The 4 Worst Things About Being An Only Child

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Every now and then, I stumble upon a person standing completely out of the crowd. A person who looks like they have learned to smile and be content with themselves in this world on their own. One who appears to understand their place, and work accordingly. I am thrilled by these people because they are a lot like me. They are expressive, extroverted, talented, and full of imagination. There is a certain spark to them, that drives the question in my mind more and more forward until I cannot hold it in any longer, and I am found, at a bus stop asking a complete stranger, “Are you an only child?” Being an only child has led me to understand a lot about the things that we do, and how we present ourselves to the world. We are very interesting individuals, and I doubt that would ever be otherwise, but there are some very dark and scary things that I, as an only child, have experienced that I can attempt to vouch for the only children of the world.

1. I have let others tear down my thought processes and instinctive reaction time while having intellectual or thought provoking conversations by constantly insisting that my words and ideologies are incorrect, when nothing in this world is for certain. People will search through the banks of their minds to find the right things to say, the right thing to express that holds up to society’s standards, but the freedom of speech has no subsections, and so whatever it is that you believe should never be downplayed unless it is something that is factual and cannot be changed no matter what. As an only child, I had to grow up without that reassurance that a sibling can give. Siblings are most likely the first ones you can put your feet down for. They are the ones who unknowingly show you that you can be stern in your opinions, and that you can be completely unfair to theirs and always come out on top because you mean what you say and you say what you mean. I’ve seen this countless times while over friends’ houses, visualizing the way sisters would argue over clothing and their individual rooms.

2. No one in this world is going to save you from yourself. No one can come and clean up all the messes you’ve made, mentally or physically, but that doesn’t mean we are always our own heroes. In fact, it takes time for you to even get to the point of being mentally equipped to save yourself and that’s just the makeup of our lives, trial and error until it is done right, though most times, we are doing things in a way that doesn’t line up with our morals and values, where we come from, and where we need to be, and having a sibling to call in the middle of the night with eyes full of tears and a heart full of the unknown can be a blessing because at that moment they can become one of your biggest heroes. It’s crazy, the many amazing things that can happen over the course of a phone call. As an only child, those moments of being very low can become months, even years without anyone coming in and telling you to get off your ass and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

3. The hardest part about trying to connect with others is that they will always place you in the pile of people who are fortunate, and who get everything and anything they want. This is often the reason why the only child does not mesh with other individuals, and can also be the result of them having to be their own best friends in the beginning. Others often assume only children don’t understand what it’s like to have to share things, be jealous of your siblings, or having some sort of resentment towards your parents. In most cases, I was always somewhat envious of the boy/girl with an older brother/sister because of what that relationship calls for. I was mostly unsatisfied with being the only one in a kids room with the imagination of the grand canyon, yet with no siblings to ever play cops and robbers with. I harbored a lot of anger against my parents growing into my teens because I did not have the chance to be the bad kid, the kid who failed the class, the mischievous kid. There is a life that our parents have for us (the only children), whether we see it through or not, and for this, I too stand with a resentment receipt.

4. Being naive will either make us or break us. I have found that my naivete has led me out of many matches, more scarred than I should be. When you are the only child, certain things will not be clear or will not be understood at firsthand, such as how to not be prideful, when to ask for help, when to sit back and be the one in the background, or how to understand people who are not like you, just to name a few. These situational lessons that many get early on will be those which the only child may have to experience later in life, painstakingly making life a little bit more difficult but extremely worthwhile. Nevertheless, everything the only child owns has been procured alone. TC mark

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