I do not have any siblings, which a lot of people find to be weird or unusual. Because of that, they tend to say weird or unusual things. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of the things that they say to me.
1. "You must be super spoiled!"
I am more spoiled than I would be if I had siblings, I'll admit that. However, my parents are still ultimately working-class people who did, in fact, raise me to be independent. It's rude to assume that I'm spoiled or that I get everything handed to me!
2. "I'm so sorry, that must be awful!"
I get that you have the best of intentions and you are just trying to offer sympathy; poor little me must have grown up completely friendless and alone, right? Wrong!
Just because I don't have siblings, it doesn't mean I don't have other family, friends, and neighbors to look to for guidance. When I was younger, I would play with my friends at school or in my neighborhood. Sure, I definitely get lonely sometimes and do wish that I had a sibling or two, but it's not the end of the world.
3. "Ugh, I wish I was you!"
On the other end of the spectrum, people have said this to me. Yup, it's true, I've never had to deal with sibling rivalry or fight with someone over the remote or chores. But like I said above, it CAN get lonely, and it's not necessarily a coveted life.
4. "Oh, so you're an introvert?"
To be fair, yes, I am introverted, but there's no relationship between me being an introvert and me being an only child. I've met plenty of extroverted only children, and plenty of introverted children with siblings.
5. "College must have been a HUGE ADJUSTMENT!"
Again, this one is partly true; it took some time to get used to having a roommate. But this comment gets boring after awhile. College is an adjustment to anyone, not just only children.
6. "Do you even have any friends besides your parents?"
Obviously, I do, yes, although I will admit that I'm close to both of my parents. But there's no need to assume that an only child's best friends are their parents. I mean, you don't assume that all siblings are best friends, right? So, why assume that someone WITHOUT siblings is friends with the only other people in their house?
7. "You must have trouble sharing!"
I was still raised with manners, you know. I went to daycare, preschool, and kindergarten just like you did, wherein I learned how to share and play with other kids.
8. "I bet that you love attention."
Not necessarily. Sure, everyone is a fan of positive attention, but I don't see myself as liking or needing it more than anyone else does. Am I perhaps more used to my parents' attention than someone with siblings may be? Sure. But do I love it more than those people do? No, I don't believe so.
9. "Guess this means you'll never be an aunt."
I can still...get married...and become an aunt that way. Even if I happen to marry another only child, well, it'll be alright! This is just frankly a shitty thing to hear, and it makes me feel almost guilty in some way. I can't help the fact that I don't have siblings. Even if I truly never end up becoming an aunt, that doesn't mean I'm incomplete or anything. I'll still have other family!
Just don't tell only children that they'll never be an aunt/uncle/etc. It really hurts our feelings.
10. "Are you going to have a lot of your own kids?"
I might, I might not! I just don't like the assumption that I need to "make up for something that I didn't have." If I have a lot of kids, cool. If I have a few, great. If I have one, nice. If I have zero, I'm running out of adjectives, but you get the picture. Just because I'm an only child, it does not necessarily mean I'll want my hypothetical future children to be the opposite.
11. "That means you're SUPER INDEPENDENT, right?"
This is complicated because I AM independent, but I don't think it has much to do with me being an only kid. I like to believe that my parents would've taught my siblings the same things they taught me if I had any. I'm not extremely independent, just as much as one would expect.
It's not like I came out of the womb and started filing taxes immediately. Sure, I had no older siblings to lean on, but I still had caring parents and fun childhood.
12. "That sounds peaceful."
Some aspects of it were, but it was a double-edged sword. I do find myself yearning for the chaos and craziness of having a big family, or at least ONE other sibling.
13. "You don't seem like an only child, though."
Wow, are you shocked? I am! Shocked that you would say that, I mean. What does that even mean? How is an only child supposed to act? Are you relying off of stereotypes, perhaps?
14. "I'm not surprised that you're an only child."
This is sort of the opposite of the above comment. It's just a passive-aggressive remark about how I come off as bratty or spoiled, I suppose? Newsflash: I truly am not those things, and if I act annoying, just call me out and I'll apologize and change. No need for you to bring my lack of siblings into it. No correlation!
15. "Were you homeschooled?"
Yes, I've actually been asked this upon revealing that I'm an only child. I guess the thought process is, "She was an only child, so her parents had no one else to focus on. So, she must have been homeschooled." But that's just a guess, because this assumption truly makes zero sense at all.
I was not homeschooled. I went to public elementary, middle, and high schools, and I am now in college.
16. "Aww, I bet you're shy!"
You think that because I was somewhat sheltered and lonely during my young years, that I must be shy. I'm not! Well, maybe a little bit at first, but it has nothing to do with the fact that I was raised without siblings.
17. "Christmas/Birthdays/Hanukkah/Holidays must be nice."
Look, I'm not going to deny that I get more gifts and food than I would if I had siblings. But I'd sacrifice extra presents, money, and snacks for someone to share it with.
18. "So like...all of your friends growing up were in your head?"
I did have imaginary friends like most children do. Perhaps I did have them for a bit longer than I should've (summer before first grade). But I had real, in-the-flesh friends, too. What's wrong with imaginary friends, anyway?
On a related note, I'll admit that I still talk to myself sometimes, not out of the horrors of only-child loneliness, but because it genuinely helps me focus when I'm trying to remember something or work something out. My parents are convinced that it stems from the fact that I had no one to talk to when I was little, but I'm not convinced. I think I'm just weird.
This list may seem like a lot, but mostly, it comes down to common sense when you think about it. I understand that people tend to view only children as a sort of minority and that those who grew up with siblings will be VERY curious about what our lives and childhoods were like.
That's absolutely fine! I'll answer pretty much any reasonable question about my childhood, but some questions and statements get really repetitive after a while, to say the least.