How to Get Your Sister to Shut Up

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Frictions are inevitable in sibling relationships. See them as part of your learning process because they are. They are unpleasant and uncomfortable but learning to deal with them can be very beneficial to you beyond your family relationship. You can strengthen your communication skills, negotiating skills, interpersonal skills, and level of tolerance just by learning to deal with your sister.

  • In this article, we’ve provided you with helpful tips on how to get your annoying younger or older sister to cooperate with you under five subheadings; 1) why is my sister so annoying, 2) How to stop your sister from being annoying, 3) How to get your sister to shut up; 4) How to deal with annoying little sisters and 5) How to deal with an annoying older sister. We’ve also written a senior article to this current one titled “how to make your brother shut-up” and we think that you might find it interesting.


There are factors that influence people’s behaviors including yours. Learning them and identifying them will help you become objective and effective in solving some of the issues you and your sister may be having. Here are some of the reasons why your sister might be annoying;

 Temperament differences

Part of what makes you and your sister individually unique are your temperaments, and they could also be the reason why both of you have conflicts. Let’s assume that you are someone that is laid back, you love chilled activities over loud ones, and calm spaces over noisy ones but you have a sister that is loud, thrill-seeking, and generally loves lively or loud spaces, your temperaments will clash. While you might love the house to be quiet because it helps you to think and relax, your sister might want it lively because it keeps her from getting bored, and tired. Learn more about temperament at canr.mus.edu.


Psychologists note that siblings with a close age gap and of the same gender are usually more competitive with each other than siblings with a wide age gap or of a different gender. They compete for dominance. Although one sibling might establish dominance over a task or skill, this might stir the feeling of resentments and retribution in the other sibling. Siblings might become a lot more intolerant of each other and might do things to hurt one another. Sibling’s competitiveness might lead them to lie, name-call, blame, argue, and fight.

 Age difference

Usually, age matters in the behavior of people. Little children tend to seek more attention than older children and they would do as much as they can to get it. So do not get surprised when your younger sister cries, screams, laughs out loud and acts in a way that will draw attention to her. This is particularly true for preschoolers. In addition, they tend to fight a lot for properties. They want to own more toys than their siblings, have better items than their siblings, and use their parents’ belongings more than their siblings. For older children, the fight becomes more about fairness. If older siblings are given privileges that younger siblings feel are unfair, this may stir a lot of arguments in the house and they become more antagonistic and resentful towards their older sibling.

 Power differences

Older siblings are given more power and privileges over their younger ones most times and the way they utilize their power and privileges matter a lot. For some, it is a free pass to boss the younger ones. For others, they take on a lot of responsibilities and then burden their younger ones with complaints about them not doing much. When power differences are not utilized well, this will lead to conflict.

 Parenting style

When parents show preferences for one child over the other, it could create tensions among siblings. When parents are violent with their children, siblings are encouraged to be violent with each other. When parents nag or yell a lot, children copy their parents without knowing, and siblings might be encouraged to act out their parent’s behavior when frustrated or trying to resolve issues. Does your younger or elder sister yell and nag a lot? Did she get that from dad or mom?


Being the older sibling comes with power and privileges; the oldest child is usually more accepted among family and friends, they tend to own more items than their younger siblings, they get a special type of attention from parents and they usually have more experience than their juniors which keeps them ahead. All these could stir the feeling of jealousy and envy in younger siblings. The feeling of jealousy can lead siblings to steal from each other, hide items, and destroy each other’s items. All these will result in more arguments, resentment, and fights.

 Other physical factors

There are many other factors that can influence the annoying behavior of siblings. Factors such as hunger, loneliness, boredom, ailment, and frustration. For example, a hungry child will most likely cry and there is little you can do to stop the cry except you feed the child. Also, people respond in different ways when they are bored, frustrated, or ill. If your sister is bored and looking for excitement, she might try to engage you in a task by picking something of yours that is important and making you chase her around the house. This might be annoying to you but fun for her.


Looking at the 7 root causes we’ve identified, resolving issues with your sister will rely on four important factors; 1) communication, 2) understanding, 3) fairness, and 4) compromise.


If you are unable to effectively communicate your grievances and expectations to your sister and parent, very little can be resolved. You might try to ignore her as a way of not getting yourself annoyed but sadly, ignoring is not always effective. Effective communication includes what you say, how you say it, when you say it and where you say it. It is saying what you mean with the right body expression. It is also paying attention to understand what the next person is saying. If you want to communicate your grievances and all you do is yell at your sister or interrupt her when it’s her time to talk, she might not be willing to listen to you. You will need to work on your calmness, level of seriousness, tone of voice, and body language to communicate effectively. Did you know that communication skill was considered the most important skill for children to get ahead in the world today?


This requires a level of maturity from you. The ability to see things not just from your own point of view but also from your sister’s point of view is important. It helps you to find mutual ground. You need to learn to give your sister the benefit of doubt sometimes instead of always looking at her actions as a ploy to make you unhappy. She might do some things without knowing how badly it affects you.


You need to understand that a lot of things should not revolve around how you feel but how both of you feel. You need to be fair in your judgments and expectations of your sister. Both of you have different strengths and weaknesses, it will be unfair to make your sister feel bad about her weaknesses whereas you have one. Give her enough time to learn or evolve and give yourself enough time too.


Your sister needs to be free to be herself without her feeling like she is hurting or annoying you always. The same should apply to you. Both of you need to learn to compromise for each other. Excuse each other’s excesses when need be. Spend time to help your sister, play games with her, chat with her, dance with her, and find something both of you love to do together. Learn to work as a team as opposed to rivals. It shouldn’t be about you being better than her or she being better than you all the time. Help your sisters in areas of weakness and she does the same for you.

This is how 3154 participants rated skills they think were most important for children to get ahead in life. Source Pew research

Skills needed to succeed in %


Your sister might be the chatty type. Sometimes her chattiness comes at the wrong time and because you do not want to offend her, you try to listen to her at the expense of the task you are supposed to be doing. If you try to concentrate on your task instead of what she is saying, she might feel neglected. You might try to multitask, listen to her while working but sometimes multitasking is not convenient. Maybe your sister is not the chatty type but knows how to raise issues at the wrong time. Here are things to do if your sister is disturbing you and you need her to stop;

 Let her know that you are busy or tired and you are not in a good frame of mind to listen to what she is saying

Whether it is your older or younger sister that is disturbing you, it is important to let them know that it is not a good time to share your attention. This is particularly important if they have a lot to say. They need to know that you are not just shoving them out, therefore let them know how important what you are doing is. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. You do not want to come across as being rude to your elder sister or uncaring to your younger sister.

 Do not be quick to dismiss, ask her to be brief

You already know that she is the chatty kind of person so the moment she starts talking, you might already have the “O gosh” or “here we go again” attitude. A lot of the time, our attitude shows on our faces. You need to be careful that you do not dismiss her without hearing what she has to say. Sometimes what she has to say might need urgent attention. If you sense that the conversation will be long, ask for a brief version.

 Suggest an alternative time

If what she has to say does not have a brief version, suggest an alternative time to chat with her. Let her know that as soon as you are done with what you are doing and she is still in the mood to chat, you will hear her out.

 If she insists, politely excuse yourself from the conversation

Sometimes conversations can get heated up pretty fast and you just do not want to be part of it again especially when it comes to insults and condescending remarks. Excuse yourself by letting your sister know that you won’t be continuing the conversation since it’s draining and both of you are not heading anywhere with the argument. If you have tried to be calm and nothing seems to be working, then walk away from the argument.


Being the older sister makes it pretty easy for you to say no but be considerate. Here is what you can do when you feel like your little sister is being annoying;

Firmly insist that she stops bothering you

Let her know that you are not in the mood to entertain any form of disturbance and be firm about it. Get her to understand your position and why you cannot deal with anyone at the moment. Get her to empathize with you by using hypothetical scenarios. For example, ask her how she would feel if you tickled her when she was trying to sleep or how she would feel if you came to disturb her when she was watching her favorite program. However, do not get comfortable shoving your sister aside a lot. Like we mentioned earlier, compromise is an important aspect of being a sister. If you are not able to compromise for your sibling you are teaching her not to rely on you for anything and this implies that you are not useful to her.

 Negotiate for a different time that you will be available for her

If you can attend to her at a different time, suggest it to her. Ask her whether you can help her out in a few hours or minutes. This gesture will tell your sister that you care about what she is asking for but she is putting you in a tough position at the moment. Do not be unreasonable in your negotiation; be fair to her and be fair to yourself. Also, situations differ and if you are at fault, you need to go and resolve the issue as soon as possible. Maintaining the level of trust your younger sister has for you is important.

Suggest an alternative solution to their need

If you have an alternative solution to what your sister is asking for, suggest it to her. If your little sister needs you to play with her, suggest a task that will keep her preoccupied. Act as though you need her help to complete the task because it is important to you. This might get her interested in the task. If it does not, ask her if there is any other thing she can be doing to keep herself busy until you are free. You can suggest watching tv or playing something interesting for her to watch on tv.

 If being fair is not working, ignore

Sometimes, little sisters have a way of insisting on their own time, which can be unreasonable. They could also act in ways that will give them the attention they are seeking. Learn not to react no matter how annoying you think she is. After you’ve tried your best to reason with her and she is just not yielding, ignore her and focus on what you are doing.

 If she persists with her disturbance, deny her a privilege she usually gets from you

If she insists on disturbing and being naughty deny her something she usually gets from you. If she usually gets chocolate from you every Friday after school, tell her that you will no more get her chocolates. This is a form of punishment to let her know that her actions are wrong. You can first warn her about it before insisting on the punishment. This is to give her a chance to walk away from whatever she is doing that is annoying or disturbing you.

 Include your parents to get her to stop

If she continues with her disturbance, then ask your parents to get her to back off. Try to communicate effectively. If you simply just yell about the situation, you are barely communicating to parents and they might not fully understand how bothered you are about the situation. They might get her to back-off temporarily but what of other times. It is important you communicate your grievance clearly and suggest that your parents enforce rules that both you and your sister abides by.


Dealing with an older sister is not as easy as dealing with a little sister. It’s not like you can overlook the seniority of someone that has your back. No matter how annoying older sisters are, many of them care for their younger siblings in ways parents don’t. So do not throw your sister’s respect in the bin. If your older sister is annoying, here are things you can do to get her to cooperate with you;

 Talk to your older sister and let her know that you are not pleased with her actions

Point out actions that are annoying and frustrating to you and ask her to stop doing them. Be firm and respectful and expect the same from her. Even if she says something you do not agree with, avoid insults because they ruin good conversations. Let her know that as much as she is older and you respect her, you will not be bullied by her.

 Be blunt about your expectations

After you’ve pointed out things she does that makes you annoyed, tell her your expectations. Let her know your boundaries so that she can learn to relate better with you. Know what she expects from you, it will help you to relate better with her.

Ignore her excesses sometimes

Like we’ve mentioned earlier, you and your sister might have different temperaments. You do things differently and therefore not all her actions are targeted at hurting you. Try to ignore certain things she does. She should not always feel like she is walking on eggshells when she is around you

Involve your parents

If she continues with the actions you’ve told her that are annoying to you, involve your parents. Tell your parents about the annoying things your sister does that affect you and insist that your parents enforce rules that enable both of you to respect each other.


How do you get your sister to stop being mean?

If after you’ve pointed out things she does that you do not like and she continues doing them, it is important that you involve your parents. You do not want a situation where you are engulfed with the feeling resent towards your sister. Your parents can help both of you find a mutual ground that enables trust and respect. They will do this by enforcing certain rules and regulations that both of you will be expected to abide by.


Sibling’s relationship is filled with conflicts and learning how to deal with conflicts is critical. It is quite easy for sisters to get overwhelmed by conflicts that they see little good in one another. Annoying behaviors could be as a result of differences in temperaments, parenting style, age gap, power difference, frustration, and many more. We identified effective communication, understanding, fairness, and compromise as the key ingredients to resolving conflicts between sisters. You need to be able to clearly state what actions are annoying to you when trying to resolve conflict. Give your sister the benefit of doubt, understand that both of you have different temperaments, and compromise for her where and when possible. When you have tried to be as fair as possible and your sister still insists on being annoying, involve your parents. We hope that you find our tips helpful.





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