How to Rebuild a Relationship With a Sister

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

If you and your sister used to be close but now have a broken relationship, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to fix it. You might be afraid that your sister will reject you or be uninterested in your attempts at reconciliation. Although mending a bond takes time, it is worth the effort in order to enjoy a close relationship with someone you care about. Rebuilding a relationship with your sister is challenging but worthwhile, and in the end, you will enjoy the same closeness you experienced before.


The first thing you must do if you wish to rebuild a relationship with your sister is to apologize for any hurt you caused her. Once she knows you regret your actions and wish you could take them back, she will feel understood and become more likely to open up to you. When you apologize, you are focusing on what is most freeing, not on what is fair, according to Tamar Chansky, a psychologist. You will take a burden off of both yourself and your sister when you put the health of your relationship over your pride.

Have a Talk

Sit down with your sister and have a talk with her. Be sure to listen carefully to her side of the story. She may have issues you have been unaware of or problems you cannot see. A family is a very complicated unit and it is often easier to reconcile with a friend, according to Nicholas Strouse, director and practicing clinical social worker at Westport Family Center. By clarifying what caused conflicts in your relationship in the first place and discussing your feelings, you will help validate each other's emotions and figure out a solution to your relationship challenges.

Do Something Small

Do something small for your sister as a way to show her you care about her and are interested in fixing your relationship. If you have already apologized and had a talk with her, try bringing her her favorite coffee drink at work or purchasing a gift card for her to use at her favorite clothing store. Just going out of your way to do something thoughtful for her will demonstrate your commitment to the betterment of your relationship.

Be Patient

Never rush your sister to accept your apology or become close to you again. Even if she slowly warms up to your attempts at reconciliation, you must realize that your relationship will take time to become strong again. You cannot build back closeness overnight, according to James A. Smith, a licensed professional counselor. Instead, give yourselves weeks, months and even years to re-establish trust in your relationship. The time will be worth the connection you will share.