On National Siblings Day, Don't Say These Things To The Only Child In Your Life

Here are some things you shouldn't say to an only child on National Siblings Day.


Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:57 p.m. ET


Happy National Siblings Day! I, an only child, recognize that having siblings is an experience worthy of celebration. Though I have no brothers and no sisters, it's obvious that those relationships are unique, wonderful, and have aided in your developmental growth. Now, could people with siblings stop being so rude to me?

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Not only did you have a built-in BFF to torment on rainy weekends, you grew up thinking it was perfectly acceptable to insult children who don't. I don't know how sibling-kids were raised, but many of them have felt it was appropriate to make disparaging comments about my sibling-less status. "You don't seem like an only child," I'd hear from these rude boys and girls, who appeared to think I'd take that as a compliment. "You know what I mean," they'd continue, completely oblivious, "Only kids are selfish and self-centered. You never learn to share. But you're not like that!" Wow. Thanks.

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Can you imagine making that kind of blanket statement about people just because they have brothers and sisters? Picture finding out someone has a sister and saying, "I'd never have guessed. Usually people with siblings are desperate for attention because they're insecure about their parents loving them. But you seem normal enough."

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Not having had a brother or sister, it's hard to guess what that can do to your psyche, especially if you do have parents who clearly chose favorites or who were incredibly busy taking care of you all, so they could never really get to know you(HOW DOES THAT GENERALIZATION FEEL?!). It's probably different for everyone. But I will say, being an only child is no walk in the park. All pressure for continuing your lineage falls on your shoulders. There's no one to deflect blame onto when you get in trouble. And when your parents are acting crazy, you have to look in the mirror if you want to roll your eyes at someone about it. 

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It's a lot! And to have everyone you meet suspect you're a selfish clod just because they have fantasies about mailing their brothers and sisters to Siberia? Maybe all you siblings fantasize about being your parent's only little sociopath, but most only children do not. Instead, only children build character by making new friends on the playground without any help. We learn to be alone without freaking out, and to find hobbies that enrich us as people. And we don't wear hand-me-downs.

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Okay, that was mean. What can I say? I'm just jealous.

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