I had just finished dropping some groceries off at my grandmother’s house when I said in frustration, “I actually have to get going because I got a million errands to run today, I’m about to take my phone home and leave it there.” The only part that was frustration was the fact that I didn’t have a million errands, probably had closer to like four. The problem with those errands is they had nothing to do with me. But sensing that frustration my grandmother responded, “OK, I’ll let your mother know.” Funny right? My family actually has gotten used to all the things that I do to assert my independence and privacy. Would you have realistically ever thought that in 2011 a person with no house phone or “black” phone would be able to get away with leaving their phone home on a Saturday?
Go Dr. J:
A few things about me; I’m an only child, and although I love the company of other people, outside of hanging out with those people who I can truly be myself with (and that’s only two people), I love my personal time a lot more. I could give you tons of reasons why I am the way I am, but I thought that would be too cliché, so I thought it would be more thought-provoking to talk about the need to take personal time in certain situations.
With Family – This may surprise some, but being an only child typically means that it’s always you and your family. Well, the complicating factor is that I’m the only man in my immediate family. Most of the women in my family are divorced or their husbands have passed. This can be overwhelming because you end up being the man in all of their lives. Therefore, from time to time, I feel the need to get away from all of it and just spend time away from the pressures of being the husband, son and handyman of about twelve women.
With Friends – As an only child I’ve learned that you are expected to be social when around people. This is probably why I enjoy being around strangers so much. It’s the perfect opportunity to just stop and be quiet for a while. I love to take advantage of that time, but when I’m with my friends they tend to look to me for excitement. Honestly, in real life I’m much more reserved and tend to take breaks from hanging out with friends to spend time alone being me.
With Coworkers – Coworkers are NOSY as hell. I know that everyone means well, but they will nag you on end for details about your personal life. I know that they don’t have a problem sharing information about their marriages, homes or children, but I need to keep them at a distance from that part of my life. Funny story, my fake baby mother at work came to me one day and said, “Ladies at work are starting to wonder things because you don’t talk to any of them.” Actually one of them started this rumor because I literally just did not want to hang out with a female coworker outside of work, but she was convinced we should “hang” out. Anyway, I responded, “Let them, they don’t need to be that close to me.” I’ll probably never understand why people spend every day from 9-5 with you and then turn around and want to spend more time with you.
With Routine – Routine is a double edged sword. Many people probably sleep on the same side of the bed each night, they probably roll out of the same side too. Most people have their ways and they are stuck in them. But you will become too monotonous if you never take a break from your routine. My mother has the exact same ritual every day when she comes home. She picks up the mail, goes into the kitchen, rinses out her water bottle, sits down at the kitchen table and starts going through mail. As a kid, I started messing with her by putting the mail in random places to see if she would open it elsewhere. She never did though, I could put that mail on the moon and she’d bring it back to the kitchen table. I just couldn’t imagine going through years of my life doing the same thing every day. At times, I go a different way to work or leave my cell phone at home, just to avoid routine.
I got to run — Most, come alive in the summertime!
Besides all of the above, one of the biggest ways in which Only Child Syndrome effects people is when it comes to romantic relationships. When it comes to romantic relationships, being an only child can dictate a great deal. My experience is similar to Jax’s except, I’m not an only child, I just grew up as one. Like him, I grew up around a bunch of women, and like him, I was the primary male in their lives. There are a couple positives that came from this unique set of circumstances:
Maturity – When you’ve grown up an only child you have an increased ability to listen and understand what people need. As an only child, particularly if, like Jax and I, you’re surrounded by women, you get lots of attention from the adults around you. Instead of always being treating as one of the kids, you eventually get to the point where the adults accept you as one of them. They share with you things adults wouldn’t normally share with children and you gain a certain sense of maturity not typically ascribed to those of your peer group.
Self-Sufficiency – When you’re an only child, a great deal of your time is spent alone, so you become an expert at entertaining yourself. I remember sitting up in my room as a child creating whole worlds of fantasy. I had an immaculate toy collection that included 12 inch versions of each of the X-Men and the primary X-Men villains. You can’t imagine the mutant universe I created. The comic book plots I acted out … I’m getting on a tangent. The point is, being an only child I was forced to learn to enjoy quiet moments spent with myself. I was forced to think outside of the box and I was forced to solve problems on my own. This can be great in relationships because your happiness is never dependent on your partner.
The other side of the coin is that sometimes, being an only child can be a bit damaging. For example:
My way or the highway – As kids, your parent’s pretty much rule the world, there are very few decisions you really get to make on your own. But, when you’re an only child and those rare situations arise, you get to make those decisions without having to consider the feelings or desires of anyone else. Over time, you kinda get used to that and it can be a difficult adjustment when in a relationship. The idea of considering someone else in your decision making is often foreign to an only child. (Dr. J – This leads many only children to be leaders in their environments. If you’ve ever seen Godfather II, watch the way Michael Corleone was raised, he was practically an only child.)
Please – leave me alone! – When my wife comes home from work, she tells me about her day. When I say she tells me about her day, I mean, she walks me through each and every event that took place from the moment she walked out the house. Her day and the amount she wants to talk have a correlative relationship. The worse her day, the more she wants the talk. She’s a twin – makes sense. Me, it’s the opposite. If I had a really really bad day, I don’t want a hug, I don’t want consoling, all I want is for you to leave me alone. Some of this is just personality differences, but a big part of it is born out of being an only child. As an only child, I always had to work though my own issues. The adults were too busy being adults to worry about my kid problems as a result … I needs my space – unless you’re trying to crush. In which case, an exception can be made. But after we’re done, gimme my space back – I’m still stressed and need to think things through. (Dr. J – *waves church fan*)
SBM Fam, are you an only child? What are some of the more interesting aspects of your personality you directly attribute to the fact that you have no siblings? If you’re not an only child, have you ever dealt with one? What kind of impact did their upbringing have on the relationship?
NBA finals are over … kinda sucks. Difference between Lebron and Dirk: when sh*t got hot and it didn’t look like he could win with squad that drafted him, Lebron took his talents to South Beach. Dirk, well, Dirk did what you’re supposed to do when the drama pops off…
stay low and keep firing.
Young Dr. J baby… and Lower Frequency… SB Money!
If you’re in DC this Friday and Saturday, (June 17th and 18th), I want you to check out something. “Sketches of a Man” is a collection of Monologues featuring 7 different men who have experienced a major event in their lives and how they were forever changed. These are their stories…stories of Love, Passion, and Vengeance!
Dacron, the ladies man who learns the hard way that Karma is real! Nigel, who plots the ultimate revenge! What will he do when given the opportunity? On that historic day that changed the world, Thaddeus made a decision that put him on a journey to the unknown. A lost and tortured soul, Mason suffered a horrific ordeal as a child and lived to tell about it! A loving father, Xavier turns tragedy into triumph and learns to help others along the way. Corey is pure evil – but he wasn’t always. Find out what changed this boy next door into a monster! And finally Dexter; successful, handsome…he has it all. He will do whatever it takes to maintain the perfect image!
I’ll be there on Friday, get your tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1499257319
I'm an only child! I definitely think that as an only child you mature faster and you have a different level of maturity, I was always around adults when I was younger so I quickly learned how to act right and how to listen and understand what people need. I also think that being a female only child gives you a greater sense of independence and confidence, and depending on your relationship with your father, I think it makes you hold men to a high standard. I essentially agree with everything you guys said on this post ;).
P.S. I am sooo happy for J.Kidd! GO BEARS!!! OAKLAND!!!
The people wanna know what the Kidd did.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HTNWYpemxI&f…
My nephew is an only child and because that he's knows things at 3 some 5 year olds still don't (also the reason i myself kinda want one child or at least have some time pass between the two)
I agree with the majority of the things in this post.
I am an only child and when I was younger I wanted siblings but Im glad I dont have any.
Being an only I am also introverted. That makes a very interesting combination.
I feel as an only child I was a lot more mature than my classmates.
I think the only downside I may have to being the only child is how easy it is for me to stop talking to people. Like the post said, my way or the highway.Unless I can be 100% myself with people then I dont want your company.
You speak truth. Girl only children are especially bound to be more mature b/c of just learning how to take care of yourself. I am very good at "forgetting" to contact people or getting really irritated by people calling me just to talk when I am watching SVU and knitting. Phew
Yep. This is so me. And it's not that I don't care about others, I just love my own company more. I have had many fights with my significant other because if this.
I'm not an only child (i have 1 brother) but I could relate to a lot of this post because I'm an introvert and I need my time alone to recharge. I love being around people but social interaction drains me. I'm also very self sufficient and independent and I've lived alone for the past 9 years so I'm used to my alone time and not depending on others. I just hope that when I find a mate they understand my need for me time and my reluctance to rely on others to meet my needs.
K. Lysha: I’m not an only child (i have 1 brother) but I could relate to a lot of this post because I’m an introvert and I need my time alone to recharge. I love being around people but social interaction drains me.
This is soooo me.
I need my time to recharge too. I'm such an introvert…lol.
I'm not an only child, but I kind of feel like I grew up as one. I grew up with 2 of my siblings, however they were both boys… and I was in the middle. My older brother is 8 yrs older than me and my younger brother is 8 yrs younger than me, so are always in very different stages of our lives. Even though we grew up with eachother, and even though I would consider us as being "close", we're all very different and have always kind of operated independently of eachother.
I was a tomboy, so of course I played sports and stuff with my brothers… but they still didn't always want me around…lol. So, I spent a lot of time entertaining myself. So now… even though I love people, at my core I'm kind of a loner.
Also, being the only girl, I did get to spend a lot of time with my mom and her friends, so I do feel like I was a lot more mature at an earlier age than my peers.
And I guess for me, I'm not really a "my way or the highway" type of person… its more so that I just don't need anybody else to cosign with what I'm doing… which I think can be seen in the same light by people who are used to always consulting with their siblings.
I have siblings from my fathers side that I didn't grow up with, and I know that when I did reconnect with them, they had a hard time with the fact that I was able to think and move independently from them. I do a lot of things by myself (like going out to eat or going to the movies) and they always thought that was weird. I think they thought that I wasn't embracing being a part of the family, and it offended them that I just wanted to do things by myself sometimes.
Its not that I wasn't embracing being a part of the family…I just don't need anybody to validate my decisions, and I don't alway need to be around someone else to enjoy myself. I think thats just a part of growing up independently the way that I did.
Ha I was just coming on here to write this. I am the oldest of two girls, but an uber introvert, so although people like me and I am a generally friendly person, being around people for too long just completely zaps ALL of my energy. I am also a green (blue-orange-gold-green test) which means that I am very much the "if I am upset don't try to hug it out case that will just make it worse" kind of person. I like figuring out my problems on my own, and only coming to other people when I am comfortable doing it. My younger sister is also the exact opposite of me in SO many ways, and she tends to suck up all the air/energy in a room so I adapted growing up and am probably even more introverted because of it. But I like my intovertedness; I just annoyed when people think that I am weird/wrong for not wanting to constantly be around others. I am a classic oldest child though…. Leader, headstrong, caring, and someone everyone else goes to for adivce/support/etc.
I was the only child for like 10 years then my mother decided to have another one. I still basically act like I'm the only child. I know I can be very demanding and bossy. If someone is in the house, please believe they are going to do some work. Hand me the remote. Turn off the TV. Cut the air down.
I think sometimes the only child and 1st born syndrome tend to clash with each other. These negative connotations dominant my relationships. I try to watch it but I can't help it… I was born this way!
i cosign this i was the only child for 7 yrs and lived w my grandma for half my life so i was being baby'd by my aunts and uncles. and even when i started living w my mom i still got my way.
co-sign all of this, I definitely am the rare individual with the "Only-child/Oldest child" syndrome. I was the only child for 8 years until my little sister came along. Not only am I bossy, wishes everybody secretly had strings on their backs so I can make them do what I, I also am introverted, not sociable, and have a "matter of fact attitude"…..talk about relations with others…some people just dont "get" me
As an only child, I agree with the points of this post. Especially the point about independence and the need for alone time to just do what I wanna do. I am task oriented and can get so many things done in my own. It definitely teaches a person to be resourceful and responsible at a young age.
The two of you notwithstanding, I tend not to like only children. I often find myself enraged by them; for many of the reasons Dr. J listed.
Or maybe I'm just jealous that only children have the ability to just do what they want no matter what anyone else thinks – I spent half my childhood as the oldest and half as the middle child and that gave me an unshakable need to please. I'd love to go out some day and leave my phone at home because I don't feel like dealing with people; but I'd be too worried that they wouldn't like me if they couldn't get in touch with me when they needed to.
Max: Wait, how did you gain an older sibling? Only time I heard about this was when a dude had a second family and got caught and the child came to live with him.
I always had older siblings off somewhere in the distance but none of them lived in the house with us so I always functioned as the oldest until my older sister moved in when I was 12.
I tend not to like people who tend not to like others over the most spurious of reasons. Like, for example, ‘being an only child’.
Yes, I’m an only and a word of advice to you is hold your fire before you totally get one’s context.
With me, my parents separated before I was even conceived would you believe – so yes, i was kind of an accident but never ever was made to feel one. And my immediate spheres of influence were my mother(now deceased) herself an only, and an elderly cousin. On goodish terms with dad. Both women though had underlying anxiety/male issues which resulted in me being manipulated and dominated and so, to a large extent, emasculated. I too find myself with this unhealthy urge to please others at my expense, which I believe, is a result of these two relos insecurities.
Needless to say, in the western world, (I’m from oz) a passified male by and large just ain’t where it’s at apropos the fairer sex.
In some ways max we are quite similar. more so than perhaps I am to other onlies from more functional backgrounds.
For the first time in my life now at 42yrs I feel I have no one to answer too – freedom!!! When mum passed a few years back this elderly cousin now 85 fell onto me like a pile of bricks (she was unmarried and an extreme alpha in that she had to be on the go and social all the time. I’m more beta and socially indifferent, preferring my own space. Perhaps because i never had to compete or that i picked up mums non competitive easygoing nature – she being an only too. Not so much now but as a kid in the social scene i was easily outmanouvered by my usually more competitively and socially adept siblinged peers)
Anyway, this cousin tried to take me over. She’s jealous and controlling – active and intelligent!! Bad combo of traits – so couldnt be easily passified without a fight. I looked after her until she went into a nursing home suffering alzheimers about 12 months ago. Loved me and yeah she was cool in all, but wow, like being loved by a ferocious tiger.
Point is, context is key making. Stereotyping is useless and myopic. Everyone has their own story making them what they are.
Only child in the house… Been that way since my sister dead when I was 4. Which in turned changed my mother into this over protective overbearing beast of a Haitian mom.
Important to note b/c it made me strong on the "my way or the highway" and the "leave me alone".
Great post. Only thing I'll add to the Self-Sufficiency is that I take care of my business and rarely ask for favors. While my 1/3 Gf and 1/6 mom have no problem disturbing me to make their lives easier. The Worst is when you are a kid and the call you from another room to get something for them that they were closer to begin with but are being lazy. Like yelling for me to come up from the basement just to pass them the remote which was on the other side of the bed….. OOOOOOO I hated that.
I know that game of fetch very well.
"I take care of my business and rarely ask for favors." – This is true for me too. "Don't worry about it, i'll take care of it" is a frequently used phrase of mine. It can turn some people off, because some women feel like if they can't do something for you, that you don't need them. For some reason that bothers them. You ever gotten in an argument with a woman because you won't let her do anything. Like it's a game of basketball and you won't pass the rock.
I can't call it.
Dr. J: It can turn some people off, because some women feel like if they can’t do something for you, that you don’t need them. For some reason that bothers them. You ever gotten in an argument with a woman because you won’t let her do anything. Like it’s a game of basketball and you won’t pass the rock.
This happens to me all the time. It's rare that I meet a woman I need versus a woman I want.
I think this is because some women tend to want to do things for men just as a way of showing that they care.
A lot of men internalize this as an attempt to get her hooks into him and refuse to accept nice gestures as a way of keeping her at arm's length.
Suffer through one or two of these types and the next time you meet a man who won't let you do anything for him – even if it's just because he's used to doing for himself – your as$hole alarm bells start ringing.
A lot of men internalize this as an attempt to get her hooks into him and refuse to accept nice gestures as a way of keeping her at arm’s length.
I have mixed feelings on your statement. Though most of the time, a woman might not know enough to be able to help. It's usually not conscious. I learned to allow people to help even if you don't need/want it for the sake of them. Too many times I had to explain that I don't want/need help with every thing that isn't easy, just the things that I need help on.
I will do my own laundry, thank you!
Don't touch my dirty draws. That is personal.
I also get in trouble b/c there are things I like to do dolo. Like work out or study.
I don't do study groups.
It's HARD for me to even consider asking for help. As a woman, I had to learn how to stand down and be taken care of.
When I was a toddler, my Mom had a dream that I got hit by a bus…drastically changed the course of my life. Protective is NOT the word…
But, I found my way around that…hang with people she trusts…then do whatever you want, lol. 😉
I thought only my Haitian Mom did this! Calls me from another room to get water for her and she's in the kitchen, or the remote, or some milk, or whatever else in the world. I used to think she had kids for the sole purpose of doing housework. Now, I realize, it's a Haitian thing. It doesn't work so well when your friends tell stories of what they're parents make them NOT do! I always felt slighted.
As the youngest child with overprotective parentals, I was always an introvert and very shy. My extreme independence came from being AFRAID to ask ppl for help…therefore, I learned to be uber sefl-sufficient! Why afraid? I believe kids test their parents all the time and the response you get early on sets the stage for how you'll view the world and interact with ppl overtime. I always got crazy looks or got shot down early on, so I dare not ask!
In my adult life, I realized I never ask for help unless it is DESPERATELY needed, and it's not due to pride, but fear. Sometimes to my detriment! I'm learning…
"I used to think she had kids for the sole purpose of doing housework"
Co-Sign. I thought Toussaint fought to get us out of slavery.
"If I had a really really bad day, I don’t want a hug, I don’t want consoling, all I want is for you to leave me alone. Some of this is just personality differences, but a big part of it is born out of being an only child. As an only child, I always had to work though my own issues."
Somewhere in the world, you just saved a man from an argument or spiteful act at the hands of a woman. I really hope people take this post seriously.
I grew up as an only child. Combine that with being reserved and being a Pisces and you have a person that's…well, very independent and can function without people for long periods of time but will take care of people that are close to him need be necessary. I think I was supposed to be an artist or something.
One thing about only children that they probably won't tell you. Despite how "don't give a f*ck about the world" they may be on the outside, they internally have the need to be liked. It shows itself in different ways, but people just choose not to notice it.
I was an only child for almost seven years, and then my two sisters came about 2 years apart from one another. I completely understand both of your points. I absolutely think me being the only child for that long made me the 60/40 mix of extrovert to introvert that I am. I don't mind being the center of attention but like Kanye I can be myself and enjoy the company. Especially in the case of being upset. I don't want to talk. I don't want to share. I just want to work through it myself. Give me a little time, I'm a big boy I can handle it on my own. Kind of like when women say they don't want your advice, they just want you to listen… well I don't want your conversation right now, I just want you to move
b*tch get out the way.
Also, though my stepdad was in the picture he wasn't all the way there, so being the "everyman" to mom, grandmother, and two sisters is taxing sometimes. It was then, it is now. I love my family to death, but it might not be a coincidence I keep a healthy 1000+ mile distance. lol But I can say that growing from only child to oldest child has definitely made me much more independent and willing to take on more responsibility than either one of my siblings. I truly believe your birth order plays a pretty heavy role in personality and your ability to relate to others. Kind of an unavoidable fact of life I guess.
Lol, I'm reading this and thinking about my son; only child and keeps himself preoccupied all the time…We don't have a t.v and I refuse to get 1 so he's surrounded by nothing but books and a few toys. In my opinion, he has great social skills and stands up for himself, many times he also shows that he is a good influence on other children, which is a great thing.
That show sounds great wish I could go.
The longer you keep the TV away from your son the better. It will lead him to be a much more well rounded person. As an only child, I can attest, my family didn't vibe well with kids sitting in front of TV all day long. I learned to read a lot faster than my peers. I had started reading the bible at two or three. And then when growing up; writing, poetry, photography and cooking became my hobbies. I notice that with kids today, they don't have any hobbies.
Dr. J: I notice that with kids today, they don’t have any hobbies.
They really don't… and its so sad. If they can't watch TV, get on a computer or play a video game, then they don't know what to do with themselves. A lot of kids these days have no imagination…
I remember that my mom would only let us watch TV for 2 hours per day during summer vacation. The rest of the time, we had to be creative and find something else to do. I spent most of my free time reading too 🙂
Yes! My kid learned what a video game was by accident, at a friends house. I thank the good lord that he had no interest in it and was not begging me to buy him one, when we got home. I think him being the only child is awesome, I really dont see any negative things about it. Of course people are quick to call him spoiled, but thats typical and theyre just jealous, lol.
Not sure if this has anything to do with only child syndrome but my prince is very expressive–everyone who meets him compliments him on how well he can express his feelings using actual words and emotions.
Lastly, he is 5 1/2 years old and has such a vivid imagination not only because the time he spends alone but him being the only child allows me to nurture his talents and hobbies even more than if I had other children, because the focus in on him– and of course he benefits from this so much.
not an only child. but an oldest child. i was an only child for 7 years before my brother came and messed errything up. after that two more! geesh! lol
honestly though, i think there are a lot of commonalities between being a several years older/younger child and an only child. you develop a self-centered part of your personality, you like to be alone, you are maturer than most, etc. the difference is when you're the eldest, you have to assume more responsibility and be like the third (or 2nd) parent in the home. i spent many days not out with friends bc i was the babysitter/cook/tutor/entertainer while my mom was working. i think this is responsible for my absolute disdain for cooking until about a couple of years ago, and my need for solitude on a regular basis.
the good thing about being the oldest is when your younger siblings grow up into awesome individuals, you can take pride in knowing you had a big role in that. at least that's my experience. my little sisters avoided a lot of the drama and crazy mistakes by just having me as an older sister. that's pretty cool.
other than that, i think it's more of a man thing and not necessarily an only child thing (though a male only child is a double whammy lol) to want to be left alone when a bad day has happened. i've learned that if he wants to talk, he will. otherwise it's best to just leave him or whatever subject is bothering him alone until he emerges from the batcave with pleasantries. lol.
I've experienced both sides of this coin. I went from having an older sister to basically not having one. She didn't die, we were separated. As a result I was lonely a lot and craved attention. When people came around I felt the need to be entertaining and to also try to use humor both as a means to keep them around or coming back and as a protection/defense mechanism. I'm grown now and I still do that. I think I may have been somewhat afraid to experience that loneliness for long in life; lead me to get married quite young I believe.
I do not understand these 'mature faster' shenanigans.
I do not understand these ‘mature faster’ shenanigans.
Me neither … Of course maturity from the eye of the beholder doesn't really mean much. How can "my way or the highway" or "Extreme Introversion" or "Constantly listening to adults convos" equate to an increased maturity. If anything the "mature faster" should ring more true with 1st borns and (MAYBE) the middle child. Independence (as in being alone) doesn't equal maturity. One's ability to adapt to situations with reason and tact is maturity. I don't think Only Children adapt well.
If anything, kids with many siblings care more about being alone and value it more because they are constantly having to share everything with everyone. I only have 1 sister so it wasn't really that bad. But for a minute, I stayed with my cousins and there were 5 of them, within 7 years of each other. I know all of them have gone through, and still go through, periods where they have absolutely no desire to be around the other ones regardless of how much they really do live, breathe and would die for each other on a daily basis.
If you're a person who grew up in a household with 15 other siblings, you're going to have some unique experiences that force your maturity. The point Jax and I are trying to make – I think – is not so much that we're more mature because we grew up as 1's, but instead is to point out the peculiarities about being an only child that brought about a peculiar form of maturity. If that makes sense.
So, for example, as an only child, you might suck at sharing – which is kind of immature, but, you're an awesome listener and you know lots about women because you talk to your mom all the time and she treats you like an adult.
The point Jax and I are trying to make – I think – is not so much that we’re more mature because we grew up as 1′s, but instead is to point out the peculiarities about being an only child that brought about a peculiar form of maturity. If that makes sense.
So, for example, as an only child, you might suck at sharing – which is kind of immature, but, you’re an awesome listener and you know lots about women because you talk to your mom all the time and she treats you like an adult.
Lmaoooo Fail … Naw bruh it doesn't make sense … Lol … If i may??? You're saying that due to being an only child, you've been given the ability to recognize your strengths in relation to your weaknesses. I guess recognizing your strengths and weaknesses is a very lowly form of maturity, but i'd venture to say that maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses is a bit more notable.
Only Children (not limited to this though) most often get the "old soul" or "too grown" label. We spend so much time with adults absorbing adult conversation that we're exposed to all facets of life at a ridiculously early age. Our conversation is different. Our humor is different. I learned everything early…they tried to skip me to 1st grade and my mother refused to allow it (she thought it should be my choice and I said no since their would be no snack time…forgive her, she was in her mid 20's, lol).
Can this happen to other children? Yes. But, most children who have an "only" experience completely identify with this.
I am not an only child but I was raised as one…my brother is 12 years older than I and my other siblings have different mothers. I found myself laughing as I read this because this describes me perfectly. Yet, I think one point wasn't touched upon. Developing social skills is more challenging as an only child. You don't get to practice certain skills like sharing and patience on a regular basis until later in life. Mainly, because you don't have to practice those skills at home (only from the hours of 8am-2pm while in school). At least, this was my experience. As a child, I had a tough time understanding why people couldn't just let me play with toys by myself in school or why it was ncessary for me to "talk out my problem" when I just didn't feel like playing with the other kids that day. Back then, I didn't get the importance of having healthy interactions with others. I just wanted to be left alone for a while.
Though, I think my independence is a side effect of my maturity and less so my "only child syndrome." I was mature because I was constantly around adults. I was independent because most children my age weren't as developed mentally so I had no choice but to do many things on my own accord.
I was going to say something about this, as a few may have commented. There are several times when the youngest may be like an only child. My mother was like this, her sisters were 7 and 9 when she was born. They were going to college before she even got her bearings. But I know other examples of people being 15-16 years in difference from their older siblings. I don't think it holds true for the older sibling though. Because they share in the process of helping to raise their younger sibling, they are forced to be unselfish.
My best friend from maybe 4-18 was an only child and he was more like a brother when growing up, since we pretty much hung out all the time until around HS. But his social skills were very much honed. The thing i hated most about him growing up is the "Angel" persona he had. Not sure if this is an Only Child trait, but when around my parents or anyone's parents he had this "I do no wrong" vibe to him and everyone loved him for being this well-mannered child when in actuality he wasn't on that (The fakeness irritated me). As his friend, he did have a tendency to get extremely sensitive/defensive if he was tested or ppl stood up to him (He was always the bigger kid … Now he's about 6'2" 210). I remember us playing basketball and me playing rough (I had to i'm now 5'10 and some change 165 and i was always smaller than him) and he took me challenging him personally and out of nowhere he snapped and through the ball at my face cuz he didn't get his way (smh). Another thing that irritated me was he was the biggest cry baby, EVERY TIME we would play a sport, he would get "hurt" in the middle of the game and quit. Were u only children like that also, you know cry babies?
Yeah, I have HORRIBLE sportsmanship, LOL. And, we tend to be more well behaved, again, because we spend so much time with adults…sitting down, lol. There are no kids to go off and get into trouble with. And, since we aren't used to getting into trouble, we shy away from trouble.
Def not an only child but I'm 4 years older than my brother and 6 years older than my sister. They played together so I spent most of my time growing up entertaining myself. I was also my parents favorite (no lie- my mother drunkenly said it once lol) so I got to make all the decisions (family vacays, dinner restaurants etc) and never had to consider their decisions.
I act just like Dr. J and Most probably 95% of the time. For a while my friends in college thought I was an only child.
I'm not an only child…I'm the oldest and can relate to all of these points listed. Maybe it's b/c I have younger siblings that I don't NEED to be around people all the time. I want my own space. My face looks like this o_O when people who live alone tell me it gets lonely sometimes. I relish in the thought of an empty house.
I was always hip to the adult goings ons, especially after my parents divorced b/c I became second in command. The meant more responsibility, but it also afforded me different privleges that my siblings didn't necessarily have.
I wouldn't sleep on the middle child either. Older children get to make decisions for the group at times, and youngest children are just spoiled rotten. That middle child may have honorary membership into the "only child syndrome" family because nobody is ever really paying attention to them. I know middle cihldren who got left at home for vacation because no one was paying attention to them playing in the backyard.
LMAO@left at home during vacation. I am a middle child, and honestly we do get left alone a lot. It didn't help that I was the 'good' one. i.e. excelled at school, didnt get in trouble. I was perfectlyyyy okay with being left alone tho. It became a part of me. now that I'm older I def get more praise being that im 'successful'. But middle child syndrome is no joke.
I'm an only child and though i never got left at the cribs on vacation, I have been left plenty of times to various things and even had school/sporting events that (2 parent household) no one showed up to, all the while they're at home chillin upon my return…smh…After which, I was called shallow for wanting SOMEONE to come (Actually made me cry and i didn't even know what the word shallow meant at the time).
Middle Child Syndrome is the worst … i have it bad … When i'm with a woman, i'm an attention/affection whore, but since i like diversity and being on my own also … i can't hang with a chick more than one day/week … it's either be alone or hang with another woman. *Something is wrong with me*
so confused, how do you have middle child syndrome if you are an only child?
*TYPO* My bad … Fingers made moves before my brain … i'm a middle child
If you’re a person who grew up in a household with 15 other siblings, you’re going to have some unique experiences that force your maturity. The point Jax and I are trying to make – I think – is not so much that we’re more mature because we grew up as 1′s, but instead is to point out the peculiarities about being an only child that brought about a peculiar form of maturity. If that makes sense.
So, for example, as an only child, you might suck at sharing – which is kind of immature, but, you’re an awesome listener and you know lots about women because you talk to your mom all the time and she treats you like an adult.
Ahh, okay thank you for making everything illuminated.
I'm not an only child but I definitely can relate to having a need for space and privacy with certain people especially co-workers! I thought I was the only person who felt this way, co-workers are VERY nosy and I'm usually seen at work as being the odd ball since I don't feel the need yo divulge every minute detail of my personal life at work. Glad to know I'm not the only one who understands the concept of discretion.
Lots of gems in this post.
Takes out notepad and marks through blog he had planned titled "Leave me the Hell Alone."
I'm not an only child but my sister is 9 years older than me and she moved out of the house when she was 17. I was basically an only child. I'll quote a few things I can relate to…
"Honestly, in real life I’m much more reserved and tend to take breaks from hanging out with friends to spend time alone being me."
"I’ll probably never understand why people spend every day from 9-5 with you and then turn around and want to spend more time with you." – Agreed. I like my coworkers but I wouldnt consider any of us "friends" persay. I actually try to minimize making friends at work because I dont want to hang out and something crazy happen and now we're at work making awkward eyes at one another because I saw 'Drunk Bob,' who has a wife, take a girl home from happy hour. No thanks.
"When you’re an only child, a great deal of your time is spent alone, so you become an expert at entertaining yourself….This can be great in relationships because your happiness is never dependent on your partner." – Def depends on the partner. I've been chastised on more occassions than I can count for not making a woman feel needed because like you said my "happiness is [rarely] dependent on my partner."
This whole damn paragraph…"If I had a really really bad day, I don’t want a hug, I don’t want consoling, all I want is for you to leave me alone. Some of this is just personality differences, but a big part of it is born out of being an only child. As an only child, I always had to work though my own issues. The adults were too busy being adults to worry about my kid problems as a result … I needs my space – unless you’re trying to crush. In which case, an exception can be made. But after we’re done, gimme my space back – I’m still stressed and need to think things through."
Great post Dr. J! It's a great read! Sounds a lot like me actually, with only half the women though, lol. I don't function very well without my personal space and actually can be mean without it, but not because I was an only child. I was just always allowed to make decisions as long as they weren't dumb, lol.
I think a lot of this can apply to middle child syndrome, at least for me. I value my personal time to the highest extent. I don't care if all I am doing is playing Farmville for an hour. I am a busy. I hate to leave my phone home, but I love to ignore messages/calls. *shrugs* Growing up in a house full of women, they would all call me, the level headed one to vent about another. i have to constantly nip those calls in the bed, and tell them each "i do not care". Its unfortunate but its not my problem and I refuse to get riled up with you. my grandmother is a pro at that.
I hate to ask for help, and nine out of ten I don't need it. Where there is a will there is a way. The moment you hesitate I will have made up my mind to do it myself, if I even bothered asking you in the first place. I guess this can be a gift and a curse.
I hate to wait for people to make decisions, I feel like so much opportunity is lost that i've learned and enjoy rolling solo, a lot. Sometimes my sisters just want to talk, and I honestly have to tell them "go home". I just don't want to hear small talk. I call my friends to update them, not to make small talk or chit-chat. We call, we update each other, we hang up. I don't call people 'just cause'.
My mental clarity is worth too much to have to constantly care about others and what they are doing or went through. Sounds harsh, but if its not that important/interesting I tend to hit them with the bored face quick. Its a hard road out there.
@TruePrototype: Sorry for being unaware, but your post is pretty ambiguous from a gender standpoint…Are you a man or a woman?
No problem, I am a woman.
How do I add an image?
gravatar.com … Go through the steps and your image will automatically be added to any comments … you won't have to come to any blog to upload …the image follows your email address.
I enjoyed this post so much I decided to come out of hiding and post a comment of my own.
I only realized a few years ago that I have the Only Child Syndrome. I am my mother's only child and one of four for my father (I'm the middle child), but since I grew up with my mother, I am an only child. I can spend days at a time with little to no contact with the outside world. And like others have said, I need this alone time to recharge. Many people don't get it and I seem to attract extroverts and social butterflies into my life and it makes for interesting relationships. I love and hate them simultaneously for making me join the world. My significant other doesn't get it either but after months of fighting, he's come to accept it.
I recently got roommates, the first time in my adult life that I have lived with anyone long term, and I am dying. It is a very interesting phenomena. I find myself seeking for places to get the solitude I need. This situation made me really realize how much I NEED my alone time. Marriage will be an interesting thing for me.
I agree with the maturity comment too. I've been told continuously that I am mature for my age. When I was younger, my mother's friends used to see that I need to act my age more cuz they saw me as being "rude", but I couldn't help it. And altho I am a good listener,I have a low tolerance for BS and get easily annoyed by others. I also agree with the routine thing, I like things done a particular way (my way or the highway) but I also hate monotony. So I need things to be changed up ever so often. I sometimes wonder how my friends and family put up with me.
Thanks for your comment, and you don't have to hide around here. Feel at home.
I'm an only child. I grew up very much entertaining myself and that assisted my vivid imagination. But I was also the one that WANTED to be around people–I stayed after school, always in activities, never wanting to come home and be "alone". As an adult that happens still but in spurts. I like to be alone, I like to be with people. I LOVE living alone because when I'm done with people, I can just leave and retreat to my solace. I think my biggest fear about marriage is sharing space–I need some just for me. I've never lived with anyone (outside of my fam) beyond college–and half of that time I was a RA and lived alone.
I definitely had to learn to compromise over the years but deep at the core I still feel my way is the best way. I just had to accept that I may not always get it. and not sulk about it.
like Dr. Jay I do like to be around strangers because I like to people watch, and I like not having an expectation. but if I'm in a truly chatty mood, I would prefer to be around folks I know. I'm not sure if my ways come from solely being an only child, or me just being me.
I have never seriously dated another only child. I think sibling dynamics are interesting so I like people with families bigger than mine.
Something else to consider when dealing with people "The Only Child Syndrome"… Thanks…
Im the oldest me and my little brother are 10 years apart. I have been invovled with only children and while some have the qualities you mentioned are correct you missed a few.
Selfish- when you are an only child you dont have to share nor care about others its just about you, some dont realize that "it's not always about them" and sadly the people around them have to throw them into reality. As the odlest I might have not shared everything but trust I had to incorprate and miss out on a few things becuase i was the only child in the house anymore. I also was responsblie for making sure my little brother didnt do no outragoues crap that would eventually lead to us both getting in trouble.
Needs attention- even though you might not always want to be around people as an only child, when you are around them you want to be the center of attention, you want all eyes on you. Imagine living in a house where its just about you, sharing the spot light wont come easy.
Ignore this it posted wrong
I was an only child for 10 years then… BOOm my mom had my little brother..yup out of nowhere my parents gave me the news about my mother’s pregnancy on my birthday only to tell me that that was my present. I have been with an only child. And let’s just say you missed to major qualities.
Selfish- It’s not always about you (only children). Being an oldest child I had to learn how to share my time and my space. While I might have not always liked it, it does come in handy when going into the real world.
Needs Attention- While only children like their own space and time from others, when they are in a group of others they want all eyes on them, sharing the spot light does not come easy for them. It might not always be in a relationship way but with friends or in social settings they need to be the center of attention (or if not need they would really like to be the center of attention)
Spoiled- You get whatever you want when you want. You don’t have to share the household income with other siblings. You want a new game sure, you want dancing lessons no problem. It always has to be your way or the highway.
This might not apply to all only children but I know there are some out there who have these not so great qualities (I think their only childness- magnifies these qualities at least for me)
I'll add right here that it must suck being the older sibling when you're a girl and you have a younger brother. Men have a tendency to want the son more than the daughter. And I see girls lose all their rights as the firstborn once the boy is born. I've even seen a middle child who was the first boy assume leadership in my own family. His older sister isn't even liek Fredo either, they're just in a patriarchal family.
lol Oo0o No im still the boss … Im the leader if anything all eyes are on me all the time. My dad loved having a girl .. and boy best of both worlds
I had waaaay too many cousins to be selfish. I'd give them my clothes and toys, lol…my Mom had to put a stop to that. I come from a large family full of comedians. And, most of my friends are funny too. I learned how to share the spotlight early and I still do so.
Now, I will admit, when I'm comfy, it's pretty clear that I'm at the party, lol. But, I can't help that I have interesting stories and funny raw reactions to things. I don't force my way to the forefront…it just happens naturally. 😉
And I can be a bit of a brat when things don't work out the way I want. Imma def need a moment of silence to get myself together. The simple solution to this is to leave me alone. Do not try to talk to me…I'll have nothing good to say and no good will come from the discussion, lol. In about 15 minutes, it'll be like nothing happened, lol…cause I get over most stuff pretty quickly.
I am the 4th of 5 children, though, I'm basically the middle child since my sister right above me was the baby for 9 years,
and she still acts like the baby.
Its funny, because I love silence and having peace. I don't like being around a lot of people a lot of the time. The one thing that used to irk me about this only child I dated was that he was so inconsiderate. He really just didn't seem to grasp the concept of thinking of others, and understanding that its not just you in this. Now, I don't know if that was due to being an only child, and being spoiled, or just him being an a$$hole who wasn't mature enough for a relationship. Either way, he sucked. He was also on that "my way or the highway" mess, but I just assumed because he grew up so fast, he didn't truly develop maturity as an adult. Did I mention he was an a$$hole? ohok, just wanted to make sure. lol.
I want to have at least 3 children because I want them to have the familial dynamic I had growing up. You never really appreciate your siblings until you all become adults, and you build friendships that are deeper than blood. I want my kids to have that experience.
Nia, funny thing about your comment is that you will find that only children can go either way. Some of us are very self-conscious and go out of way to be considerate of others, we're prone to oversharing, and giving up our wants for others. You can go either way because some only children don't want to be teased about having OCS. I remember myself in college, living with my frat brothers oft times I had to just stay silent because I didn't want to b*tch about the inconsiderate ways frat brothers can be to your personal belongings in a house. But I just stayed quiet so people wouldn't accuse me of being an only child.
I find that sometimes people from big families or middle children sometimes are more selfish in adult life because they're living out their childhood dreams of getting their way. Once they find the power to do so, they jump at it.
your last paragraph is spot on. With every passing day, I become little moreselfish. With a large family, you are always doing something for someone else. I'm definitely at the point in my life where I want to do for me first. Doesn't mean I won't help you, but only after I take care of my needs.
And I agree that some only children overcompensate to make sure they're not the inconsiderate or selfish one in the group. For both only children, as well as kids with many siblings, there are expectations that we are to act a certain way, even as adults. I love my family, but I would rather not be around them for more than 4 days, and that pushing it. Whereas, an only child may be very family oriented, and chills at his folks house on the regular. #shrug. Life is full of surprises and shyt.
@Top5DOA: Lmaoooo Fail … Naw bruh it doesn’t make sense … Lol … If i may??? You’re saying that due to being an only child, you’ve been given the ability to recognize your strengths in relation to your weaknesses.I guess recognizing your strengths and weaknesses is a very lowly form of maturity, but i’d venture to say that maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses is a bit more notable.
I don't fail.
But to explain further – since your desire for debate has clearly had a negative impact on your reading comprehension: No, I'm not saying that because I'm an only child I can recognize my strengths and weaknesses. Nor am I saying that an only child will mature faster than any other child. There are too many mitigating factors to make a direct correlation between rate of maturity and number of siblings. What I'm saying is that your birth station has a large impact on how you mature. I'm talking about the direction of your maturity – the areas of your personality that become adult-like faster than others.
You knew your initial explanation was lacking a bit, hence your disclaimer of whether it was making sense. After reading it a few more times, i started to see what you were getting at. With your further explanation, I understand the "direction of maturity". There's obviously no debate here, since you're talking about segmental maturation vs. absolute maturation, which is usually more subjective than objective.
TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld: your desire for debate has clearly had a negative impact on your reading comprehension
This might be the greatest quote I have ever read as it relates to "debates" on the Internet.
Actually made me chuckle a bit … Definitely a chop at the knee.
That give me a o_O and make me step back a little… Reminds me of an AI crossover…
Long time lurker and I cosign the whole damn post except I'm not an only child…but I am the oldest.
While I was introverted and quiet, my sister was extroverted and LOUD, so I didn't have to be sociable around family because she was sociable enough for about 10 people.
My coworkers were the worst about being in my damn business AND always wanting to hang out…on WEEKENDS!! So I had to tell them, "y'all are cool but we see each other a minimum of 40 hours during the week and if I'm not getting paid, I don't wanna be around you. And I need my full weekend away from y'all to regenerate or I won't be my pleasant self." They were cool but damn!
I've always been extremely responsible, self sufficient, I always get my way or all hell breaks loose, and instead of telling people to leave me alone I just get ghost…for days no calls, texts, or emails which is a problem with family, friends and relationships but it's just how I am.
Im a middle child, but dont suffer from that Middle child syndrome
I see what ya;ll mean in this post. A lot fo these points is how I feel. im a generally positive person, but people will expect you to be on that all the time… and sometimes you just want to chill.
Whenever Im on a roadtrip or travelling with friends, I always assume a corner of the room for MY stuff, because I dont want anythign lost or anyone in my sh*t. I can get extrememly anal about that stuff and I think thats my inner only child surfacing, lol.
I hate people in my stuff. My older sister is staying with me for a while, and everytime she takes a step towards my bedroom, I stop her, and ask her she wants. She's the type to see something, and claim it as hers. lol. Its an everday battle. I should put a sign on the door, "Don't Touch My Shyt!", but seriously, this isn't HS and I shouldn't have to do that. Still, don't touch my shit.
I'm an only child, and I co-sign everything said here.
Oh boy…I dated an only child..and as someone who is extremely social with a huge family, it just did not work. Not at all. Whenever there was a problem, he would just shut the hell down. No convo. No trying to work it out, just government shut down. It would DRIVE ME UP THE WALL because in my family, you have a problem, you talk about it, or it never gets fixed. So i guess my question is, if you're an only child how long are u going to cling to that label? Lol because when we would be fighting the fight would get so much worse when he shut down and let the problem fester lol
I'm an only child and extremely social, but when i'm not around a lot of people, I am very reserved and keeping to myself. That can throw some people off. Especially when you wake up somedays and don't want to be bothered with anyone, but the night before you were the life of the party.
I def co-sign this entire post.
I am an only child. However, I come from a very large family that grew up close so I have a gazillion cousins and several of them are like siblings to me. I also have step-brothers (I didn't live with any of them till I was a teenager) and my Mom also got into foster care (I was in high school by then). Growing up, my frequent interactions with my cousins during the weekends helped to give me a balance of independence and social skills. So, though I can be alone…and fine, I actually don't mind being around people that I care about. But, do unplug from time to time.
I am the queen of detaching, lol. I have always been a "no nonsense" type chick. I burn bridges like I'll never need to cross it again…which can be good and bad. I go weeks without talking to people I love to death and I hate talking to people who babble on about nothing. I miss phone calls and texts all the time cause when I'm out, I'm out, lol. And, I have no problem at all telling people no. I care about how other people feel but not to the point that I have to really suffer as a result of how they feel…I don't play that, lol. I am incapable of taking one for the team over extended periods of time, lol…CO81's must be happy too!
I also have to say that I hate being bored. I stay busy. My Mom says that I woke up everyday asking, "what are we doing today?" Now, that I'm older, this is a bit overwhelming cause I tend to over-extend myself.
I despise hearing the word, no (yes, I realize I have no problem saying it…but I really do try to do what I can when I can). I hate asking for anything. So, if I'm asking, I really need it…I'm counting on it even. And since I hardly ever ask for anything, you, oh loved one, should be bending over backwards to help me, LOL. I am absolutely used to getting my way…when it matters to me (I'm flexible…not demanding at all). I'm so low maintenance and easy going that people really tend to spoil me when they have the opportunity.
My need for space sometimes also effects me as a parent. Specifically, my oldest son is clingy and OMG it kills me! My baby boy is content doing his own thing but that oldest one? I had to sit him down and explain that Mommy can't take him coming to check on me every five minutes…kissing on me and hugging me up. It's too much! So, now, he checks me face and sometimes goes, "Nevermind, Mom. I know…personal space." LOL… I know it sounds bad but its real.
lol at him checking on you every 5 minutes…my son does that and I think its the CUTEST thing. I love it.
I am quick to cut people off like it's nothing. And it's usually because they flaked out after I was forced to request their help so I don't feel bad about it.
I imagine I'd be the same way with my kids. It's so cute that he knows better though. 🙂
thats too cute… dont worry he'll get older and then you'll have to chase him down to get sometime with him. I know when my lil brother is doing his own thing or content in the house i tend to check on him a little more..becuase when their too quite their getting into something.
You called your son "clingy", can he get the nickname, Chingy? That would be hot.
Also, your only child exp reminds me of my father's side of the family. I got like 40 cousins over there.
Interestingly enough, his nickname is "Jay", lol…
My grandmother had 10 siblings…who had kids, who had kids, who had kids, lol. We're pretty deep. When my grandmother and her siblings were younger and still had their houses, we all got together a lot cause they paid for the food. Now, my Mom's generation ain't frontin nothing, lol. So, I rarely see everyone all together except at funerals…nothing like how it was growing up. My kids and their generation have no idea how many relatives they have…it's kinda sad.
They flooded the market!
Dr. J, I agree with the phone thing. Sometimes you have to get away. At times I tell my closest family/friends: "Yo. I'm about to fall off the grid for about a week." And straight leave my phone in my closet, off for a week. No email (unless forced at work), no facebook, no nothing. I'll turn my phone on only to check voicemails (rarely). And I'm not even an only child…
This is G ish right here. Leaving your phone for a week in the closet. That's what @SaneN85 has been doing lately, that's why she's MIA on SBM.
I left my phone in my desk drawer when I went out for lunch. It was so liberating. No phone, no ipod, no access to anyone or anything. Happy feelings…
Can't live without the ipod … No No No
I’m the oldest so I had to look after my younger sister. We were only two years apart so for awhile we were attached at the hip. I’m very nurturing and a natural problem solver. My mom always said I had an “old soul” so I got to see and hear stuff that most kids didn’t. I had to grow up really fast, and even today I feel like I have to be the voice of reason for my family. I love my space but after a while I start to miss having folks around me. But I think that’s from having a close knit family. My parents were young so I technically grew up with them. My dad is still probably one of my best friends and always had been. I don’t think I even have any friends that are only children. I don’t necessarily like to be the center of attention, but I do like to be surrounded by people I care about. I also have a hard time making decisions without the input of others, which is something I'm currently working on. I’ll try not to be so judgmental with people who just need space or time alone from now on.
Sadly, my life is so tethered to my phone that it would be difficult to complete errands without it. There I have my tasks, my account information, my list of bills and such to consider, my calendar…
Sometimes though, I put it on airplane mode and that helps me to use it without dealing with interference. Just a thought.
I have experienced this phenemenon with men too. I have been cited as too independent and it led to many disagreements. I would venture to say men like to feel needed as much, or more than, women.
I know that game of fetch very well.
“I take care of my business and rarely ask for favors.” – This is true for me too.“Don’t worry about it, i’ll take care of it” is a frequently used phrase of mine.It can turn some people off, because some women feel like if they can’t do something for you, that you don’t need them.For some reason that bothers them.You ever gotten in an argument with a woman because you won’t let her do anything.Like it’s a game of basketball and you won’t pass the rock.
I can’t call it.
Only Child/Long time lurker. I must agree with every point you have made especially the following:
"I’m an only child, and although I love the company of other people, outside of hanging out with those people who I can truly be myself with (and that’s only two people), I love my personal time a lot more."
"When you’ve grown up an only child you have an increased ability to listen and understand what people need."
I cannot begin to tell you how much time I spend playing the negro Dr. Phil for both my friends and coworkers on a daily basis. In any case, good post.
I am an only child and I really connected with you on this post. I have not had a serious relationship yet but I often wonder how I will handle things. As it stand now, school has broken up for the summer for only two weeks or so and I've already been accused of being "MIA" and so I need to get up and get moving with people again. But I just needed me time. Even when I was in school I didn't need to see people everyday.
I am only but and on top of that the majority of my family doesn't live in the US. I find myself much more independent that others especially in my ability to find answers to my own problems, think of opportunities for myself, etc. I am the one in my group who always has a good in school, always knows about a new opportunity, and you won't know about another idea I have until I shock you with my plans way down the time.
While I still missed out on that close bond that is built between siblings (most of the time) I think that learning to value your own time alone with your thoughts is a plus. Most don't realize the importance of this until down the line. But being able to sort out your thoughts, what you like, dislike, without the help of others can put you on the fast track to really finding yourself.
If nothing else, ill never be that clingy chick (hopefully)
I'm an only child but I'm totally not an introvert, in fact I'm the most social person I know 😛 I think because I grew up alone, I had to find my own entertainment – with other people. Its great though, I can easily talk to all kinds of people regardless of differences in age, cultures, etc. I spent most time growing up with adults, but I'm still kind of immature. After people ask me how many siblings I have, and than they realize that I don't have any .. they always get the NOW I GET IT! look .. meh I guess how you grow up as an only child and how it translates into your grown up life depends on your family and stuff .. only girl child is different from only boy child?
I am the queen of detaching, lol. I have always been a “no nonsense” type chick. I burn bridges like I’ll never need to cross it again…which can be good and bad. I go weeks without talking to people I love to death and I hate talking to people who babble on about nothing. I miss phone calls and texts all the time cause when I’m out, I’m out, lol. And, I have no problem at all telling people no. I care about how other people feel but not to the point that I have to really suffer as a result of how they feel…I don’t play that, lol. I am incapable of taking one for the team over extended periods of time, lol…CO81′s must be happy too!
This is me 100% minus the fact that I'm not an only child. I'm the baby but I may as well been the only one since it was my dad and I most of my life (other siblings lived with their moms). I'm almost 10yrs younger than my closet siblings (whom are boys) so I was on my own a lot. I've always had friends say that I'm the only person they know who cut ties and never looks back after one transgression.
I always say you only need one time to know if some you have a relationship with in any capacity aint ish.
I am new to this blog – forgive my lateness to the discussion.
I am an only child and a woman. I grew up as an Army brat where I spent most of my childhood in a foreign country. Translation: extremely introverted. And, to make matters worse, I am a Gemini. 🙂
I can relate to 99% of this article. The points that struck a nerve with me and that I can TOTALLY empathize with:
"At times, I go a different way to work or leave my cell phone at home, just to avoid routine." (I do this to maintain what little sanity I have. Lol)
"If I had a really really bad day, I don’t want a hug, I don’t want consoling, all I want is for you to leave me alone. Some of this is just personality differences, but a big part of it is born out of being an only child. As an only child, I always had to work though my own issues." >>> I couldn't have said this better myself.
The one point I can't relate to:
"…This can be great in relationships because your happiness is never dependent on your partner."
Relationships are so tough for me, so much so that I just gave up on them. Men have a hard time understanding me. My exes all complained that I seemed aloof or didn't care, which was so far from the truth. One thing I've learned too late is that men need to feel needed, which can be hard when you want your space. I don't know if it's because I am a woman AND an only child or something else I have yet to figure out, but I know needing my space has cost me a relationship or two.
Great article. And I love this blog.
Im 22, an only child as well, female. My parents both passed away by the time I was 19, dad at 16 massive heart attack, and mom lung & brain cancer when I was 19. So with being an only child, theres a point the people you look to not be alone with, such as parents, may not be there. I matured fast. Worked with my father when i was younger, to working completely on my own by 16. After that the maturity only grew greater. As I then had to take care of my sick mom. So while friends were out partying at 18, bill free, I was helping my mom take care of our house, taking care of our pets, of her, while trying to maintain a somewhat regular life. One thing I still love though is space. It does harm my relationship a bit. I have a 2 year old, and have a boyfriend of 7 years and hes never understood that i often need me time. Alone time. That i often keep things to myself including emotions. Youre used to being alone when your an only child. When both of my parents had passed I NEEDED to be alone to somewhat heal. I isolated myself from most at that point, had broken up with dear boyfriend for a little while. I dont think many understand. Ive tried to explain and most people continue to tell me how they couldnt do it alone. I felt that I HAD to. I felt i was MEANT to. Being an only child is a blessing for being a spoiled little girl, but also a curse as it can make you withdrawl from loved ones. And being young as well, it made me age, I get along with 50+ year old people. Im 22 with nearly no friends because Im not compatible with most my age, as I have aged far beyond my years. Everyone my age is too immature for me. Or they dont understand me. Or we dont get along and have absolutely nothing in common. Those are my struggles as an only child in 2019. I deal with them. Its almost a never ending loneliness. I can be surrounded by family and feel alone. I just feel forever distanced, no matter how much i try to open up, or try anything with any new friends. I know that my own boyfriend hardly understands me, hes just about the closest one to me.