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It’s time to give credit to the only child

It’s time to give credit to the only child

The internet is already done giving credit to the eldest, middle, and youngest children. But there is still one under-appreciated child who yearns for recognition – the only child.

An only child is typically portrayed as a spoiled, bratty kid who always gets what they want when they want it. And although it may be true to some, it is not a universally shared experience. So, allow me, an only child, to take you on an only child journey that is far from the usually depicted. And maybe it will make you realize why we, too, deserve the credit.

Loneliness does not bother me, or does it?

As an only child, I am used to being alone in my room and having no one to talk to. I enjoy comfortable silence. Being alone is my familiar environment, so I do not worry when situations where I need to be alone come.

Yet even though I thrive in loneliness, there are times when I wish I was not alone all the time. After all, times when we desperately need someone to talk to or just hang out with are inevitable. But since I am mostly by myself and my friends are not always available to chat or hang out, I must make do with my own presence, which is, of course, hard.. and kind of depressing.

Way too much of a people person

As an only child, you soon get tired of being alone, so you go out of your way to “collect” people. I enjoy making friends and acquaintances wherever I go. I also ensure that they are enjoying my company as much as I am enjoying theirs.

But being desperate to have people in your life means you tolerate the negatives. I have trouble cutting people out of my life even when they no longer bring me peace just because I do not want to be alone. Tolerating bare minimum acts is also something I do because it is sometimes better than spending another minute alone. I even became a people pleaser just so I would not lose people in my life.

All eyes on me

Being an only child means all the attention is on me. I do not need to fight for my parent’s affection and attention because it is, by default, directed at me. There is no existing sibling competition, too, because, well, it is just me.

But having all eyes on me means every little thing I do gets noticed. I cannot hide a mistake or blame it on someone else because there is no one to blame. Having watchful eyes on me alone also means incredible pressure to succeed and be right.

Some things I just cannot have

As an only child, I developed skills that would benefit my life. I learned how to be independent because no older sibling is there to guide me. I also get to enhance my social skills, for it is my only hope to make connections that would ease the only child’s loneliness.

But there are also some things that I had trouble developing; one of such is being comfortable with sharing. Being an only child means one does not have a consistent person to share stuff with, be it a material thing or a personal secret. Up until today, I find it hard to share my thoughts and dilemmas even with my closest friends.

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Another skill that I did not totally develop is conflict-management skills. As an only child, I did not experience the usual sibling banter. I also do not have many opportunities to understand and resolve family conflicts. With that, my typical response to conflict is either hiding in my room or not acknowledging the problem – both negative responses.

Heavy hangs the head

Being an only child means I can decide things independently and mostly for my own good alone. I do not need to consider the career track I pick, wondering if it will pay big to aid my siblings or so. I do not need to think about my siblings’ welfare before deciding because I only get to worry about my own life.

But this also entails that all responsibility is in my hands. I have no siblings to share and divide basic chores and heavy responsibilities with. My parents only have me for support in the future, so the pressure to succeed and give them a great life is solely mine to handle.

There you have it, an only child’s journey that is not what is usually portrayed. But do not get me wrong, though. Being an only child is fun; I will not trade it for anything else. But sometimes, it gets rough. So if you know an only child, give them a pat on the back and some credit today; they need it.

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