Is This You?


My sibs and I in late 70's.

My sibs and I in late 70’s.

Recently I finished reading “The Birth Order” book and found it fascinating.  Do you see yourself here?

Are you:

  • A list maker
  • A problem solver
  • Organized but have a messy desk
  • An advice giver
  • A people person with very few friends
  • Logical
  • A perfectionist
  • Someone who straightens pictures on walls or pillows on couches

If you answered yes to most of these traits, you are probably a first born or only child.  As a firstborn you are scholarly, hard driving, a bit serious and critical and more than likely you don’t like surprises.

Or, are you:

  • Manipulative
  • An attention seeker
  • Class clown or comedian of the family
  • A lover of surprises
  • Affectionate
  • A people person

Yes to these and you take the lastborn or baby position.  You are fun, the life of the party but can also be spoiled, impatient and impetuous.  Often you feel as if you are not taken serious, especially by your family.  Many of you, as Dr. Leman puts it, “have a burning desire to make an important contribution to the world”.

And last but not least, are you:

  •  A mediator
  • Compromising
  • A conflict avoider
  • Loyal to your peers with many friends
  • Secretive
  • Unspoiled

These are the mysterious middle children.  Their personalities are strongly influenced by the sibling directly above them.  They may model them or go in a complete opposite direction.  There have been many articles published and most agree that of all birth order positions, the middle child is the most difficult to define, let alone describe or generalize about.

There are 8 siblings in my family.  I am the oldest and after 50 years I finally understand why I do certain things.  I am also pleased to understand the whys of the rest of my sisters and brothers.  Things just make sense now.  I have no friends, I want no friends and it is okay because I am an oldest.  Now when my brother Pat gets out on the dance floor when the song, “Play that Funky Music White Boy” comes on and dances to it, I understand he is not weird, he is the baby.

This is not an exact science but pretty close.  It doesn’t always go as simply as I stated.  Family situations and circumstances also come in to play.  Oldest child can mean oldest daughter and oldest son.  The gaps in age also make a difference.

After my father died, Mom remarried and they had two girls.  So, actually Pat is not the baby but is the typical baby and the baby of the first six.

I listen and observe at all functions I go to and it is pretty easy to spot an oldest and a baby.  I have fun with it and actually keep a notebook with me to write down what I see and predict the birth order.  People are surprised if they haven’t heard about Dr. Lemans book or the others that are out there.  It is a great discussion to have as they look at their own families.

This is written for Blogging 101, Day 6 – publish a post for your dream reader

I love to read, write, discuss.  This is written for those who also love to read interesting books on fascinating subjects.

9 thoughts on “Is This You?

    • I started reading the book a few years ago, not until I moved back to where my sibs live did I pick it back up. It answered a lot of questions I had. Sharing it with my sisters tells them that it is just my role to advise and help them, not because I am just an annoying know-it-all. It also showed me to be careful about throwing that advise out there if it’s not really asked for. That part is tough.

  1. That is pretty fascinating. As you said, it’s not an exact science as there are many, many outside factors involved. I’m the middle child of three girls. My older sister is a perfectionist and more serious, not one to have many friends. My little sister is very much a people person, sweet and open and likes to have fun. I’m the daydreaming, compromising conflict-avoider. I like spending time with people but also have a deep need for alone time.

    Again every person is so much more than just the order they were born, as I’m sure is needless to say. It is pretty cool to see what effects birth order does have though…

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I definitely agree that there are so many factors you must look at. With a father dying, a remarriage, more babies, our family has a bunch of factors. Out of the 8 of us, I would say that I am a true oldest, one sister and one brother are true middles and one brother is an honest to God, look at me true baby. The other 4 are either/or’s. Agree that we are all so much more than our birth order, but it is so interesting to watch the dynamics in a family and see how birth order plays out.

  2. Oh my gosh, I loved this book! However, it made me want to give up on parenting (for a day or two :)) because it all seemed a little predestined. It’s crazy how much we seem to all fall into place according to birth order. Being a teacher, I am often able to pinpoint where certain students are, birth order-wise, within their families…typically only children, oldest and youngest. Great post!!!

    • Lucky for me, I read it as a Grandma and now tell my son what I think he should do. He has 2 daughters, 9 & 5 and they are so typical first born and baby. We’ve talked about the pressures that are put on Alyssa to be perfect. He is now working on that but the Momma can be difficult. Thanks for stopping and commenting. I have read some of your blog and really enjoy it.

  3. Pingback: Won’t you be my Neighbor? | Stories and Stuff

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