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25 Things Only People Who Have A Niece Or Nephew Would Understand

25 Things Only People Who Have A Niece Or Nephew Would Understand

When your brother or sister has a kid, you’re flooded with nostalgia, overwhelmed with joy and see life in an expansive way you never knew before.

After the initial mind blowing sensation has settled in, the moments you share with these new little people are profound, powerful, beautiful and revitalizing.

Here are 25 things only someone who has a niece or nephew could understand.

1. How fun it is when they start to talk and you can joke around with them

While poop jokes are always a winner, starting to banter more and more with your nieces and nephews becomes an increasingly stimulating experience as they get older.

Not only are they some of the funniest people you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, the experience of witnessing their developing minds is so rewarding.

2. Finding out what their “favorites” are

Favorite ice cream flavor, favorite color, favorite animal: as whimsical as these decisions can be for a kid, getting to see them decide what they like and don’t like is fascinating.

3. Hearing them trying to pronounce your name

There are few things cuter than listening to a toddler trying to figure out how to make the sounds of your name with their newly wielded skill of speech.

The shortcut nickname they come up with is your favorite thing to be called from then on.

4. How hard it is not to laugh when they sass back

You’re trying to be a supportive grown-up, but it’s hard not to laugh when they quip back to a parent’s correction with a zinger you just couldn’t see coming.

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“No Billy, I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing about a joke I heard earlier. Listen to your mom.”

5. How cool it is to wake them up to make an epic pancake breakfast

There’s nothing more fun than spending the night at your sibling’s place and waking the kids up early to help you make a pancake breakfast.

The excitement in their sleepy little faces and an ensuing battering of questions like, “Can we add sprinkles?” make for some lifetime memories.

6. How incredibly messy it is when you try to make an epic pancake breakfast with little kids

Wow. The idyllic vision of the pancake breakfast quickly becomes a flurry of flour vision, spilled milk and eggs with the fate of Humpty Dumpty on the kitchen floor.

So, so messy. But so, so worth it.

7. The look in their eyes when you read something magical to them for the first time

The Hobbit; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Harry Potter: these are a few classics of our time that excite the imagination and instill a sense of wonder.

Seeing the possibilities well up in their eyes as you spend time reading and connecting with them is absolutely priceless.

8. The feeling when they fall asleep with their little arms slung around you

The connection you feel when one of these precious little people surrenders to sleep, feeling safe with you, is completely disarming.

When this happens you have no desire to move, to put them in bed or to do anything else but experience the moment.

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9. How funny it is when they use grown up phrases

From the likes of “Hey, Lady” or “How ya doin’ sweetheart?”, kids really do say the darndest things just when you don’t expect them to. And it’s the most adorable thing in the stinking world.

10. What it’s like to see their personalities blossom

Even from the first time you lay eyes on those new little creatures, their personalities can already shine through.

My first niece was a firecracker right from the start. She screamed until she was red all over when she was born. My second niece whimpered a little, but calmed right down once they got her bundled up like the little snuggle bunny she is.

To this day their personalities couldn’t be more divergent, and they complement each other beautifully.

11. How they help keep you grounded

There’s no reality check like the kind you receive from the astoundingly insightful five-year-old who can see through, not just your excuses, but all the trappings of the grown up world.

Sometimes kids are smarter than adults.

12. How they help you remember what it was like to be a kid

The simplicity, the fearlessness, the view from three feet above the ground, these are things that playing with your nieces and nephews brings you back to.

At their level,  you’re back in a place where you can really enjoy things as simple as the deep satisfaction that comes from building an adequate sandcastle.

13. How badly you want to protect them from anything that could ever hurt them

You begin to understand how and why your parents worried so much about you. Watching these little ones grow up stirs up the beginnings of parental protective impulses.

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If only there was a way to protect them from heartache, danger or any kind of pain. And you will do just that to the extent that you can.

14. How they make you glad to be an aunt or uncle, not a mom or dad just yet

Kids are awesome. They can also be absolutely awful. And when they are, It’s nice that it’s not your job to figure out the best disciplinary methods. Phew!

The hugeness of the responsibility settles in when you see people close to you raise kids. They need braces? Though your empathetic toward your siblings, you’re also secretly relieved that it’s not your job to figure out how to fund “Project Tammy’s Teeth” and other technical parenting stuff.

15. How they make having your own kids seem less intimidating

At the same time, the vague mysterious idea of “raising kids” is disassembled when you interact with your nieces and nephews. You come to realize that, kids are just people, imperfect interested and fascinating.

The pressure of raising kids “right” is lessened when you see your siblings struggle and triumph in a range of ways which comes out in the personalities of their kids.

16. How much better a hug feels when it comes from arms that can barely reach around you

Tiny, pure, and heartfelt. That’s the way it feels when you get a hug from one of the rambunctious little souls.

17. How fun it is to introduce them to things that interest them

When you’re the one who first sat them down to watch Star Wars, took them to a baseball game or helped them snap a picture on your SLR, you get to cultivate their individual interests.

It makes you feel every bit the cool aunt or uncle and like you’re a part of helping them develop a rich life full of passions.

18. How uninhibited they can be

Still learning social norms, it’s not uncommon for a kid to tell your romantic interest that you farted in the car earlier or to ask you why, by the way, you drive such a junky car?

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Unpredictable and uninhibited, your nieces and nephews say what’s on their minds. They’re not trying to people please, so their perspectives are incredibly refreshing, if jarring at times.

19. Getting to know their idiosyncrasies

Seeing the way they decide to categorize their matchbox collection and how ardent they are about not getting it “mixed up”, strikes you with admiration of the varieties of their little quirks and preferences.

20. How blind they are to your imperfections

It doesn’t matter how unenthusiastic you feel, how much you screwed up at work, or what suitor didn’t find you suitable, when you see your nieces and nephews, all that just fades away and you actually feel as cool as they see you. Their optimism is contagious.

21. How cool it is to see similarities and differences from your siblings in them

Like a variation in piece of music, your nieces and nephews are a blending of your sibling and their partner both in mannerisms and personalities. They’re also their very own entirely new force in the world.

It instills a sense of wonder for existence at its very core.

22. How weird it is to see them start to grow up

When the egg-shape-headed baby from the hospital drives your car for practice in a parking lot for the first time, it’s surreal.

When did they start using compete sentences, much less operating motor vehicles?

23. How heartbreaking it is to tell them you’re moving far away

This is the worst. Trying to explain to a little kid that you won’t be able to see them as much any more because the distance between you will be so much greater, is rebutted with comments like, “Well, come over anyway.”

It jump starts your mind to a time when things were just that simple, the world was expansive and solutions were always clear. Trying to explain miles will break your heart.

24. Coming home for the holidays to a houseful of munchkin voices calling your name out in unison

It’s one of the most welcoming things you can experience and fills your heart with love and a sense of family you never understood before. It’s also unbelievably cute and makes the holidays so much more special.

25. How real and limitless your bond is

No matter how much distance separates you or how much time passes, spending time with your nieces and nephews will always be one of the most precious and rewarding experiences in life. They’ll always be your little pals.

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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!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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