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Your older sibling takes on the role of your parents too often, or your friend, who is an only child thinks the world revolves around them? Why is it that certain personality traits are explained by the birth order? The theory is traced back to the 1920’s when Alfred Adler introduced a theory of birth order determining ones personality. There are five categories of birth order that affect how the person is viewing love, friendship and work.
Firstborn Children: The Leaders
Firstborn children tend to adopt the traits of a powerful leader and have the urge to help and protect others. Once their younger siblings are born, firstborns tend to copy the parents’ behavior and can get over-protective of their siblings. The care they learn to provide to their siblings makes them become great parents to their own children.
They have a great amount of self-esteem since they were the first object of their parents’ undivided attention and greatest love. Jealousy comes once this love and attention has to be shared with another child or other children. Firstborn children also tend to be conservative, aggressive, ambitious, anxious, responsible and competitive.
Middleborn Children: The Mediators
Middle born children often tend to lack the attention reserved for the first and the lastborn. Feeling that they always need to fight for the attention of their parents, middle children develop ambition early on and even though this sometimes means setting too high goals and failing many times, they most often end up being successful entrepreneurs.
Additionally, they are extremely passionate about fighting injustice and developing strong friendships outside the family. They are natural mediators that tend to avoid confrontation. Due to a lack of attention in the family, most often a middle child has a more difficult time finding their way and feeling insecure and lost. On the other hand, those struggles eventually turn them into compassionate and strong people.
Youngest Children: The Entertainers
Being the “babies” of the family, it seems that the youngest children get all the love and attention from parents and siblings alike. This leads to them developing a great sense of self-worth and drive to achieve their goals and dreams. With all eyes on them from early on, youngest children become the entertainers of the family. They are also outgoing and sociable and usually have many close friends.
Over-protectiveness in the family can result in difficulties in the adult life of the youngest child. They can become irresponsible, dependent, selfish and manipulative.
Without any siblings to compete with, the only children often compete with their fathers. The only child usually gets too much attention which results in them being spoiled, mostly by mothers. They tend to be self-centered and self-reliant since they learn to depend upon themselves from early on. They either develop traits of the first or the lastborn child. They may be great socialites or perfectly content loners. Only children tend to be goal-oriented perfectionists which can make them misunderstood by peers.
When it comes to twins, one of them usually takes the dominant role of a firstborn. Twins develop closeness greater than other siblings. The closeness helps them be more confident, but it also makes them dependent on the company of others. As they grow up and start their own families, the separation can cause great grief.
If we think about our family and other families around us, most of us would recognize most of the types and personalities in our surroundings. However, even though highly accurate, this theory doesn’t apply to every person since there are many other factors that need to be included, such as the upbringing, the age difference between children, and the total number of siblings.