Birth Order - Does it really make a difference

Since we’ve been talking about onlies and twins, I though it might be interesting to have a discussion about birth order and whether it really makes a difference in a persons personality. There was an article in the paper about this yesterday, and to summarize:

Firstborns: self-confident, enjoys being a leader, good nurturer

The Middle Child: good social skills, very understanding, a mediator and negotiator

The Youngest: relaxed and laid back, likes being the center of attention, competitive.

Do these hold true in your family?

I am the oldest of three, one sister, one brother. I did make the best grades, was the best behaved and was involved with all sorts of extra-curricular activities (editor of the school newspaper, FBLA, drama club, ect). While I do not see myself as a domineering sort, I do take charge when I see the need. However, I am a very aware of other people’s feelings (probably too aware), and take great pains not to hurt or offend anyone.

My sister, the middle child, was the most social one during our childhoods. Although she is almost as smart as me, she never did really well in school because she prefered socializing.

My brother, the baby, is completely spoiled, but I love him. He smokes a lot of pot and likes to take it easy.

I’m a firstborn. Self-confident? No. Leader? Not unless you held a gun to my head. Nurturer? Sometimes good with kids, but I get fed up with adults who can’t take care of themselves. The description of the youngest child does sound a bit like my brother, though.

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

  • Bill Watterson

OK, smarty pants. I’m the fourth of five AND the middle boy. Figure ME out.

You know, I was going to respond to this thread, but I found myself writing a whole bloody textbook about me and my sisters, so I dropped it. Suffice it to say that the OP’s description sounds nothing like my own family.

God is dead. -Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead. -God
Neitzsche is God. -Dead

I’m the youngest of five and only girl. I am laid back, yet boss and take charge when the need arises.

I’m the oldest child, and everything tatertot said is true, except that my middle brother ends up being the “leader” most of the time. :frowning:

Hijack Alert

I’ll take the 5th on the oldest child traits above, but I seem to know a great many couples with one “oldest” & one “youngest”, and at least superficially, the roles continue.

I’m in such a marriage, so I may notice this more than it really occurs, but would be interested in hearing other peoples’ opinions.

Sue from El Paso

I would say that my younger brother went out of his way to be different from me. He’s also very prone to jealousy, which I wholly attribute to his being the second child. I feel he was incredibly spoiled, but I am trully not jealous of him. I simply don’t care, while he keeps comparing himself to me.

Only humans commit inhuman acts.

I was the 4th of 4. You wouldn’t say spoiled; my siblings just wore Mom & Dad out. :slight_smile:

My sibs were 6, 9, and 11 years older than me, so they could physically overpower me if I overplayed my “baby of the family” role. And of course, by the time I was able to retaliate, they were respectable parents, not my “meanie” siblings anymore.

Oldest, male: quiet, reserved, stubborn, poor social skills, will not seek leadership role
Second, female: silly, submissive, childish, no leadership skills, stubborn
Third, female: strong leader, stubborn, good people skills (learned, not natural), outgoing, slightly nervous, disorganized
Forth, female: Type A, bossy, stubborn, strong leader, fair people skills, high achiever, organized

My opinion of birth order traits is that it’s in the same class as astrology. Parenting, peers, and genetics have more effect. IMHO of course :slight_smile:

In my family:
Oldest, male: Dominating, hotheaded, vulgar; hurt our mother by staying incommunicado with us for eleven years :frowning:
Second (me), male: Socially isolated, ragged by peers throughout public school; often complimented for intellect; difficulty throughout life, in interpersonal dealings
Third, female: Quiet, but often hostile to me; only girl in family; sometimes bullied by older brother
Fourth, male: 12 years younger than sister. Cute and outgoing as child, sometimes surly in late teens/early adulthood. Seems to have best personality.

Regarding the birth order factor and marriage.

Hubby is the eldest. I am the youngest. He is a Classic Type A personality, go gettum, do the job to perfection kinda guy. He keeps on saying I’m a Type A as well, but it is not in the perpetual motion way that he is.He is a very positive “I can do anything I set my mind to” chipper person, ergo, he is evil. I am, " I just did it the right way (or my way, which was shorter, faster, cheaper…etc) and you want me to do what for you now? Crap, that’s what I get for being efficent."

He is: the glass is over flowing kind of person. I’m the : glass just fell off the table and shattered over a pit bull’s head type.

I’ve always said that it’s his job to make things happen and do them right and it’s my job to watch him and applaud him for his efforts.

We are a perfect compliment for each other.