I'LL tell you what's an odd phenomenon: being constantly asked if your childhood was lonely, barren and has left you an anti-social misfit, living a life of regret.

This, if you are not in the club, is the worst part of being an only child.

No one ever says, "An only child? That must have been great!" They do The Face.

The Face is sort of sympathetic, unwittingly probing feature arrangement. The kind of face you would use to tell your elderly aunt her cat's run away when you know it's actually been run over by an SUV. You saw it, it was squished flat, but you want to carefully and empathetically shield her from the fact while also trying to fathom whether she knows you're lying.

Usually The Face is deployed by people who are trying to decide how many children to have and they want you to confirm their biases and thus help go ahead with the decision they've already made but can't yet quite face.

READ MORE: Confected fury over Sturgeon blinds us to injustice

People always frame it as trying to do the best thing by their child but, let's face it, almost no one chooses to have children for the sake of the child.

The other main deployment of The Face is when people are peeved at their own siblings and want you to confirm that hey, their brother or sister is, of course, a nightmare but it could have been worse - you could have been me.

All birth orders have their associated stereotypes. The youngest child probably fares worse: spoiled, irresponsible, manipulative, slightly neglected. Fun loving, though, so there's something.

The oldest child is confident, has the highest IQ and is conscientious, a natural leader. Middle children are peace makers and gregarious with it.

There is nothing like the stigma of being an only child. Nothing to recommend us. Spoiled, selfish loners, unable to share, outsiders. Stunted social development. Or precocious, due to all that adult company, but not in a fruitful or entertaining way.

Their weird formative years see them grow up to be rascals.

I love sharing, have a wide social circle and am extremely compliant. I have a friend who will do you physically injury if you try to sample her dinner in a restaurant. She's the eldest of three. This stuff is hokum.

Imagine the only children of the world pummelling around going "Wow, I met your sister. That must have been a trial." Or, "So, your brother..." and just leaving it hanging.

In part, this is another way of nipping at women for their reproductive choices. The ladies should be fulfilling their biological destiny and procreating, not fannying about with careers.

But as women have forged ahead in the workplace, the number of only child families has risen: women don't want to miss out on work, they start trying for families later on, and etc.

READ MORE: Exam results make it too easy for adults to say there's no wrong path

Society still views this as a little bit weird and so the progeny of such weird women must be tainted by association, right?

Good news everyone - only children are super weird, but so is everyone else. We are all meaningless specks with a finite time on earth and some of us are trying to make more of it than others.

I've been asked this question with frequency recently because I'm at that age where friends are having babies and so it's become relevant. Concerns about climate change and the cost of living are going to make questions and decisions about family size increasingly pressing.

Let me be the voice of reassurance: being an only child is just fine. Some of my very closest friends are also only children because we seek each other out and we bond, fast.

Only children make loyal friends because they are not complacent. No one has given them a social leg up - they have to form their own families.

Make no mistake, I have sisters. We're just not blood related.

The only children I know, and people who aren't as close to their siblings, are the ones who get stuck in with volunteering and providing support systems for other folk.

READ MORE: Netflix and chill... with this online dross?

Did I ever want siblings? I went through a phase of it, certainly. I never wanted a brother but I did think a sister might hold some special magic.

In the end it's an entirely fruitless thing to pine about because there's absolutely nothing you can do to change it. If I'd had a sibling we might not have liked each other. They might have made life hell.

Humans are unpredictable and when you're creating new ones you're taking a gamble. The hope is they'll be a lifelong support system to one another but there's little guarantee.

There is, though, one sure truth about parenting. For a long time, no matter what you've done, your child will think you've done it wrong. At least with an only child, there's only one to disdain you. Then we grow up and we realise our parents made decisions with love and we're stuck with those.

The only kids, they're really alright.