Questions and Answers

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“Questions and Answers,” New Era, May 2010, 22–23

Questions & Answers

“I try to be nice to my sister, but she treats me like she can’t stand to be around me. How can I regain the friendship we used to have?”

When someone treats us badly, it’s easy to want to give them “a taste of their own medicine.” But remember that copying bad behavior has never resolved a conflict and never will. If you feel tempted to be rude in return, think of Jesus Christ, who was kind to all people, even those who ridiculed and persecuted Him. The Savior said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44).

Make the first step by praying for guidance and then talking to your sister. Tell her that you’re not happy that things aren’t good between you and that you’re sorry if you did anything to make it that way. You are partially in control of the relationship, so sincerely act how you want the relationship to be. Try to do nice things for her when you see the opportunity and let her know how much you love her.

It is our responsibility to respond to anger with kindness and service, just as the Savior did. The more your sibling realizes you love and care about her, the more she will want to be closer to you as a friend.

Give Service

I have three sisters, so I know how it feels when they get mad at me. I have found a few things that are helpful in gaining a good relationship with them. It is essential that they know you love and care about them. You could write down the good things you see in your sister in a letter and give it to her. Also, set aside a part of the day to spend time with her doing things she likes to do. Perform little acts of service to let her know that you love her. If she gets mad at you, just smile. The only way to gain love and respect is to give it.

Becky D., 15, Utah

Write a Kind Note

In the Personal Progress book, one of the requirements is to get closer to a family member and write kind letters to them for two weeks. I was having a hard time getting along with my brother, so I decided to give it a try. In the first note that I sent, I explained to him that I didn’t like the way we were treating each other and that I would like to work harder on trying to be nicer to one another. Right after the first note I sent, I found a note from my brother explaining that he felt like that too. After that our friendship got a whole lot better, just from a simple loving note.

M’Lynn Y., 13, Idaho

Mind Your Actions

You can’t really control the way your sister treats you, but you can control your actions. One way to help your sister soften her heart is to serve her in any way you can think of. Also, pray for your sister. As you do so, your love for her will grow. The reason why this will happen is because charity is the pure love of Christ, and with love, contention leaves. I know this will work, because I have been that person who was rude, and I was changed through the thoughtful service and love of another person.

Elder Lennberg, 20, Canada Halifax Mission

Adjust Your Attitude

My sister and I bicker. Whenever I feel particularly stressed about our fight, I walk away and go to a private place that is quiet. I read verses from my scriptures or turn on soft music or bow my head in prayer. After a few hours, things calm down, and my sister and I talk about who was hurt and why.

Megan G., 14, Arizona

Pray for Guidance

My brother and I never used to get along. Then one day when I was on a vacation, he gave me a call to check on me. From then on, we both got along. All it took was one nice gesture at the right time. We talked about it later, and we just agreed that we both had stopped making an effort not to be rude. Discussing it helped strengthen our friendship, and though it took time, once we realized it took effort from both of us, we began becoming much closer.

Megan G., 19, Virginia

Ask for Help

Strive and continue to be kind and nice to your sister even though she doesn’t show you respect back. Try and look for guidance. Ask the Lord in prayer to soften the heart of your sister. Ask your parents and discuss with them how you can resolve the situation. You can regain friendship by doing what Jesus Christ wants you to do.

Ethan G., 17, California

Encourage Righteous Living

I used to have that situation as well. My sibling and I didn’t get along at all. Getting back and tattling never worked and made me feel worse, and it didn’t help get the friendship back. As time passed, I realized that I should start to be an example. I wasn’t rude as often, and I started to be more Christlike toward my sibling by helping out and encouraging scripture study and uplifting music. My sibling started to take me seriously and started being more like a friend to me.

Alex P., 14, Idaho