WANT to know a little bit about someone without having to ask so many questions?
Try asking whether they’re the eldest, middle, youngest, or only child in the family, and what’s it like.
Chances are you’ll be getting some interesting details.
The phenomenon of birth order as one of the factors influencing personality has been discussed for decades with some saying it is a major contributor while others dismiss its importance to a person’s ultimate choices in life.
Whatever your viewpoint is, it may pay to explore if the way you think, behave, or interact with others have something to do with your birth order.
Note that these data apply to the majority but does not discredit exceptions due to various circumstances affecting a person’s lifetime (genetic factors; environment including parents, siblings, extended families, and the community the family belongs to).
Some middle or youngest children can manifest the characteristics of the eldest should he/she finds himself/herself as the breadwinner. The opposite may be an eldest manifesting the others’ traits should he/she be living with older cousins.
A middle child born ten years after the eldest may manifest an eldest child characteristic, and those born a different gender from all the same-gendered older siblings may also exhibit an eldest or youngest personality.
Each birth order has its own advantages and challenges. This means that eventually, you get to decide what characteristics would yield a meaningful existence, and which could get you into trouble.
The Eldest - may have enjoyed undivided attention but may also be given so much expectations by first-time parents (who themselves were inexperienced and felt pressured to perform well). The need to set a good example is inherent and he/she tends to be:
• A Perfectionist
• An Achiever
• A Leader
The Middle Child - may benefit from parents who may already be calmer and more secure in their parenting skills. But because they follow an older sibling, they may feel they need to catch up always, forgetting that the eldest have had some time to learn ahead.
With eldest and youngest sometimes hogging the immediate family’s attending, middle children may feel more achieving and comfortable showing their talents to relatives and friends. They tend to be:
• Can be rebellious
• Feeling a little left out
The Youngest - may be perceived as the baby of the family no matter the age. He/she may enjoy the attention and support not only of the parents but of the older siblings as well. The youngest often learn from watching the other siblings and tends to be:
• Seeking attention
The Only Child - contrary to being immediately assumed as spoiled, may relate to friends as brothers and sisters. Used to being the sole recipient of emotional and material support, he/she feels secure in their importance and tends to be:
• Center of attention
• Mature for their age
• Seeking approval
To get to know more about birth order such as causes of behavior, family situations, and applications of these traits, you may want to read Dr. Kevin Leman’s “The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are.”