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10 Things To Remember If You Are In Love With An Only Child

10 Things To Remember If You Are In Love With An Only Child

Being an only child myself, and having been in love, I know that we can be quite difficult to be in a relationship in. But there’s a good reason for this, when we were growing up, we spent a lot of time by ourselves and so we’ve had lesser interactions than those who have had siblings. It is probably one of the main reasons why we developed our social skills much later on in life.

But saying that, we do have some unique characteristic traits which can only be found in those who have no siblings. And to help you unravel these gems so you can see our true selves, here are 10 things that you need to remember if you are in love with an only child.

1. We want to be appreciated and adored

When we were growing up, our parents made us the centre of their attention. So we were well loved and admired during our childhood years and we carried this weight of expectation in our  relationships. This can be burden to many people who are in a relationship with an only child. But you should not let this put you off. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolved around us. It will take a while for us to get used to this notion, but we’ll get the hang of it.

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2. We want to be part of a big family

As you’d expect, when we were growing up, it was just me, mum and my dad. We envied our friends who had brothers and sisters and we always imagined what our lives would have been liked if we did have brothers and sisters. So when we do seek a relationship, we would like to be with someone who is part of a big family. It’s our own natural way of making up for growing up in a tight knit family and having less interaction.

3. We see our parents as our best friends

We don’t see our parents as just a parent. We see them as our friends and we also have very strong bond with them. There are no barriers or restrictions to what we can talk about and we always frequently keep in touch with them. My parents know all about my previous girlfriends and what happened during my day. Although, I won’t say absolutely everything (if you know what I mean).

We do tend to be quite attached to our parents, because we know we can trust them. And by keeping in touch with them, it is our way of saying thank you for giving us all the love they gave us when we were growing up. But take this as a good sign, because if we can look after our folks, we can look after your folks.

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4. We don’t usually ask for help

I may not speak for every only child, but I certainly knew that when I was growing up, I certainly had a hard time asking people for help. Just recently, I was trying to clean the gutter and my friendly neighbour asked me if I needed help. I said no, but the extra help would have been nice.

Since we never had any siblings, we didn’t have anyone to ask for help. We’ve never had a bigger brother to stand by our sides, never had someone to talk to at home who was from my generation, so we just had ourselves to rely on. But the plus side to this is that we became very self-reliant, so we don’t usually need to ask people for help.

5. We crave closeness

This probably stems back to being centre of attention. Since we’ve never had many opportunities to share experiences with someone other than our parents, we do crave intimacy and creating a strong bond with different people. And here’s another thing, we tend to be quite touchy and feely too. So if you are sleeping in the same bed with an only child, be prepared to be the little spoon.

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6. We don’t like being called spoilt

A lot of people assume that an only child is spoilt. On behalf of every only child this is a yes and no. Yes we were the centre of attention to our parents and they did fully support us in whatever we wanted to do in our lives. But we were really grateful of their support. We never take our parents support for granted and we always made sure that we can make them happy for what we do. So when someone calls us a spoilt brat, we do tend to take it to heart. We never take anything for granted.

7. We spend a lot of time with our thoughts.

Since we spent quite a lot of time by ourselves, we spend a lot of time inside our head. This can be a good and bad thing. It is good because we come up with loads of crazy and wacky ideas, but it can be bad because some of these thoughts can lead on to some unnecessary worries. But in time, we learn to spend less time in our head and more on what is happening in the present moment.

8. We don’t want to have just one kid

After going through motions as an only child, we definitely don’t want to be a parent to just one child. We will know what they will go through based on our personal experiences. We want to give them the things we never had.

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9. We are extremely loyal

We value our best friends. They are like the brothers or sisters that we’ve never had (literally). And because we are extremely loyal, our friendships tend to be long lasting. At the age of 28, I am still in contact with my best friends from school and university.

10. We need time to ourselves

Like most people who are an only child, we tend to be introverts. We like to read and like to spend some alone time. We are so used to spending time with ourselves that we are hardwired to use our alone time to recharge our batteries. We don’t need that long, but it will benefit us in the long term by keeping our energy levels in check.

Featured photo credit: Pascal via flickr.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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