Birth Order

The position of one’s birth in the family system came up several times in my counseling studies.  My college professor made me aware of a book called The Birth Order Book of Love: How the #1 Personality Predictor can help you find the one.  After hearing about the book then I started looking at my relationships and analyzing if I could see some birth order traits in the people that I am around. What I learned in class was first born individuals tend to possess a leader type personality.  They tend to take on a lot of family responsibility compared to other siblings.  The oldest child also tends to have an over achiever personality.  They strive to fulfill prominent positions and are competitive in their field. 

I can see in my own family dynamics that my oldest sister fits the oldest child concept.  My sister does possess a leader personality as she is the one to coordinate family gatherings and activities. She was driven to excel in School to be successful. When my other sister came along then my oldest sister took on a new responsibility of taking care of her younger sister.  As the middle-born child comes into the world they are shown a lot of attention until another baby comes into the picture. 

When the new baby comes into the home then the attention is taken away from the middle child and then they feel squeezed out of the family system and attempt to find their own unique identity.  When I came into the world then my sister had to share attention with her youngest sister.  I am the youngest of three girls with no brothers and there is a huge age gap between my siblings and I.  When there is a huge gap between the middle and youngest child then the youngest is considered to also be an only child.  As for the youngest child in the family, they tend to have a go with the flow type of individual.  Their worldview makes them believe they can have everything they want in life. 

Youngest children become comfortable doing things with them self as they may not have had siblings to do things with.  As for some only child traits, that individual gets all their parents attention and does not have to share their parents with other siblings.  As they age, they have to learn how to get along with their peers as they did not have to develop that skill growing up in their home.  They have been nurtured to be secure in who they are and sharpened their verbal skills while growing up.  The only child is around adults all the time so they tend to take on an adult nature. 

Birth order can be taken into account with work relationships, spousal relationship, business partners and friendships.  People personalities can be shaped by an individual family birth order and show up in various relationship dynamics.  For instance, an oldest child working in a work group may jump right on in and take the role of the leader.  An oldest child may also handle the finances in a marriage.  While the only child will feel competent do performing anything asked of them.  As you go about your relationships with others, try to notice if you see any correlation to how the person interacts with you and where they fall in their family birth order.

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