Some people believe that your birth order—whether you were the eldest, youngest or middle child—can affect your personality traits and outlook on life. The theory is based on the kind of experiences you have had, based on the social expectations and the experiences you may have been exposed to.
Here is a general view of how your birth order, but do note that these are simplistic. A lot of your personality has to do with your parents’ own personality, the family dynamics, and other influences you may have had in your life.
Since parents tend to spend more time with the eldest child (there are no other siblings to compete for their attention) he may have a slightly average IQ. However, one research from Ohio State University indicates that family size is a better determinant of IQ than birth order (smaller families may have better economic advantages, such as more extracurricular activities or better schools, than those whose family budget is spread out among more kids). However, the eldest child may also have more pressure to succeed, and may seek more prominent and high paying jobs to meet those expectations. Another possible route is that they have a greater fear of failure, and if they worry a lot (because of their natural temperament) they can buckle under the pressure and become underachievers.
Middle children may complain that they received the least amount of attention from their parents. And, their identity changed midway through their childhood (from youngest to middle child) after the birth of their sibling.
On the one hand, they can become more independent and more likely to form friendships or interests outside of the family. They may also take on the role of the peacekeeper, mediating between their siblings or their parents and siblings. While these traits certainly make them dependable and ‘stable’ they may also feel like their needs are neglected, and try to get that approval from other people.
The youngest is often treated as the baby of the family, which is both a blessing and a curse. They get a lot of attention, but they are rarely taken seriously. They feel like they need to prove themselves, and may become risk-takers (or, even rebels).
Personality tool or poppycock?
The theory of birth order is highly controversial. (Most of you, while reading this article, may be thinking, ‘That’s not true!’ or ‘Hey, I’m the complete opposite!’ That’s because family dynamics—the root of the birth order theory—is very unique. For example, parents who prioritize quality time with their kids will be able to spend equal attention on all their kids.
Approach the theory of birth order the same way you would your horoscope: it’s fun, sometimes helpful to read, but don’t lose any sleep over it.
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