Sisters: they borrow your clothes without asking, rat you out to your parents and know exactly how to push your buttons until you reach breaking point.

But despite all the grief they cause, turns out there’s one major benefit to having them around: happiness.

According to researchers from De Montfont and Ulster Universities in the UK, having a sister makes you optimistic about life. For their study, they asked 571 people between the ages of 17 and 25 to fill out a questionnaire about their mental health.

The takeaway? The participants who grew up with sisters were way more content than those who didn’t. 

“Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families,” explained lead researcher Professor Tony Cassidy.

“Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families.” 

This isn’t great news for those of us with brothers though – the research showed that dudes tend to create the opposite effect.

“It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things,” Cassidy said. “With boys together it is about conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down.”

But before you kick your pesky lil bro to the curb, there is one redeeming quality about them. The study found having a sibling of either gender made you a kinder person.

The joys of family, eh?!

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