Dr. Gabor Maté said that children are raised in different ways by the same family resulting in different personalities.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 18, 2022. It has since been updated.
No two siblings raised together are completely alike despite having similar experiences growing up. It is a puzzle that has perplexed many people over the years but one expert claims to have the answer. The Canadian talk show host Dahlia Kurtz talked about this in a TikTok video with Dr. Gabor Maté. She wrote in the caption of the video, "How could your sibling be raised the same but turn out so differently? Maybe even a narcissist? Dr. Gabor Maté has a fascinating answer. You’ll never see your sibling the same."
The TikTok video is a clip from her talk show "Dahlia Live and Help Live" whose video features Dr. Maté. The video starts with Dahlia saying, "Let's say people who are raised by the same parents in the same way, one becomes a narcissist and one doesn't." Dr. Maté replies, "Cause no 2 kids are raised in the same family, no 2 children have the same parent."
He asks Dahlia if she has siblings she replies, "yes, older and younger." Dr. Maté says, "You weren't raised in the same family. You were never the oldest child, you've never had the experience of being the oldest child." He adds that Dahlia had the experience of being a middle child, "which is often very difficult by the way." He explains that is because "you neither have the respect and authority of the oldest and nor the cuteness and loveability of the youngest."
This is why I never question my siblings’ relationships with my parents. We all maneuver in a way that is appropriate for us bc we’ve all had different experiences with our parents.— Aaliyah• (@ohcharlie__) October 16, 2022
He further tells Dahlia that when her parents had her and her younger sibling they might have been in a different phase of their relationship and life. He also shares his own experience of having a younger sibling until whose birth he was the only child. He explains, "All of a sudden I have to share my attention with this young interloper," and said that Dahlia's elder sibling did the same.
He further emphasizes the fact that no two children have the same temperament and evoke different parts of the parents. Hence, even if the parents love all their children equally they will respond to each in different ways. Due to these reasons, even though siblings grow up in the same environment they grow up to be completely different individuals. The video went viral on TikTok garnering almost 3 million views. Many TikTok users shared their own experiences in the comments. One person commented, "This man is making too much sense. My grandparents had 5 kids and none of them are similar in any way." Another said, "Yup! My brother was easier, therefore the favorite. We are very different, he’s much kinder."
"Yeah I’m the oldest and my younger siblings are over ten years younger. I was the experimental child and then forgotten when they were born," shared another. Dr. Maté is a speaker and a best-selling author and according to his official website he is "sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development."
Even if you’re the same age it’s different. Like my brother and I are twins but I’m disabled and he’s not. So even though we’re the same age raised by the same parents at the same time we had profoundly different life experiences— Kate🏳️🌈 (@EdHeartsStede) October 16, 2022
This explains. I don’t remember being actively parented, which I told my mom once. She was hurt and gave me examples of how I was. There’s often a mismatch between parent’s actions/intentions and how they are received by us— Shika ♐️ (@becomingShika) October 17, 2022
Was just talking about this w my sister how it was funny to me that we grew up together but we’re raised completely different from one another. You can hear it in the way we speak and how we process things. It’s a little heartbreaking— creamyy (@PrimeTimeJada) October 16, 2022
I had to tell my siblings this. As the eldest, i was the experiment. My parents knew NOTHING except what they witnessed n experienced. Each child meets their parent at a new stage in life. The hope is that the parent gets better at it n adjusts that same love to all kids— Simone, The Older Woman (@kivonshe) October 17, 2022
This is soooo true. Heck. My mom and I are besties today but we just couldn’t get along at all when I was growing up. I always felt like she hated me which wasn’t true but my perspective is so much different and so is hers. She said something the other day that shocked me.— Jen Jen 🇭🇹🇰🇳 (@OMG_its_TECHIE) October 16, 2022
This is sooo true. I remember when my mom wasn’t like she is now, my siblings don’t and therefore they kinda accept the way she is now but I have a much harder time with it because I knew her differently as the oldest. Feel like I know her the deepest of all my siblings.— bigmami❤️🔥 (@mamimela_) October 16, 2022