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Discussion Starter #1
How does being an only child affect your personality type? Usually there's a stereotype on always getting your way, whiny, etc. But no one ever guesses I'm one. Is it because I'm an ENFP...?

Reply if you are an only child or not; what has been your experiences with people that are only children?
 

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They do have a slice less capable socialization in my experience. They have more trouble with peer to peer relationships. They CAN and DO get past this, but, it's harder for them.
 

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I'm generalizing here, but there tend to be a number of differences I've observed in only children vs. those with siblings.

Only children tend to be more narcissistic (or when expressed positively, more individualistic), have less social skills, more independent in thought and action, more introverted and likely to have solitary hobbies... wouldn't say they are smarter per se, but they seem to engage in hobbies that are more mentally taxing... I imagine a less crowded household makes that easier.

Those with siblings tend to be more family-oriented, social/extroverted (and socially adept), feel more responsible for the welfare of the group as opposed to self, seem to have higher confidence, seem more laid-back and less high-strung, (this one comes up a lot) much more likely to be athletic, or just not overweight. Seem happier overall than only children.

Again, these are just the very basic general tendencies of the aggregate I've noticed. I can think of exceptions to both.

(I'm an only child.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They do have a slice less capable socialization in my experience. They have more trouble with peer to peer relationships. They CAN and DO get past this, but, it's harder for them.
Interesting. I always thought it was because I'm an ENFP; you know, on the boarder of insanity & what-not! Now I've gained another insight! Thank you!!
 

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Just my observations, adult only children have proven themselves to be selfish and inconsiderate. Ex. Friday night a couple of weeks ago, my friend has 'game night' every Friday. Another couple have kids and weren't able to get a babysitter, so their kids are having a sleepover in the basement. There is a powder room on the main floor, a bathroom upstairs and a bathroom in the basement. Plus an en suite bathroom in the master bedroom. Other people waited for the toilet when it was busy on the main floor or went upstairs. The only child, went into the basement where kids are sleeping, turned on all the lights, woke up the kids, then used the toilet. Then we got to listen to little kids whining for awhile. While some only children, wouldn't have done that; adult siblings would never have done that.

I've found in the workplace and in relationships with only kids, they just don't think about how their actions will affect other people.
 

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An only child I know is ENFP and imo he unfortunately fits the negative description of an "only child"...

I have a cousin who is an only child, and he... I don't know about his type, honestly. He gives me a strong ISFP vibe, but then again he's always sociable, pleasant, quiet, but he blends into his surroundings socially like it's nothing. He might be an ISFJ, like his mom, but... I don't know. Might also be an ISTP? Gah.

But regardless... He's a good kid. He's been real snotty to his mother sometimes - he grew up in an abusive household and he sort of got it into his head that he could abuse her, unfortunately - and just in general he doesn't appreciate how much she loves him (he was literally her entire world, when he left her after graduation her life got sort of meaningless for a while), and he still sides with his dad even after all that happened to her... But I mean, he's still a good person. He's trying to learn to be a nurse. He's always there if someone needs help. Ultra polite. Everyone in our family loves him. He used to be my best friend, for a good five years when we were kids. I mean even then he was a *teeny* bit bratty, but granted his situation I don't blame him too much for that.
 
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@Twitchie

Whoa. That person did that? Are you kidding me?!
Well, I could understand needing to go & thinking, 'I'll just be quiet.' Then, 'Oh it's dark down here & I don't have a flashlight. I don't want to accidently step on someone, so I'll go back upstairs.'

What was their attitude after that happened?
 

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I'm an only child, which is probably common among INTPs. Once somebody has an INTP child, they generally don't want to have any more children.
 

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I'm an only child. In some ways I think it affects you, but I really don't like the way stereotypes are often thrown around. I've heard every once in a while, when some group of people have talked about siblings, something like "Oh so you're an only child. So you are spoiled." Well, okay then. Yes, sure you could be spoiled, but so could someone with siblings, and depending on what they mean by being spoiled. In relation maybe to how much time my parents have always had for me and how much they could afford to spend on me in relation to if I had siblings, then yes I'm spoiled. But I never got everything I wanted and many friends with siblings got for example toys bought for them much more easily. I've also had to stand on my own for every issue with my parents, where siblings can either bring more trouble to that or make things easier by sort of group pressure. So it's all relative, you get some and you lose some, but maybe in different ways than bigger families.

Personally I think I could have been a bit more socially brave, that is more sociable if I had siblings. I think being an only child has sort of made more of my shyness/quietness, so that I've been more careful and observing at first in social situations as there haven't been as many close to me who to constantly look at and practice with. While on the other hand for some people it might work the other way around and they might go into the world someway thinking that they need to be more visible and do more to sort of compensate. On the other hand people with siblings might be either overwhelmed into shyness/quietness/introversion, while others might take in all the social interaction with their peers at home and make it their own. So I guess both siblings and no siblings can affect you in that way.

One way though that I feel like being an only child has affected me, is feeling more responsible for my little family in a way. I might feel the same way if I had siblings too, but at least now I've always felt like I should be there for my parents more often because there's no one else in the family who will if I don't and I've always felt like I shouldn't play too much favourites with them. And I for example also felt like it was quite hard to tell them when I wanted to move away (years ago now) to live on my own, because I didn't want it to seem like I didn't like living with them because of them, but that I wanted to live independently. Well it's both the first and the last child moving away at the same time for them. Anyway, much of this is probably just me being close to my parents.

This became a lot longer than I meant, but I sort of got on a roll as I started to write. Anyway, I'm not trying to say that I'm better or worse socially or anyway for being an only child, just maybe it has affected how I am a bit, but it doesn't need to affect everyone the same way, just as having siblings doesn't necessarily do. Of course being the only child, oldest or youngest or middle child creates some specific issues that to some extent will affect a lot of people similarly, but still I don't like too much generalisations.

And just for a fun fact, if I'd had a sibling I always wanted an older sibling rather than a younger one, which wouldn't quite have worked really as I happened to be the first born. :p Well in general I thought that would be cool and also it would have been nice to have someone pave the way for everything before me.
 

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I have three half-brothers, but they never lived with me so I was basically raised as an only child. My parents have noted that I have "only child syndrome" - I like to spend a lot of time alone and am used to getting my way. Of course, as I mature I'm getting better, but it's still instrinically what I'm used to.
 

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My experience is not at all like this. Around 80% of my friends including myself are only child, and we are so different from one another.
As I see it, one thing is being an only child and another different one, being raised as an only child. I'm an only child who was brought up constantly surrounded by my parent's friend's daughter, who is my age and whom I used to see as a cousin. I used to see her 5 days a week, all weekends and then the whole summer. So those like me who were brought up with kids their age around them kind of behave as though they have siblings. Then, there's those who indeed have siblings but their age gap is so different they were actually brought up as though they were only child because maybe their siblings are so much older.

I LOVE spending time alone, but then so does my INTP friend who has an elder sister. And then my ISFP only child friend cannot bear the thought of being alone, she needs people to have time with. So I don't think personality might be somehow linked to being only child or havng siblings.
 
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Reply if you are an only child or not; what has been your experiences with people that are only children?
I'm an only child, and although I don't want to admit it, a lot of what people are saying about only kids is true.

I know a few other only children, and I've actually noticed that they seem to have higher self esteem than most people - in some cases it's to the point of being annoying. I think I have a better than average self esteem for someone my age, but this is in part because my parents praised me a lot. It would make sense that being an only child in a household full of praise would create someone more individualistic and confident, and it may even lead to a "world revolves around me" mindset in some people.

I've also noticed that when it comes to conflict, many only children handle things differently. For example, some of my friends with siblings are more likely not to speak up in the face of conflict because they've learned that it's often easier to just let things go, but many of the only children I know (myself included) will defend themselves even when it's not the best thing to do/not totally necessary.

I'm going to agree with the part about socialization and having difficulty with our peers, as I was that way for awhile. I felt that because I lived only with my parents, I was far better with adults/people older than me, and not as good with my peers. I did learn to be good with people of all ages over time, but I still get comments like "you're an old soul" or "you act really mature for your age" from adults, even when I don't think either of those are necessarily true. I even sometimes feel like I'm on a different spectrum of socialization from my peers, despite the fact that we get along well.

Some people will say that only children aren't as happy as kids with siblings, but I disagree with that. I've known some only children who hated not having siblings and were sad about it, but personally, I love it. I don't have to deal with so many of the problems that my sibling-friends do, and my parents are far more trusting/close with me than theirs are. Really, I think happiness as an only child depends on the person's predisposition, but most of the only children I know like being only children.

And I don't think it affects personality type. I'm of the opinion that personality type is pretty set in stone from a young age, and it doesn't change much beyond 4-5, though development of functions, good manners, etc. do change. One of the only children I know is ENFP, and you can soooo tell. :laughing:
 

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All I recall from being an only child is that every time something happened in the house, it was my fault. I also remember my mom laughing when other people would ask her about having more kids to ensure I wouldn't get bored or grow up to be needy.

Her response was along these lines 'she has enough books, and she is too detached to even notice she is alone'.

I admit that as an early teen I wished for an older brother - to have paved the way a little. But then again, my friends who had older brothers at that age, were not particularly thrilled about it.

Not sure whether an only child can be identified merely based on social behavior or personality traits.
 

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Without fail, I've observed that they tend to be more narcissistic and difficult to be around because they're used to getting their way and not having to share anything.
 
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Never missed having siblings. But then I used to usually have a few close friends in primary school. From my experience, people with siblings usually don't get along well with their siblings and are narcissistic and manipulative.
 

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I'm an only child (complications during birth rendered my mom unable to have any more kids)...yeah, I probably have some only-child-syndrome. I'm not used to having to even really deal with other people that much outside of school.

One thing few people have mentioned - as an only child, true, when praise is given, you get it all. But also when something goes wrong, and the parents clearly didn't do it, guess who gets blamed. Or if the kid screws up, they get all the attention for that too - there's no sibling doing worse or having problems of their own or even just existing to temporarily take mom's attention and let them (the kid) off the hook for a while. When/if you're screwing up, you hear about it all the time.

I might have an especially unusual situation, in that my mom and I don't really have any other family and neither of us have much of any friends in the area. That means that we were basically together almost all the time, and no, it did not create some glorious parent-child relationship. Quite the opposite: we get sick of each other real fast. And it's not like I have any younger siblings that need tending to.

Getting all of the parental attention isn't always a good thing. Sometimes it's freaking annoying.
 

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In my opinion they want things to be the way tthey want because they want haha, but of course not everyone
 

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@Twitchie

Whoa. That person did that? Are you kidding me?!
Well, I could understand needing to go & thinking, 'I'll just be quiet.' Then, 'Oh it's dark down here & I don't have a flashlight. I don't want to accidently step on someone, so I'll go back upstairs.'

What was their attitude after that happened?
"Oh... oops! *shrug* Do you have any dip?"
 

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My cousins like to remind me of how bratty I was as a kid. I wasn't spoiled by my parents (well, maybe a little), but all of my cousins are at least 5 years older/younger than me and I didn't have too many friends, so I wasn't used to sharing or letting others have their way. It was very much, "Either I get my way or I'm leaving, bye." Being very introverted, I had no issues playing by myself, so if I didn't get my way while playing with others I'd just go off by myself where I could do whatever I wanted.

I like being an only child though. I like the attention I got from my parents. They were able to teach me a lot of things, and I don't think that would have been possible to that extent if they had to split their time between multiple children. It was also a lot more peaceful at home than it is in homes with multiple kids. If I wanted quiet time I could have it without being disturbed.
 

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Only child.

Have 4 best friends who are only children.

Experience among each :

When it comes to the narcissistic factor : Two definitely are. In a "nice" sort of way, one jokes about it while the other doesn't seem to really recognize it (in a painful sort of frustrating way). The other one is when it comes to his intelligence, but only that. The other isn't at all/ you would never be able to tell she's an only child solely by basing it off of that factor. I think I have fairly low self esteem but I could be wrong.

When it comes to 'getting their way' : None of them are except for my male friend and I. We both have relentlessly stubborn attitudes. But so do both of my parents and they aren't only children.

Introversion factors : Each of them (except for one) have fairly private lives with specific hobbies going on (one is very heavy into writing, the other into learning about cultures and languages, one into philosophy and myself into matters of psychology and biology) The other three identify themselves as introverts. The same friend who doesn't particularly have any specific private hobbies feels like she is on the border of introversion and extroversion.

Social skills : The writer is incredibly skilled with communicating and dealing with people, she always seemed to be and attracts a lot of people due to this. One does a fairly good job at speaking with strangers, pretty average social skills. The extroverted one is similar to her. The guy is eccentric (and managed to collect his own unique group of friends due to this).

There are very likely other relevant factors I'm missing.

But something we all share is a strong sense of independence, I think. All five of us tend to do things independently without really seeking others that much for advice.
 
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