was the photographer

I was the photographer

Even on Christmas Day you’re still made to feel like the shit one

Christmas represents the whole family getting together to spread love, joy and christmas cheer right? Wrong. Firstly, the shit sibling receives presents designed to fix themself. Literary classics and gym memberships are pretty passive aggressive ways of saying be cleverer and get fitter.

See, I'm not making this stuff up

See, I'm not making this stuff up

Aside from that, Christmas day is all fun and games, well, until the games actually begin. Articulate to most people means hysterical against the clock antics, the perfect after dinner game. This isn’t the case for the shit sibling, because you’re so incompetent nobody wants you on their team.

Describing a word without saying it sounds simple, but when you’re racing against the timer whilst your overly-competitive siblings swear at you across the table because they fail to see the funny side in you describing Honduras as a Spanishy kind of hummus, well let’s just say it isn’t.

Will you ever grow out of it?

Undoubtedly, the humiliation and embarrassment will continue. They will have successful and prosperous careers where they will meet and marry like-minded, ambitious people and have perfect children. You will probably end up like Bridget Jones, except you won’t marry Mark Darcy and won’t sleep with anyone as fit as Hugh Grant either.

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