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Your Personality Based On Your Birth Order

Updated on February 26, 2019
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Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.

Do you ever wonder how you'd turn out if you weren't the oldest or youngest in the family? If you're the middle child, are you tired of people stereotyping you as the "problem child" or the "less favored" offspring? Research suggests that your order of birth can influence your personality. Let's look at the associated characteristics of your position in the family.


The Eldest

All babies, no matter their order of birth, are beautiful gifts to any family. The firstborn, however, brings that initial joy and excitement to an expectant mother and father. They are leaders of the pack and tend to be:


  • High achievers

  • Reliable and responsible

  • Perfectionists

  • Structured and plays by the book

  • Cautious

  • Controlling

  • Bossy


Parents tend to be overprotective and “obsessed” with their first baby, which may play a role in why firstborns sometimes act like mini versions of their parents (little adults). They are usually diligent and want to be the best at everything they do. In fact, 91 percent of NASA astronauts are firstborns.


Some famous firstborns include Neil Armstrong, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate Middleton. A 2007 survey also revealed that most CEOs are firstborns.


The Middle or Second Child

After the firstborn, most parents are more relaxed and hands-off with their next child. This hierarchical floundering often leads middle children to make their mark among their peers to compensate for the lack of family attention.


Second and middle children may have the following definitive traits:


  • Independent

  • Thrives on friendships

  • Free-spirited

  • Competitive

  • Peacemaker

  • People-pleaser

  • Rebellious


Most middle children are less anal and bossy compared to their big brother or sister, but they can have a stubborn, you-can't-tell-me-what-to-do streak.


Some famous middle children are Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy. Moreover, many famous singers are middle children, including Britney Spears and Bruno Mars. David Letterman and James Corden, both late-night hosts, are also middle children.


The Youngest

In many cases, the youngest in the family is more outgoing and charming than their older brothers and sisters. They often have a greater sense of freedom and are subsequently keen on trying new things and doing whatever they want.


In addition, the youngest in the family may be:


  • Fun-loving

  • Confident

  • Creative

  • Good at problem-solving

  • Manipulative

  • Attention-seeking

  • Self-centered

  • Risk-takers


Despite universally describing the youngest as "spoiled," a study concludes that parents favor their “babies.” Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Wahlberg, Zoe Saldana, Michael B. Jordan, Cara Delevingne, Jim Carrey, and Eddie Murphy are a few famous youngest children.


The Only Child

Having no brothers and sisters is a unique position in a family. Having no one to compete with, an only child receives his or her parents' full attention and resources. But because of a lack of similarly aged companions at home, an only child may be more comfortable alone and have difficulties making friends.


Sometimes, an only child is a "super-firstborn" and tends to be:


  • Mature for their age

  • Conscientious

  • Independent

  • Self-motivated

  • Perfectionists

  • A loner


Frank Sinatra, Robin Williams, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Alicia Keys, Samuel L. Jackson, and Daniel Radcliffe are some famous only children.


Is Personality Fixed?

Being the eldest, youngest, middle or only child does not immediately define you as controlling, rebellious, manipulative, or a lone wolf. Psychologists agree that although birth order can affect your personality, it is not always the same for everyone and you can consciously make a choice to change.


© 2019 Fredda Branyon

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