Can one’s place in the family rule one’s understanding of one’s self and other people? Linda Blair’s article, How your place in the family rules your life, not only outlines the birth-order positions - eldest, youngest, middle, and only child, but also lists plenty of distinct characteristics for each positions that she professes will “influence one’s emotions, outlook and behavior”.
For the first born, Blair states that because of their position in birth, they become organized, responsible, “law abiding conservatives” who thrive as leaders with good language skills and take charge skills simply because of “exclusive attention” that they received as children. But they also suffer from a need for approval and are more self critical on account of the undivided attention they got.
The middle child is more relaxed, more diplomatic, more social, creative and innovative because the parents were more relaxed and confident. But because of that the child represses desires, can be easily persuaded, exhibit tiredness and lack of direction.
The last born exhibits more outgoing, charming, and manipulative behavior as he benefited from all kinds of help from older siblings and family members. Because of that, he is more dependent on others, disorganized, rebellious at times, a risk taker, low self esteem, and expects help all the time.
The only child is a result of parents’ choice of one child that much attention was devoted to him. Because of this, he could be academically successful, logical, organized, sensible, and have “unemotional problems solving skills”. However, he would have difficulty in group situations, fearful of disorders and confusions, be impatient and demanding because of his experiences of only relating to adults and not siblings.
I think that understanding birth order brings awareness to oneself, perspective on human nature, and most importantly, our social mindfulness or how we intend to relate to the rest of the world.