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15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

We are basically all spoiled eggs, right? That is our reputation. Before we begin the checklist to unite us all in our perceived spoiled ways, let one thing be known. The proverbial apples in your parents’ eyes were set aglow in ways never before illuminated the day your oldest sibling was born; but, they were once again equally illuminated the day they realized their last child had grown up and was on his or her own…well, at least we have that.

1. You know how to handle rites of passage

You have rites of passage just like everyone else. Your advantage, though, is that you got to witness your older siblings walk through the fire before you and observed how they stepped. Whatever burns they sustained, you can choose to also sustain or avoid. Whatever new and amazing discoveries they make you now have access to. Your older siblings explore unknown things and the further down the line you are the more cheat sheets you have to get you through your life.

2. Your parents are too tired to care

You, for better or worse, were allowed to juggle chainsaws and light fires in your backyard after school because your parents were too tired to care. The first, second, maybe even third, or more, were monitored far more than you as the watchful eye was gradually closed shut on your adolescence. The others turned out okay, right? Besides, someone is getting married, another is graduating high school, one more will be a freshman soon, and then there you are, melting ants with your magnifying glass, eating already-been-chewed gum off the sidewalk, and wondering what Santa Claus will bring you regardless of how adamantly your older siblings strive to convince you no such giver of toys exists.

3. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger

You, in memory of what Friedrich Nietzche once said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”, were able to test limits on a spectrum never before seen. You had an ability to absorb this world free of preconceived notions and the pressures parents put on the first of their line. Your parents were preoccupied isolating those before you as you emerged as a nearly unnoticeable drifter not encumbered by expectation, which might have made you the bird with the biggest wingspan in the nest.

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4. You idolized at least one of your older siblings

You idolized at least one of your older siblings as a child if not only for the simple fact that they were older. Well, now that we are all older and playing out the lives we had all imagined in high definition reality you take great joy in realizing that the brother or sister before you is forty, whether you are twenty-nine or thirty-nine.

5. You’re sensitive

You are sensitive because you were the last out the gate. You have the least to gain because you were so far behind. You noticed things the front runner wouldn’t. It wasn’t a fair race and you came to terms with that immediately. There is nothing to win, only things to notice and enjoy along the way.

6. You’re an “Old Soul”

You have been called an “Old Soul” many times and tend to hang out with people who are older than you. The reason you are wise beyond your years is because you have been quietly watching multiple life experiences, which will eventually play out in your own life, occur over and over in the form of older brothers and sisters.

7. You’re accustomed to insults

You are quite accustomed to treatment many others would find utterly insulting, even when you are older. Constantly being given torn or scratched hand-me-downs, never getting a window seat on family trips, and being forbidden from ever sitting at the adult table for holiday gatherings until you were thirty-years-old have all contributed in your modest world view and resistance to irritability.

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8. You’re not very sentimental

You are not very sentimental because it did not take long for you to realize that hardly any pictures were ever taken of you from infant through teenage years. Meanwhile, your oldest sibling has archived films and picture albums dated by the week until he or she turned eighteen.

9. You get called by the wrong name

You do not mind as an adult if a friend, acquaintance, or even your own boss calls you by the wrong name because it has simply always been that way. Your parents’ inability to use your correct name is as natural as calling an apple an orange…”perhaps it is” you might think to yourself.

10. You can sleep anywhere

You can fall asleep standing up, hanging upside down, on the floor, or duct taped to the wall…instantly. It has always been this way because there was no other alternative.

11. You never fail to stun

You never fail to stun your aunts and uncles each time they see you because for some odd reason they expect you to still be eight-years-old even though you are twenty-seven.

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12. You will hear many stories from before you were born

You pay no attention when your family gets together and begins talking about childhood memories. Being the youngest child, your whole life has consisted of random, unfamiliar anecdotes given by your siblings that always end with, “Do you remember that?”

“Ummm…no I don’t. I wasn’t born yet.”

13. You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped

You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped in the event that you display any level of intelligence. Knowing something that no other sibling in the room could answer is a felonious family act punishable by silent treatment and dismissed as dumb luck.

14. You really, really, really enjoy it

You really, really enjoy being younger than your siblings in adulthood…Did I mention that already? You really, really, really enjoy it.

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15. You realized that maybe we are all spoiled eggs

Maybe we are all spoiled eggs, but it is through the exhausting energy exerted on those who came before us that made us the laid back, happy-go-lucky, adaptable, and adventurous creatures that we are.

Featured photo credit: Happy Children Siblings via bing.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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