Birth order has been shown to affect your personality, even into adulthood. Although there are other areas that may have affected your personality, studies have shown that first borns, second borns, onlys and youngest borns really do respond and react differently to situations. Here are some examples of how birth order really does make a difference in personality.
Research has revealed four main types of birth orders: first borns, second borns, onlys, and youngests. If you happen to come from a family of several children, you may find that you still identify strongly with one of these birth order types. Whether or not you buy into the whole birth order personality thing, is up to you. But you may be surprised how accurately some of the characteristics may describe you.
First borns are usually very responsible, leader-type people. As children, they were often put in charge of their younger siblings and that role never quite managed to go away in adulthood. They may have spent much of their time as children demonstrating their position over others. This could manifest itself as the oldest sibling tattling on the others, or simply telling them what to do. They are also usually very driven. First borns like to manage others (remember the days of your big sister bossing you around?). First borns love to be in control and often feel uncomfortable or unhappy when they are not the master of a situation.
Second borns are usually the outgoing, “life of the party” type of people. They’re often the peacemakers and the flexible ones. As children, they saw the domineering and bossy manner of their older sibling, and often reacted in the opposite manner. They are motivated by a cause or for the love of another rather than their own personal drive to accomplish things. Second borns usually long to belong to a group, whether it is a work, school, or play. They desire friendship and can often be the glue that holds a relationship together. They usually put people before anything else in life.
Only children are in an interesting situation. Since they spent much of their younger years in the company of adults, it’s not surprising that these children often develop specific characteristics that will please their elders. Onlys are also very driven, but in a quiet way. They always expect the best. Onlys are often pampered and precocious, and may prefer their own company. Onlys aim to please and desire recognition for their success. They tend to be secretive and don’t do well with conflict.
Youngest children are usually just plain fun. They are the “idea” people. They are creative and usually fly by the seat of their pants. Although they may need to strive to take life more seriously, youngests are great to have on projects because they make things more fun. They are not, however, usually very good at finishing things. As children, they were often spoiled or less disciplined than the other children, causing some resentment from their siblings who “had it rough” compared to the youngest.
Now that you’ve been able to go through each birth order, reflect upon what you’ve just learned. Does your own birth order coincide with some of the personality traits listed above? Or are you an “anomaly” who does not fit the mold of birth order and personality? Either way, you should realize that although birth order may have some effect on personality, it is not the only factor. The choices you make throughout your life; the type of person you have become; the moral beliefs you’ve been raised with; your temperament, likes and dislikes; and the types of people you’ve associated with all affect your personality as much or more than birth order. And when it really comes down to it, you’re the only one who can decide what type of personality you want to have.