Being an only child has a lot of associations that come along with this role, but they are often not true. Growing up as an only child has many benefits that people often are not aware of unless they are one themselves. Here are some truths that will help clear up any misconceptions once and for all about this often misunderstood population.

We are not all spoiled brats

This common misconception is often unfairly put upon us, but it is not entirely true. Parents of only children are quite aware of drawbacks of having a spoiled only child and often are stricter than they would be if they had more than one child. If we did not do as well as we could on our report card, we knew our parents would not let it go lightly. But if we did exceptionally well on a test we knew our parents would reward our hard work with a dinner at our favorite restaurant or an extra hour of television.

We are not socially awkward

Being an only child does not mean that you do not know how to interact with your peers, just because you not grow up with siblings. Instead, we learned appropriate social interactions through spending time with our friends and classmates, just as most children do. We also have cousins and best friends who often feel like they could be our brothers and sisters, since we have known them for as long as we can remember.

We do not mind being alone

Growing up as an only child means that we are very comfortable being alone. We find eating in a restaurant solo or seeing a movie sans company as something that is enjoyable and not in the least bit stressful. Our often introverted nature means that we prefer to have time to ourselves to recharge, but that does not mean we do not enjoy the company of a good friend or a group of close pals every so often.

We come off as “old souls”

Being raised as the only child often means that you appear wise beyond your years, having spent most of your home life with adults. We are mature for our age and often give advice or have a perspective that may seem surprising coming from such a young person. We also enjoy music from the past and television shows that are parents enjoy, simply because this is what we were exposed to growing up.

We prefer competing against ourselves

We may be hard-working, but we dislike competition. We prefer competing against ourselves to beat our personal best, rather than trying to beat someone else. Growing up, we gravitated toward more creative hobbies like art or drama, than the ultra-competitive world of sports.

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