Birth Order Personality Traits: Can You Relate?
Birth Order Theory
Birth order is defined as the order in which children are born into a family (first child, the second child, etc.).
It has long been theorized that the birth orderof children lays the groundwork for psychological development and other meaningful life experiences.
A Brief History Of Alfred Adler's Theory of Birth Order
Adler believed that birth order influenced an individuals personality development in such a way that family relationships, work ethics, and love relationships were in turn affected.
Adler who was the "middle" child, he believed that we are all born inferior and look for acceptance from our loved ones. He coined this theory Striving for Superiority and believed that this theory of searching for superiority was one of the driving motivations of human beings.
The First Child
The first child is said to be:
- Socially dominant
- Natural leaders
It's possible that firstborn children have these traits because firstborn children are given their parents undivided attention, love, and guidance from day one.
However, first-born children are less likely to be open to new things, ideas, and people. They are prone to be perfectionists and are almost always people pleasers. They always seek approval from their loved ones and strive for excellence at every turn.
Famous First Born's and First Born Facts
- Bill & Hillary Clinton
- Oprah Winfrey
- J.K. Rowling
- Clint Eastwood
- More than 50% of all Nobel Prize winners have been first-born children
- More than 50% of all U.S. Presidents have been first-born children
- A large part of Harvard and Yale graduates are first born children
Some things a first born may say:
- "I never get away with anything."
- "Everyone always depends on me."
- "I never got to be a kid."
- "Why do I have to do everything?"
The Middle Child
Since parents are often more easy-going and less demanding with second and third children, the "middle" child seems to have it easier. The parents are passed the don't touch this, don't do that, and have a more go with the flow type attitude towards parenting. As a result, many middle children end up with a more relaxed attitude towards life than their older siblings.
Characteristics of the middle child include:
- Competitive nature
- Praise seekers
- Middle children also prefer the company of family and friends over siblings
Famous Middle Children
- David Lettermen
- Princess Diana
- Barbra Walters
- Sarah Palin
Some things the middle child might say:
- "Nobody understands me."
- "Nobody ever listens to me."
- "My older sister/brother gets to do everything."
- "My younger siblings never get in trouble."
The Youngest Child
By the time the youngest child rolls around mom and dad have traveled the road of "firsts" many times (the first word, the first steps, the first day of school, etc.). Not to say that each time a child embarks on a "first" it's not special, it's just that the youngest child tends to get the "shaft" in this area.
The youngest child brings to mind the term "send in the clowns." Reason being is the youngest of the family tends to be fun, charming, confident, and the life of the party.
The youngest child tends to be:
- With a tendency to be financially irresponsible when older
- Jim Carey
- Billy Crystal
- Goldie Hawn
- Rosie Odonnel
- Cameron Diaz
The Only Child
Combine the oldest child by the youngest child, and you have the only child.
Only child tendencies:
- Mature for their age
- Able to entertain themselves
It may seem like the only child has the best of both worlds.
However, these traits do not always work to their advantage as being "thrust" into the real world can sometimes be a dramatic transition like many life transitions for the only child.
Do you find you share any of these birth order characteristics?
©Rebecca Fiskaali-Fordin 2012
All Text Rights Reserved
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