by Kalyn Brooke
Despite living in the same family, we all grow up in totally different environments — a.k.a our birth orders.
At first, birth order might not seem like it makes a huge difference in our personality, but think of where you land in the family unit.
Are you firstborn? Middle? Lastborn? Only?
How did you react to situations based on having older or younger siblings, or none at all?
I like to think of birth orders as the puzzle pieces that make relationships fit together. So much about them make sense, and are fascinating to watch in action.
Defining Birth Orders
Dr. Kevin Leman was one of the first to explore birth orders with his book, The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are.
Basically, wherever you are born in your family – first, right in the middle, or last, often determines your unique personality traits and perspective on the world. That doesn’t mean everyone is a cookie-cutter type, but there are a lot of similar traits that you could point out based on birth order.
For instance, firstborns tend to be really analytical. They’ve been held to a higher standard their whole life, so it’s natural for them to take responsibility, pay attention to details, and get things done. They’re natural-born leaders. Onlys also take on a lot of these same traits.
Middles are the peace makers. They have the advantage of big brother or sister trying everything out for them, what works, what doesn’t, etc., yet they also see how the babies of the families get away with practically anything. Middles are really easy-going, and great to have as friends.
Lastborns, or babies, are the life of the social party. If fun is to be had, they want a part of it. They are rarely stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. They are ready to be different, and make their own unique mark on the world.
Putting the Pieces Together
Where you fit into all of this?
First of all, it’s kind of fun trying to guess where each one of your friends fall in the family unit. Each time they do something “typical” of their birth order, you’ll know why exactly they’ve chosen to act that way!
Second, just because you might have certain traits based on your birth order, doesn’t mean you are “stuck for life” without the inability to change anything.
Sure, develop your strengths – people around you will love you for them. But just as much, overcome your weaknesses too. Understanding birth order means you know where your faults and temptations lie, and what you really need to work on.
I’m a firstborn through and through. I take responsibility for practically everything, work way too hard, and am very ambitious. Sometimes, those are really good things to be known for.
On the other hand, if I’m not careful, I can end up saying yes to activities that I know won’t fit into my schedule, overwork myself to the point of no rest and relaxation, and take on more than I can handle.
Because I know that about myself, I have to set “rules” in place before I add something else to my day, and actually practice the word no. It’s really hard, but it’s possible!
Don’t be afraid to be YOU!
Maybe you don’t fit into a birth order “type”. That’s okay. Embrace who you are.
Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t be discouraged from trying to be even better. One of the things I love about life is the ability to learn something new everyday. To challenge myself. To be the best version of who I am.
Personally, I think birth orders unveil a lot about ourselves that we may have not really known before (or maybe we did, and just didn’t want to address it!). But they certainly don’t have to define us.
We the have the ability to change step-by-baby-step, no matter which social situation or environment we are in. Your place in the family is just the start.
What is your birth order? Do you have “typical” traits?
Kalyn Brooke lives in beautiful Southwest Florida with her news photographer husband, and one super adorable bunny, named Twix. She works from home as the owner and author of CreativeSavingsBlog.com, and as a virtual marketing assistant for a variety of bloggers and websites. Small budget living is her passion, book hoarding her weakness, and a well-stocked freezer full of ice cream an essential luxury.