This is an interesting email which demonstrates that even we are aware of the stigma of being an only child and do everything to compensate for those ‘narcissistic’ tendencies which we all apparently have! – Its hard to break people’s perception or expectations however hard we try……
Hi there Bernice.
I was really impressed with the only child site. I am a 24 year old only who grew up with a single mother diagnosed with manic depression. I have a half brother, and moved home when I was 17 now I’m about to graduate from an art degree.
I have been through complete hell with my apparent ’narcissism’ and I feel that this has been the perception that many have of me – despite running marathons and partaking in all kinds of crazy events for charity, working on a help line, being a carer and supporting myself and while being extremely driven and ambitious. This is all for the sake of not being seen as immature and lazy- most importantly to be accepted by others.
However being gay, youthful and naughty certainly has its ups and downs and doesn’t half get me some stick for my ‘attention seeking’ especially when in group situations and suspicion usually arises about my motives. I never get invited out as a member of a friendship group and rely on sports clubs, reading groups and hobbies to socially interact despite being articulate and interested in what others have to say. I’ve never felt that I fit unless I really trust someone. Most of my friends are individuals, although I’m good at formal interaction. My sexual/love relationships always backfire and I’m terribly frustrated by this.
I’m fully aware that it will always be the case. On the bright side life is extremely FUN for me!
There really should be more research done in order to stamp out the only stigma.
Thank you for your email- I’m so glad you are finding life FUN despite your apparent narcissism! In my next blog I will discuss this from the research I did for my book Only Child Experience and Adulthood.