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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Birth Order

Raise your hand if you think birth order has some effect on your personality.  ::raises hand::  I don't think this just a little bit, either.  I fully, one hundred percent believe that a large part of any one person's personality comes from his or her position in the line of children.  

I am a first-born, and I am almost a stereo-typical one.  Traits of a first-born are as follows:

Compliant Traits
  • People Pleasers
  • Crave Approval
  • Nurturers
  • Caregivers
  • Reliable
  • Concientious
  • Cooperative
  • Team Players
  • "Grin and bear it" mentatlity
Aggressive Traits
  • Movers and shakers
  • Natural leaders
  • Perfectionists
  • Driven
  • Conventional
  • Always have things under control
  • Assertive
  • Want things their way
For the record, over half of the US Presidents have been first-borns, as well as huge numbers of military leaders, astronauts, etc.  First-borns are natural leaders and people pleasers.  Sound like a politician to you??

I am a very typical first born, but not so much the aggressive type.  Though I am a natural leader, I am also extremely cooperative and I seek approval like nobody's business.  It's really a fault of mine, in my opinion.  I shouldn't care so much what other people think, which is sort of the point of this blog, but I'll get there in a minute.

Middle children are hard to pin down, but one thing is for sure: he is the opposite of his older brother (sister).  That can manifest in a lot of different ways.  In my family, it went like this:  I was the model student when I was a kid.  Seriously, I never got in trouble ever and I had almost perfect grades.  Teachers adored me.  Then poor Scott had to come along and follow that.  In fact, he even had the same Kindergarten teacher as I had the year before.  I don't blame him for acting out and never caring about his grades.  Everybody just thought he was different from me, but in reality he just didn't want to act like me.  It turned out years later (when he was no longer associated as closely with  me) that his ability was in no way different from mine.  He is literally just as "book-smart" as I am, he just actively chose to play the opposite role.  I can only assume that the competition was over in his mind, and that's when he chose to act differently.

Now, last-borns.  More is written about first-borns and last-borns than any others.  Traits of last-born children:

Last Born Traits
  • Risk takers
  • Idealists
  • Good sense of humor
  • Hard working
  • Immature
  • Attention seeking
  • Secretive
  • Sensitive
Last borns also tend to be financially irresponsible, manipulative, and make the biggest stirs in life. For example, famous last-borns are Jay Leno, Howard Stern, Danny DeVito, and Billy Crystal.  See a pattern? 

The reason I'm writing is this:  My baby brother told me last night that he's leaving University and going back home.  He didn't have time to really talk, so I don't even know his reasons.  I have no clue what's going on with him, but I do know that I would never, ever have left, no matter what the reason.  My middle brother left University, too, and I was baffled.  It was the best thing for him at the time, and I'm sure baby brother knows what's best for himself right now.  

What makes me write this is the simple difference in personalities.  The reason I would never have left University is that I felt like I literally could not.  In fact, I remember a specific conversation in which I told my dad that I wanted to transfer to a different school.  I hated Ole Miss my first semester, and I wanted to leave.  He told me that I was absolutely not allowed to leave.  I had to stick it out.  So I did.  Looking back, I could have left.. He wasn't paying my tuition, so I could technically have done what I wanted.  But I felt so responsible, and had such a desire to please my family, that I stayed.  (For the record, I'm glad I did.)  

I am amazed that my younger brothers don't feel the same sense of responsibility.  (And truthfully, I'm a little bit jealous.)  I wish I didn't care about pleasing people.  Jason picks on me all the time for caring so much what others think.  

I guess the point of this is that one shouldn't judge someone else for making a decision differently than how you would have, even if in your heart of hearts it still doesn't make sense to you.


  1. Very interesting Punk....always been fascinated by the birth order stuff..I'm glad you didn't leave Ole Miss til it was done. Life has a way of working out for the best when you just let things happen-or at least sometimes anyway :)

  2. I think that the personality traits associated with birth order is very interesting too...
    As the oldest, I can relate to some of the traits you listed. (although, it was more like the only child for me, my brother and sister, since my brother is 11 years younger than me and then my sister is 9 years younger than him!) all of the Compliant Traits describes what I think is me to the "T".

    But as for -Aggressive would maybe consider
    Always have things under control
    Want things their way (This was what my kindergarten teacher wrote about me on my report card!, I dont think like this at all).

    Now our two daughters are 3 and a half years apart, but they are like two peas in a pod! With very, very similar personalities... our son (the "baby") definitely has some of the traits, like:
    Risk takers, Idealists, Good sense of humor, Hard working, Immature, Attention seeking, Sensitive ...but not secretive.

    So fun meeting you through the blog hop!

    Blessings & Aloha!
    My hubby is from Hawaii and we were stationed there when he flew helicopters out of Wheeler Army Airfield. We lived on Schofield... if you get a chance to stop by, please let me know by leaving a comment :o)


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