How to deal with a sibling who’s smarter than you

It would be absolutely no surprise for me to hear if Bill Gates is hated by his siblings. Well, It is mostly because I can relate to his siblings. Hate is a strong feeling but I can surely understand where they’re coming from.


I am Manika Shrivastava and this is my story.

Starting from the time when I was brought home I was blessed with the opportunity of being the “second” child to my parents. My brother did not like the concept of having his authorized attention being diverted to someone else AKA me.

This is my brother holding me for the first time
My brother holding me for the first time

We were best friends when we were kids and I must tell you, I genuinely love my brother apart from the day to day one-sided competition that makes me feel incompetent to do anything and the constant jealousy on why is he better than me at everything. I think we’re good, We don’t talk much with each other, we’re on good terms.

I still remember He used to struggle a lot with his friends. They used to bully him so I took it as my responsibility to go and beat them and Oh boy! I did a good job. This led to a major turn of events in our lives, we were enrolled in Karate, For him to learn self-defense and for me to learn, How to calm the fuck down.

That’s me super excited to beat more people

Down the lane, I started realizing the differences we had. He skipped one class while I was dealing with my issues. As a kid, it was unexpected that “issues” will be part of my life but they somehow were. I used to fall sick a lot. (Dengue/Malaria/Jaundice/Typhoid etc, name it I’ve had it).

I remember while my brother was immersed in books and being overconfident for knowing more than the school teachers, I was wondering why am I like this? I went through a phase where I don’t have any pictures because I had white spots on my body. This is not a sob story. I am a strong person. My brother always had a niche to know more. While I was always the person who’d get things done and get back to TV. My brother was so aware of his surroundings and what he wants with his life. No wonder I was compared throughout my life.

Throughout my school life I was always referred as his sister. In my tuition I was his sister. It made me feel like I had no identity of my own

I believe it hit me the most when I was in 10th Standard and as a pro, instead of focusing on the issue at hand which was to address these feelings. I decided to let it be. I remember I was so frustrated that I started spreading rumors about one girl whose life I always admired. I think jealousy was always an integral part of me. I was the person with zero friends, braces, and a whole lot of stage fright(a story for another day) I entered my 11th Grade. I decided to take up subjects and even my career as him.

I Tried fitting in his shoes when I had a different size

This I believe was one of the worst mistakes I have ever done. I decided to be what my brother was (without even realizing his struggles). He dropped a year to get into his dream field. That is the kind of passion you need, the drive to meet ends. He has seen a lot of failure in life and which has also given him the strength to get back up strong. I wish I could be like that, this strong. While without inspecting a lot I started getting more caught in this self-made web until one day I broke down.

“This is not for me.” I told myself. Before my finals, I was failing. I did not do exceptionally well in my finals either. I barely passed in one subject while I was good at the rest.

Luckily, I got into a college where no one knew me as “His” sister. I was famous. I realized my true potential, How good orator I can be, or How easily I can do things without the comparison.

Now, I work in the same organization as my brother. Every day I feel like that kid in 12th Standard who is constantly failing or has no identity. It is tough no doubt.

One thing I have realized is if the self-built comparison is not there, others will do it for you.

It’s better to let them do it at least you can block it out at your own convenience .

You can’t change the situation but you can change the outlook towards it. I have struggled with this my entire life and it’s not easy but it only brings peace to your mind. Family is always loved no matter what. I will love my brother even if he is the next Elon Musk and I hope he becomes someone like him because he can do so.

It is never an easy ride to deal with a smarter sibling.

It is more about realizing your capabilities and finding peace with it rather than looking for answers in someone else’s eyes.


I don’t like being this vulnerable person in public either but it’s better to learn from someone else’s experiences. Hope you find something to take away from this.