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11 Unmistakable Traits of an Only Child

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The experience of childhood for an only child stands in stark contrast to that of growing up in a bustling household filled with siblings. In the world of solo offspring, one can often identify them by their distinctive quirks and characteristics.

Internet users discussed on an online platform the dead giveaways that someone is an only child.

1. You Don’t Have (Minor) Trust Issues

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Growing up with siblings meant you were always watching your back, and you learned not to take things at face value. Only kids don’t know that a prank is always lying in wait at every house corner.

A user shares, “I told my bf [boyfriend] to close his eyes and open his mouth(I was surprising him with candy), and he just did it with no suspicion at all. People with siblings can’t trust like that.”

2. You Can’t Identify Simple Minor Torture Actions

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If you grew up in a house with more than one kid, then you know that minor torture was part of the daily rituals.

“I, an only child, told my gf [girlfriend] I didn’t know what a Chinese burn was. When she offered to show me, I trustingly gave her my arm. I now know what a Chinese burn is. She is not an only child, thought my shock was hysterical.”

If you haven’t had your skin twisted in opposite directions fast and concomitantly, you’re most likely an only child.

3. You Go AWOL From a Room

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People who grew up in a house full of people will almost always announce when they leave a room and say where they’re going. There were favorite seats and TV channels to protect. Not so with the only kids.

An online user says, “I heard once only children are less likely to announce where they are going when they leave a room. Right away, I realized I do that, but my partner, who grew up with two sisters tells me where he’s about to go when he moves, even if it’s to the bathroom.”

A user who was an only child agrees. They say they just up and leave and never imagine anyone would wonder why they left.

4. You Don’t Understand Quick Emotional Turn-around

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Sibling love is typical of Tom and Jerry’s kind of love. They hate each other’s guts, yet they can’t live without each other.

An online contributor narrates, “My bf [boyfriend] is an only child, and it was his confusion at how I can be mad at my sister (who is also my roommate) one minute and turn around and get ice cream or go see a movie together.”

An online child adds, “As an only child, I’ve learned to mind my business when it comes to my friends and their siblings. Because no matter how wrong their siblings may be, my friend will [likely] always choose them.”

5. You Eat Slowly

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Only children take time with their food, while those with siblings inhale it in milliseconds.

A contributor says, “My mom eats super fast at meals and attributes it largely to growing up with siblings.”

“Even sitting down to eat a meal, I’ve found it funny that people with no siblings tend to eat more slowly because they didn’t grow up competing for food.” Someone explains.

6. You Enjoy Adult Company More than Kids

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If you grew up with only adults for company, you most likely still enjoy adult conversations and get bored stiff by childish things.

A commenter in an online discussion says, “I can’t tell for adults, but when it’s one of my kids’ friends, the kid who ends up trying to hang out with the adults and gets overwhelmed by being in a group of kids has been an only child 100% of the time in my experience.”

A contributor who’s a teacher adds, “They [only kids] seem more comfortable and confident just hanging out with the older person in the room.”

7. You’re OK With Solitude

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When you’re used to entertaining yourself for years, you make friends with solitude.

An online contributor says, “From personal experience, being secure with doing things alone.”

8. You Don’t Quickly Ask For Help

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Only kids know that even spreading a fitted bedsheet and assembling furniture is easily a one-person job.

An only kid shares on an online forum, “I’ve noticed I tend to make a lot of life choices on my own and don’t seek out a lot of advice or ask for help when I could definitely use it.”

Another adds, “[We are] pretty good at keeping ourselves entertained or doing things alone/being independent.”

9. You Enjoy Quiet Houses

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Growing up without screams from every corner of every house makes most only children think other people are too noisy.

A mother to an online child shares in the online discussion, “My child gets overwhelmed when family comes over. He says often, “they are so loud.” I don’t think so. We’re just a very quiet family.”

Another one adds, “Yep! I’m an only child, and I get easily overwhelmed going to my friends’ houses when they have a bigger, loud family.”

10. You Don’t Know How to Compromise

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When you grow up seldom being questioned about how you do stuff, and then you suddenly have colleagues and roommates with different ideas and ways of doing things- it gets awkward.

A user says, “When they get pissed that things aren’t done the way they think it should be done because they’ve never had to compromise with anyone before.”

11. Orderliness

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Some only children may have a tendency to be neat, organized, and prefer things their way since they don’t have to share spaces or possessions.


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