There are certain things that only an only child who has spent their childhood without siblings can understand, whether it’s things from their early years or adult problems that are still happening to this day.

Here are some things you will understand if you grew up as an only child:

1. You prefer to avoid conflict

Not having to deal with sibling rivalry, only children tend to shy away from conflict. They aren’t used to the petty arguments some people go through when they are growing up with brothers or sisters, so as adults, they may not know how to handle conflict.

2. You have a great imagination

When parents are too busy to entertain children, they often play with their siblings. But only children had to learn to entertain themselves – by using their imagination, by reading books and by engulfing themselves in other worlds.

3. You don’t mind being alone

Only children are used to spending time alone, so aren’t afraid to do so as adults. Only children are often introverts, who gain their energy from being alone.

4. You are an old soul

Without having siblings around that are roughly the same age, only children can spend a great deal of time with their elders and this can have an impact on their personality. This also means only children tend to be more mature than their peers.

5. You are used to getting your own way

Only children are used to getting their own way with their parents and others around them. Without having siblings they must share with, only children more or less get what they want.

6. You are less likely to want children of your own

Growing up in a small family and not necessarily being around other children apart from at school, may make you less likely to want children of your own one day.

7. You may be more sensitive

As opposed to children who grew up constantly being made fun of by their siblings, only children didn’t have the same opportunity to grow a thick skin.

8. You are not a good sharer

Only children are not great at sharing since they’ve never been taught how and they have never had to. That’s not to say children with siblings are good at sharing, they may go the opposite way and protect what’s theirs from their siblings. But generally speaking, only children are the ones who prefer to keep their things to themselves.

9. You are still trying to please your parents

You are your parents pride and joy – their only chance to spread down the family genes and make the family name proud. That means you’re constantly trying to please them and impress them, even well into adulthood.

10. You lack competitiveness

Being an only child and never having to compete with siblings for attention may mean you’re not as competitive as others.

Only children are special in their own kind of way but, at the same time, are mostly the same as those who grew up with siblings. Are you an only child? Do you recognise these traits in yourself? We’d love to know your thoughts!

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner desktop

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Michelle Cagle

    I am an only child – this article nailed it for me – 9 out of 10.

  2. Johnny Johnson

    You pegged it correctly except for 6 and 10. I have 4 grown children. My surroundings made me more competitive – baseball – Band – US Army – Every job I rose to management or supervisory position. You may email me for further info on this subject if you wish.

  3. PatC

    Wow, this article really defines me. It’s amazing.

  4. Angela

    I am the mother of a 13yr old only child , my child is very competitive . Most of the time he does it without other people picking up on it , but I picks it up very quick because he is my child .However , I do agree with most of this article.

Leave a Reply