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8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

Once upon a time, in a planet called Earth, there lived a special kind of species named Humans. They wanted to make their existence profound so that generations after generations they would survive in this big world. And they successfully did. They started to produce more human beings, and at one time, it became natural for a single family to have 7-8 children. Or more.

But as generations proceeded, the number of children decreased. Therefore, from 20th Century onwards, many families have been seen with only one child. The previous generation raised their eyebrows. What disgrace to mankind! They remarked on various disadvantages those family would face if they stick to an only child policy. But is it true what they said? Or is it just myths? Let us find out here with 8 only children myths disapproved by researches:

1. They are lonely, and depressed.

FACT: No, they are not lonely. And they are not depressed. First of all, they get their parents’ full attention. Second of all, they have cousins who fill up the “missing” sibling(s) spaces. Third of all, they have friends. And since they are the only children, parents encourage them to hang out more with their cousins and friends. Thus, they can easily avoid feeling lonely and depressed. Of course, all situations have their pros and cons. But the pros here are heavier than the cons. Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, wrote an article based on The Adolescent only child and friendship. This is a great read for all the parents of single children.

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2. They have imaginary friends to balance out their loneliness.

FACT: It is a common thing amongst children. All children, regardless of being the only one or being one among five other siblings do it.

According to Jerome L. Singer, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, Yale University: “the imagination required to create make-believe friends is not the exclusive property of the ‘only’ child, the isolated, the ill or the handicapped. Imaginary friends serve a purpose of meeting a need—to confront loneliness, to combat a fear, or to compensate for feelings of weakness in relation to adults or older children. Any child can feel that need.”

In fact, studies have shown how to handle such a situation. Just remember, imaginary friends are as good as real life friends.

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3. They are violent and pushy.

FACT: Did you know that only children learn quicker than children with siblings? Maybe they are demanding and bossy at home, but they know that such behaviour with their peers produce a negative impression of them. They know they might even be considered as social outcasts. Thus, they adjust faster than other children, making them well liked by their friends.

4. They are selfish.

FACT: It is one of the most common myths, I should say. The answer is, No! Only children are not selfish. You may have every reason to believe in this, because they are the ones who don’t get to share their toys or clothes or chocolates with other siblings, they get their parents’ sole attention, they get a room of their own, they get the best clothes, and what not! For years, studies and experiments have been done on families and the results show that only children scored more in many important aspects than children with siblings. Then again, it is okay to be selfish sometimes. We all are selfish in our own ways. It is a natural habit and has nothing to do with being the only child of our parents.

5. They are dependent.

FACT: It is believed that since only children have no other siblings, they are tend to be dependent on their parents. A survey done in China shows that only children are more independent and self-supporting. They don’t have elder siblings to look after them and are more influenced by their individual experiences.

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6. They are spoiled.

FACT: Who isn’t? If compared to only children, I would say my two children are equally spoiled. Over the years, studies have found out that there are no such differences in only children being more spoiled than children with siblings.

7. They don’t have their own original ideas and views.

FACT: Since they are the only children, their ideas and views on things are entirely their own and original. They are not sharing their thoughts with their siblings. An article on Why only children are awesome shows that parents tend to talk in an “adult manner” with their only children rather than in “baby talk”. This encourages the children to develop their own ideas and views because they are directly relating to the adult world.

8. They lack talent.

FACT: In fact, they are the ones who are more talented and have more nurtured hobbies than children with siblings. The reason is their parents can give undivided, full attention, entirely to them. Parents encourage them to explore more into different sorts of things, and such encouragements make them talented. Another reason is since only children tend to be closer to their parents, this special relationship can do wonders in building creativity and imagination in the only children.

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Having only children isn’t bad. In fact, there are many advantages of being parents to an only child. There is an article on Parenting an only child that highlights the positive aspects of having only children. So next time you are family planning, do not hesitate to browse through the option of having an only child.

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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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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