Despite coming from the same gene-pool, you and your siblings each have a distinct personality. According to researchers, your birth order may account for some of those differences.
If you’re a first-born
Your philosophy is ‘I’m going to do this the right way, and so should you.’
You are Conscientious, reliable, serious, capable, goal-oriented, organized, analytical, well-prepared, precise.
You crave Perfection.
You avoid Unpredictability.
People see you as A natural leader, a problem solver, an upholder of tradition.
People may be put off by Your critical eye, lack of forgiveness or bossiness.
Careers Engineering, law, medicine, education, nursing, accounting, management, information technology, research.
Relationships You expect as much of ‘others as you do of yourself, which may set you up for disappointment or frustration. A marriage between two first-borns may be like ‘a cat and a dog in a sack,’ says psychologist Kevin Leman, as you each strive to be the leader. Therapist Marion Balla suggests carving out separate areas in which to lead, such as one in the workplace and the other at home. Your best romantic match? A later-born.
Parenting your first-born or only You may set unreasonably high standards for your children, even subconsciously encouraging perfectionism. If your already perfectionist eldest child rips up a drawing or a project because ‘it’s not good enough,’ Leman suggests you say, ‘I know it’s a big deal to you, but it’s not to me,’ and walk away.
Famous first-borns Oprah Winfrey, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Harper.
If you’re a middle-born
Your philosophy is ‘Let’s look at this a different way.’
You are Sociable, flexible, open-minded, free-spirited, inventive, agreeable, sometimes rebellious.
You crave Fairness, and your own identity.
You avoid Confrontation and being pigeonholed.
People see you as A consensus builder, ‘a defender of the underdog, a peacemaker, ‘a rebel against injustice, a social animal.
People may be put off by Your secrecy, indecisiveness and unwillingness to share your feelings.
Careers Mediation, negotiation, diplomacy, social work, teaching, self-employment.
Relationships You are able to get along with almost everyone. But you sometimes defer to others in the interests of co-operation, ignoring your own feelings. A marriage between two middles could have both partners avoiding issues and miscommunicating, or ‘processing till the cows come home,’ says Balla. Middles are the most monogamous of all the birth orders and the least likely to go into therapy. Your best romantic match? Any birth order, but especially a first-born or baby.
Parenting your middle-born Ensure that each of your children gets a say. Don’t wait for your middle child to come to you with a problem; sit down with him or her, close the door and say gently,”Honey, you seem bummed out about something.’
Famous middle-borns Princess Diana, Bill Gates, Shania Twain, Sarah Palin, Martin Luther King, Mark Zuckerberg.
If you’re the baby
Your philosophy is ‘Sounds fun. Let’s do it!’
You are Charming, impetuous, entertaining, affectionate, persuasive, sentimental, insecure, adventurous.
You crave Attention and respect.
You avoid Responsibility.
People see you as The life of the party, ‘a risk taker, a trailblazer.
People may be put off by Your absentmindedness, self-centredness or manipulativeness.
Careers Acting, comedy, music, the arts, sports, sales, marketing.
Relationships You’re lovable but tend to want to grab the attention away from others. You’re impatient with the grunt work of life, such as paying bills or making appointments, and may instead dump it on your spouse. A marriage between two youngest-borns may focus on fun at the expense of responsibility. Your best romantic match? A first-born or an only. Leman says, ‘Babies need first-borns to straighten them out. First-borns need babies to lighten them up.’
Parenting your last-born You have great times with your kids but may be inconsistent with giving them rules and discipline. With your own youngest child, be sure to assign responsibility and hold him or her accountable.
Famous last-borns Celine Dion, Tessa ‘Virtue, Scott Moir, Ellen DeGeneres, ‘Cameron Diaz, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, ‘Prince Harry.