If you aren’t already aware, there is an entire science surrounding the concept of birth order.
According to Dr. Kevin Leman, a psychologist who devoted his studies to birth order since 1967, “The one thing you can bet your paycheck on is the firstborn and second-born in any given family are going to be different.”
He and many other researchers have concluded a person’s birth order (whether first, middle, last-born, or only child) plays a huge role in determining their personality. The reason? Parents tend to treat siblings differently based on the order in which they are born.
Also, the treatment a person receives from their siblings (because of birth order) plays a huge role.
With that being said, let’s jump into what your birth order most likely has to say about you!
If you’re the first born, you can be certain that you were a part of an experiment. Your parents were handed a baby at the hospital and told to go figure it out. They read all sorts of books, watched all kinds of videos, listened to a lot of firsthand advice, and began their parenting venture.
As result, you probably had a set bedtime, were forced to play by the rules, and expected to spring out of the womb a prodigy.
Your life was built on all sorts of parenting theories that were supposed to mold you into the “perfect” human being. And then, maybe you became a big brother or sister to a younger sibling. Over and over you were told by your parents, family members, and friends what a great big brother or sister you were.
Leman concluded that firstborns tend to be reliable, structured, conscientious, and controlling achievers. As a child, it is possible you became a mini-adult with plenty of opinions and ideas as to how the world should operate. And your poor siblings… they had to play by your rules and maybe even lived in your shadow.
When you grew into an adult, these qualities didn’t disappear. You are most likely still an achiever and are an expert at getting your friends, family members, and coworkers to fall in line. You may even be a company leader.
In love relationships, you are probably dedicated and focused on making a winning partnership. You aren’t one to give up without a fight. If you’re married to or in a relationship with a partner who is a second or third child, your know-it-all approach to life may get a bit exhausting.
The secret to happiness for you and for those around you is to find a new sense of gratitude. Learn to be happy in the moment and not always trying to strive for things in the distant future. You (and your loved ones) may not live to see “that day.”
Find joy in the simple things. Give yourself permission to be silly more often. Believe it or not, the world doesn’t have to rest on your shoulders.
There is a reason the term “Middle Child Syndrome” was coined. For a moment in time, you were the baby of the family. You had a big brother or sister who was slightly displaced by your arrival and parents who doted over you. Thankfully, your parents tried out their theories on your older sibling and relaxed a bit.
Your uniqueness was celebrated and you were comfortable in your world. Until… yes, until… your mom discovered she was pregnant again. Baby number three arrived and you became a bit lost. Your older sibling was heralded as a leader and you were ousted from your position as adorable baby.
A silent question arose in your young mind, “where do I fit into this mess?”
Without a concrete answer, you resorted to trying to please everyone. You couldn’t quite reach the level of perfect that your older sibling had mastered, and you could never be as cute as your baby brother or sister.
This either irritated you or made you feel invisible. If you were angry about it, you turned into the rebel of the family. If you felt invisible, you did anything and everything to win everyone’s favor over as the peacemaker in the family.
As an adult, you have a wonderful ability to bring people together and have a large group of diverse friends. According to a great article in Psychology Today, middle children are oftentimes very well adjusted adults.
Because you felt as though you were sometimes ignored and overlooked, you learned to stand on your own two feet and think for yourself. You are prone to be an out-of-the-box thinker, see multiple sides of issues, and be a huge supporter of the oppressed.
On the downside, you may have a lower self-esteem than either of your siblings. If this is the case, you need to open your eyes and see that your feelings of inadequacy are not real. You don’t always have to be the peacemaker or live in the shadows of others.
In love, it’s okay to rock the boat a bit and say no. Learn to communicate your needs and desires and you’ll be much happier.
If you were born last, you were probably quickly labeled “the baby.” By the time you came around, your parents didn’t feel they needed to figure anything new out in the art of parenting.
Everything you did was silly and cute, and all pressure was off your shoulders to be exceptional. Being the cute one in the family made you a natural attention-seeker.
You were free to be you, in every sense of the word. You also were a master at getting what you want, even if it meant manipulating your family members and friends.
As you grew, you were known as spontaneous and care-free. You also felt as though you could connect well with older people and were considered mature for your age.
Now that you’re an adult, you seek out opportunities to have fun and experience the fullness of life. As a parent, you love to relive your childhood through your own children’s experiences.
In love, you often seek out lovers that are older than you and/or more grounded. You may not be as committed as your older siblings and feel stifled when someone is trying to control you.
To find more balance, take up activities that ground you — like yoga, martial arts, and meditation. Don’t be afraid to commit to things and people. The secret to finding a love that lasts is to find someone who can keep up with you. You may be attracted to someone opposite your personality, but in the end you may find yourself wanting more.
As an only child, you are a breed of your own. Your parents most likely made you their equal from the beginning. They probably took you everywhere they went, naturally surrounding you with older people.
This led you to have a harder time connecting with kids your age, unless of course your parents made every effort to raise you with your cousins or close family friends.
Sometimes, only children don’t learn the art of sharing or cooperating. You may not understand why people do what they do, especially if what they’re doing isn’t perfect. This frustrating prospect may inspire you to spend a lot of time by yourself.
By the time you evolved into an adult, you were a natural born leader. You are probably heading a department or company.
In love, you are dedicated and serious. Your home is your castle. If single, you may be happiest that way. You can command your own world and make it exactly what you’ve always wanted.
Looking to grow and find a higher degree of happiness? Make every effort to loosen your grip on the need to be perfect. Realize there is no real “perfect” way to be and live in this world. Everyone has their way and that is perfectly okay. Make friends with your inner child and give him/her permission to shine.