Things Only Only Children Will Understand

By Rylee 8 months ago

Solitude feels right-at-home

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“Solitude is the attribute of the strong. The weak seek the company of the crowd.” For us, being alone doesn’t feel like punishment. It’s rewarding and empowering. Only children prefer the company of their self. You have no problem spending vast amounts of time with no one else but yourself.

We hear voices in our heads

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No, we don’t belong in a mental asylum. Nor do we need to “talk to someone.” Our thoughts ring louder than most, and we end up saying them out loud more often than not. But in all seriousness, if you do hear lots of voices in your head all the time, you might want to get that checked.

We don’t need people to have fun

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Who needs people when you are perfectly capable of having the best time of your life? I still remember the puzzled look on my very first bestie’s face when I said I preferred to do most of my hobbies alone. As an only child, I’m sure you had a knack for cranking up the fun on your terms.

We wish we had siblings

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Do you ever wonder what life would have been like if you had a sibling growing up? You know, having someone to rat you out to your parents or annoy you to death every once in a while? While that doesn’t mean we aren’t content with our lives, we just like to explore the “what ifs.”

We lied about having siblings

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This actually stems from the fear of missing out. Most only children I knew usually preferred to exaggerate the size of their families, so they could fit in with their buddies or have something to brag about. I might have lied about having an older college brother more than once.

Parents feel like they’re always hovering

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Hey, I am not complaining about parents who go the extra mile to always be around. But as an only child, being the sole recipient of your parents’ affection can sometimes feel stifling and suffocating. That’s why we liked to get away from our parents from time to time.

People think we’re spoiled

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Don’t you hate it when people stereotype you and judge you for being an only child? That comes with the territory, I suppose. Most people I met reckoned I was spoiled or selfish just because I had no siblings. Boy, they were in for a positive surprise once I let them in.

We like to veto on social events

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I am busy right now. Can I ignore you some other time? Even though we like people, for the most part, we prefer to use them as backdrops so that we can be alone among others. We often pass on social events for the same reason a duck likes water – it’s how we’re built.

Sometimes we’re the biggest extroverts

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Yes, I am an only child, so I must be a loner. Wrong! It’s like an on-and-off switch between introversion and extroversion. Sometimes, we don’t play well with others. Other times, we get the reputation of being unable to keep our mouths shut. You never know which side you’ll get.

They don’t understand us

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No siblings? It must have been nice growing up alone. To which you most probably replied with, “Yeah, it wasn’t half bad.” Deep down, you wanted to say, “It wasn’t always rainbows & unicorns.” But since they won’t relate to your struggle, the first answer it is.

Strong affinity for pets

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Like a moth to a flame, I bet you had a pet if you grew up alone. Or, at the very least, spent a vast amount of time trying to persuade the neighbor’s cat to come over. I had a dog at five, and I liked any other animal that showed me the slightest interest.

Feeling like the third-wheel

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You’ve gone out to eat with your parents. They’re having fun and being romantic, and suddenly, you feel like you’re not supposed to be there. Like you’re standing in the way. As an only child, going out with your parents sometimes felt like you were the third wheel on their dates.

Grew up too fast

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Adulting came early for you because you were probably spending more time with your parent’s adult friends than your peers. You probably talked more about mortgages and our failing healthcare system rather than arguing with kids about which superhero you believe is most powerful.

Old souls in young bodies

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Due to our ease of being around older people, our social circles consisted of pals a couple of years older than us. It was much easier getting along with adults rather than your peers. I remember being friends with a couple of 20-something-year-olds when I was just a teenager.

Had imaginary pals

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When you don’t have much company growing up in terms of siblings, you tend to compensate creatively. I had an imaginary friend whom I named after Frodo’s deathly loyal bestie, Samwise Gamgee from LoTR. Sam would keep me company on long nights when my parents had to work late.

Secretly love the spotlight

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Being an only child means we’re constantly the center of attention. Your parents are always over-the-top worried and sweating the small stuff, demanding to know your every move or making mountains out of molehills. As much as we might not admit it, we enjoy being the sole object of attention.

All the chores were on us

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Growing up alone had its perks. But there were downsides too. There was no one to pass off the dirty dishes to. There was no one to switch turns with regarding chore duty. No one to take the fall for a “crime.” On the bright side, that made us strong and independent. I guess some kids are islands.

Board games are not our thing

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Unless you shared residence with a peculiar ghost with a strange penchant for checkers, Monopoly, or chess, chances are you weren’t too fond of board games. They reminded you of the one thing you never had- siblings to play it with. Video games, on the other hand, were more up our alley.

You always asked to bring someone along

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We’re going on vacation? Is it okay if I invite my friend to join us? No matter the destination’s appeal or scenery, summer escapades can be lonely if you’re an only child. That’s why you always asked your parents if you could bring your bestie along for the ride.

It sucks that you’ll never be an uncle/aunt

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Being an uncle or aunt is a great way to experience the best aspects of having kids without actually having to have any. It’s like watching your favorite parts of a show without having to sit through the dull bits. Sadly, we’ll never experience it, which kicks you right in the feels.

We duck the other way

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Would you stand still if you saw a lion charging at you? As an only child, we’re not accustomed to conflict. It’s unnerving and extra uncomfortable. It’s just not us. So, we do all we can to avoid it. That’s why we must brush up on our conflict resolution skills when we’re older.

Loyal to your friends

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Good luck finding a pal as loyal as an only child. Because we don’t have siblings, we tend to treat our friends like the brother/sister we never had. We’re fiercely loyal. Heck, our besties can ask us to rob a bank with them, and the only questions we’d ask is, “When and where?”

You asked your parents why

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When I was younger, I had questions about being an only child. You start overthinking things and wonder if you’re somehow to blame. I mustered the courage to ask, and it turns out I was a miracle when the doctors said they couldn’t have kids. I bet you’ve had “the talk” too.

PDA? No thank you

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Public displays of affection might not be your strong suit as an only child. We didn’t have much experience sharing hugs and touches, so they grew to feel weird and strange. Even my parents’ PDAs often felt embarrassing and awkward. We prefer to show our affection in other ways.

You want a large family

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Growing up as an only child, you may have felt like you missed out on a couple of things in life. More so those moments that come with having a sibling. You wish that your kids don’t go through the same thing. So, if you’re open to starting a family, you probably desire a big one.

We prefer birds of the same feather

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While we’re not overly picky with our friends, we gravitate toward other only children. I bet at least two of your thick-as-thieves buddies are only children. And no, I don’t have a crystal ball or read cards. I know because I, too, am drawn to other only children as I find them relatable.

An overwhelming need to please our parents

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Being an only child also means that all our parent’s hopes and expectations lie squarely on our shoulders. We pull out all the stops to try and live up to those expectations. Even as the years advance, I’m still driven by the strong urge to make my parents happy and proud.

We talk to ourselves all the time

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Silence is golden, though not always so. To relieve the loneliness or capture racing thoughts, I often converse with myself. I bet you have had these one-sided discussions one too many times, and you’ve enjoyed them. People might think we’re crazy, but we know better!

Your childhood is foggy and unclear

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If significant chunks of your childhood feel as though you blacked out through life, don’t fret. It’s not some early red flag for dementia. It’s perfectly normal. With no siblings to hold your hand down memory lane, we tend to have many blanks where childhood memories ought to be.

We wouldn’t have it any other way

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As much as we’ll always wonder about an alternative reality with siblings in the picture, we’re extremely pleased with how it all worked out. More so when we observe our cousins passing the blame for who left their socks on the floor or who “accidentally” locked the dog in the closet.