Birth order

May 26, 2015

Our birth order...where do you fit in?

I was surprised to see how accurate these lists were when it came to my siblings and I. An explanation for our personalities and the differences helps one understand why we may act certain ways, better yet, why others do the things they do.

First-Born

  • Be perfectionists
  • Enjoy making other people happy
  • Be highly motivated to achieve success
  • Take on a leadership role
  • Be responsible
  • Feel jealous or neglected when younger siblings arrive as a result of no longer being the center of attention

First-borns are natural-born leaders. They are used to being the center of attention, often over-achievers who are perfectionists. They have this pressure to be the best. When we look at IQ numbers, they tend to be smarter than their younger siblings, up to 3 IQ points, which can take you from average to above average. Often times, they are the favorites. They are highly self-critical and tend to be risk-averse. A majority of our presidents are first-borns. They can sometimes be the caretakers in the family.

First-borns are at high risk for high blood pressure. Brand new research just came out and the theory is that this may actually begin in the womb. It's known that the mother's placenta, which provides the fetus with nutrients, may not work as well in her first pregnancy, and this may have adverse effects on the fetus and its development. First-borns also tend to be more driven, which increases their stress and blood pressure. It's also concerning because it means first-borns are at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Furthermore, their family has invested a lot of time, energy and resources into them, and they are afraid to fail.

Middle Child 

  • Be more rebellious than their siblings
  • Adapt easily to any situation
  • Play the role of mediator, and prefer compromise to conflict
  • Develop skills or talents not shared by siblings- for example, if an older sibling is a star athlete, a middle born child may focus on music for their talent
  • Be the most varied of all of the birth positions – for example, he or she may be friendly and outgoing, or shy and quiet

Middle children are typically the mediators and peacemakers. They're good listeners, negotiators and people pleasers. They are usually more secretive and often feel isolated or the "odd man out" in their own family and seek company outside the home. That's why if you have a friend who's a middle child, they're the most loyal. They often feel replaceable, lost. They have the most to prove and the most at stake. They might work very hard to create an identity different from their older and younger siblings. Interestingly, the more kids you have in the middle, the less strong these characteristics become. According to some new and preliminary research, they are most at risk for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Youngest Child 

  • Be outgoing
  • Have the ability to “charm” others
  • Feel inferior to siblings
  • Be considered spoiled, demanding, or impatient
  • Develop abilities that older siblings don’t have (see Middle-born children)
  • Remain “The Baby” of the family- by expecting others to do things for them, make decisions, and take responsibility

The youngest are the individuals in the family. They're more playful, and since they have to fight for attention, they've developed a sense of humor as a way of doing that. A lot of actors and famous comedians are the youngest in the family. They tend to take more risks because they've been more protected, so they feel indestructible. They have a lot of confidence, and that comes from the "watch what I can do" attitude. They're creative and can be great problem-solvers. They also have a need to "dethrone" the first-born. Also, they can go out of their way to prove their individuality, since they end up with all the hand-me-downs. They are the charmers. As thrill/pleasure seekers, they can be most at risk for addictive behavior.

Do you see yourself in any of these places? Does it help you understand more of your personality and why you may do the things you do?

I am proud of the roles I have taken on, whether because of my birth order or the consequences of life. I dislike conflict and have always worked to rid it from my life. And I am sure my family would agree that I have always placed myself in the role as mediator, probably to avoid conflict...

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  • May 26, 2015 @ 7:10 AM EDT
    By Valerie Blackburn
    These are pretty accurate. But I agree, life situations can cause those descriptions to scramble a bit. You know how I believe God refines us. ;) Whatever He has done, life is better because you are in it! Love you, baybay!

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