Sunday, December 15, 2013

Only Child Syndrome

The only night, my friends and I were discussing birth order and my one friend (who is the oldest of three) laughed and said, "oh yes, you are definitely an only child."  I didn't really dwell on it at the time, but then started to worry.  I had always heard only children stereotyped as bratty, selfish and spoiled.  I would like to think that I am none of those things... but of course, I worried that I was living in a delusion and that everyone really saw me as a spoiled little brat.

I've tried very hard in my adult years to be anything but a selfish, spoiled person.  Yes, I am "spoiled" in the sense that since my parents only had one child, I was the center of their attention and generally got what I asked for.  Yep.  Sorry.  That's just how life is when your an only.  However, I don't like the term "spoiled".  I don't think that I was ever spoiled in the sense that I had an entitlement sensibility about me.  I don't remember asking for everything under the sun for Christmas.  In fact, the older I got, the more guilty I felt about getting a bunch of presents when I didn't really need anything.

As far as being selfish... I'm far from that, I think.  Yes, I have my moments.  In fact, there are a lot of times when I wish people appreciated the stuff I do for them more, which in turn makes me feel selfish that I feel that way.  I think I'm anything but selfish though, for the most part.  If you ask me to help you, I will do it to the best of my ability.  I feel proudest when my friends or family do something that gets them recognition (even though sometimes I do get a little jealous).

However... the birth order things are always right in some ways, and I do see it in myself.  I am very particular.  I'm not really a "my way or the high way" type of person, but I don't like other people to come in and mess up what I so carefully prepared.  I'm not the neatest person in the world (as my mother likes to point out), but when I do clean up for a party, it irritates me a little when things get messed up by someone else... which is insane, I know.

I also don't really like to share... I used to be reeeeally bad.  During freshman year, I would only bring a week's worth of clothes to school at a time, because I didn't want to risk my roommate wearing my stuff when I wasn't around (which she did one time, by the way).  I also get a slight tick whenever someone asks to borrow a book or a movie from my collection because I'm afraid they'll mess it up or never give it back.  I've gotten better, but my trust in you as a friend measured by how easily I will share my things with you.

So... that's my analysis of my "birth order".  Have you ever looking into yours?  Is it spot on?  Do you rebel against what it says?


  1. The birth order book by Kevin Leman was very enlightening. I could definitely see it in my family... both my family I grew up in and my own family now. I'm the second child and apparently those are harder to pin down. But I do remember thinking that a lot of what was in the book was spot on... I just can't remember what it is now. :)

  2. I am the baby - some things are totally me - but some are not!

    I have a friend who used to tell me on occasion that i was spoiled. My parents made more money than hers did... but we still had a medium-sized house, and bought used cars!! I don't know why she said that - we got nice things for Christmas - we each had our own room (but there were only two of us!). I don't know. But it would really make me mad b/c it was rude & i didn't feel like i was spoiled. And even if i was, that wasn't MY fault! Haha. Anyway... i haven't heard it in a long time but it did used to upset me! To me, throwing a fit in a store for a toy is being a brat - your parent getting it for you after your temper tantrum would make you a spoiled brat! I never got my way if i acted like that! Haha.

    You should find that person & ask what they meant by that! You don't seem like a spoiled brat to me! :)


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