- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 2:31PM
We've all heard that our birth order in a family can somewhat determine our personality, but how much of it is actually true?
The theory of birth order was first proposed in the early 1900s by psychotherapist Alfred Adler, a disciple of Freud. Adler believed his theory answered the question of why siblings (who might share both nature and nurture, to some extent) are so different.
And really, the basic concept of birth-order theory is hard to contest.
So, what exactly does birth order theory say about you?
The oldest child in the family tends to have better leadership skills and takes a more conservative, power-oriented and dominant approach. The oldest child in the family often takes care of their siblings, which develops a stronger responsibility and caring feeling. Firstborn children also will take more initiative, according to Adler. Research has also shown that firstborns are more honest, but aren’t as stress-resistant as their siblings.
Opposite to the firstborn child, the youngest children tend to form a different personality. Younger children are usually overpampered by their parents and enjoy the attention they’re given by their older siblings. Nonetheless, youngest children are highly motivated to ‘one-up’ their older siblings. They also tend to be strongly socially developed.
Personality-wise, middle children tend to be situated somewhere in between these two. The older sibling can be best described as the ‘pace-setter’ in the family, which often leads to a more ambitious approach for the middle children. They set the bar high and make more errors than usual, but allows them to learn more from their mistakes. Middle children are conscientious and diligent.
The only child doesn’t have to worry about competing with other siblings. Only children are usually pampered a lot as well and tend to receive a lot of protection from their parents. Only children tend to get dependent on other people and are usually more self-centered according to Adler, but research has shown that they’re quite open as well, although more nervous than their peers. Perfectionists are often only children who never stop to achieve their goals.
Do you fit the mold?